Dan Baldwin 2013-10-25 12:20:43
Beth Garcia, of the Law Office of Beth Garcia, PLLC, says that the biggest reward of being an attorney is helping people. By that she means helping them understand the process, answering their questions, being there for them when they feel like their life is in shambles and they don’t know what to do, and of course, fighting for just results in their cases. “I don’t do what I do to get fan mail, but it melts my heart to get thank you cards and letters from clients as well as their families for the work I’ve done on their case. In today’s world, these personal tokens of appreciation are unexpected and a wonderful example of how my clients are good people with gratuitous hearts,” she says. Garcia’s firm focuses on criminal defense, primarily those involving felonies, but in some instances she will represent people charged with misdemeanor offenses. Other practice areas include domestic relations on a case-by-case basis, drug offenses (including sales), assault, weapon offenses, burglary (including auto theft ), DUI and aggravated DUI, sex crimes, aggravated assault, domestic violence, robbery, and kidnapping. Garcia had shown an interest in criminal defense issues from an early age and it was natural for her to major in criminal justice; since she paid her own way, she started at a local community college and worked full time before going on to earn her four year degree, graduating not only early, but also magna cumlaude. She became a major crimes prosecutor for almost five years working primarily in cases involving drug enforcement and sex crimes and where she gained considerable jury trial experience. The move into private practice followed a significant amount of personal introspection aft er the deaths of two people close to her. “In 2010, my dad died and then unexpectedly, my grandmother died in her sleep the night of my dad’s funeral. Giving two eulogies in a week for the two most important people in my life made me realize how fragile life truly is. I questioned my happiness and long-term goals, and ultimately, aft er some difficult soul searching and decision-making, I was called to help others in a different way, on a more personal level. I opened my practice and began defending those accused of crimes.” Learning the business aspect of running a practice was the most challenging aspect of her new career. “Running a business is fun and liberating, though,” says Garcia. “Starting my practice allowed me to learn so much about entrepreneurship, which you never learn about in law school. It’s been a wonderful experience and I’ve learned a lot about myself throughout the process, leading me to strive to reach other goals in my life, even outside of law.” She cites as an example that she has just earned her Realtor’s license. Garcia believes in being readily accessible to her clients and she provides her cellphone number so those clients can have a direct link to call, text or email whenever they have a question or concern. While earning her way through undergraduate school and law school, she worked in retail and also waited tables. She developed a knack for customer service, which is still her number one goal in the legal service profession. “I am not trying to build an empire,” Garcia says. “I keep my caseload at a level where I’m comfortable and don’t sacrifice the personal attention my clients need. I don’t have to take every case and am not afraid to refer a case to best suit the needs of a potential client. This practice isn’t about me; it’s about the clients and the people seeking service.” Garcia’s personal life is as active as her professional life. She has run eight marathons and one Olympic distance triathlon. She loves traveling, hiking and mountain biking, but also appreciates a good book and a good movie. Those outside interests provide balance and perspective for her chosen career. “I love being a woman in law. In a field like criminal law, some may believe that it’s challenging for women. But, here in Maricopa County, there are so many amazing women in the field, that respect and quality of representation are expected and given.”
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