I was born in an army hospital in Fort Knox, Kentucky. My father was in the army, and before I was a year old and my older brother two years old, my father had died in Vietnam. A widow at 24 years of age with two babies in diapers, my mother felt that the best education she could give my brother and me was real world experience. So for a year, when I was a junior in high school, we backpacked around the world. I traveled through numerous countries and regions (China, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, India, Nepal, Europe), and often we would stay for several weeks in one spot, so we could really get to know the area.
With the help of VA benefits and working evening jobs, I put myself through school. In 1992, I graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a dual degree in Philosophy and Legal Studies. Upon graduation I began working for three attorneys, and within the year I knew I wanted to be an attorney. I attended Gonzaga School of Law in Spokane and graduated in 1996.
I love the law because it lets me solve problems. The law lets me meet and work with so many interesting people with fascinating stories and histories. The law allows me to discuss legal issues from a layman's perspective, a lawyer's perspective, a judge's perspective, and a philosopher's perspective. I get to ask, answer, and think about the tough questions.