PARTNER

Deborah Lavender

My name is Deborah Lavender.  I was born in Saudi Arabia, and grew up in Ras Tanura.  When we returned to the States, I lived in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where they willingly eat a dish called “lutefisk”, which I do not recommend.  We moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, where they eat fried catfish, which I do recommend. The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville was then Arkansas’ flagship campus – and I graduated with a double major in English and Journalism, cum laude.  

In 1975, we moved to New Orleans, where we eat everything, although I hold that hogshead cheese is only a remote option under the most dire circumstances.

For reasons that I cannot now recall, after our two sons were born, I took the LSAT on a dare, and then applied to Loyola University School of Law in New Orleans.  Shocked I was, when they accepted me, to paraphrase Yoda. I can remember taking my two sons to an evening class, where we all sat on the back row and they played with Transformers.  Surprisingly, I liked it – law school, not Transformers!

My name is Deborah Lavender.  I was born in Saudi Arabia, and grew up in Ras Tanura.  When we returned to the States, I lived in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where they willingly eat a dish called “lutefisk”, which I do not recommend.  We moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, where they eat fried catfish, which I do recommend. The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville was then Arkansas’ flagship campus – and I graduated with a double major in English and Journalism, cum laude.  

In 1975, we moved to New Orleans, where we eat everything, although I hold that hogshead cheese is only a remote option under the most dire circumstances.

For reasons that I cannot now recall, after our two sons were born, I took the LSAT on a dare, and then applied to Loyola University School of Law in New Orleans.  Shocked I was, when they accepted me, to paraphrase Yoda. I can remember taking my two sons to an evening class, where we all sat on the back row and they played with Transformers.  Surprisingly, I liked it – law school, not Transformers!

To my delight, I won first place in the moot court oralist competition and placed 4th in the written portion. A classmate and I also won the “Client Counseling Competition”, which resulted in a trip to Waco, Texas, with one of our professors. Thus, as they say in English novels, the die was cast.  A trial lawyer was birthed…

Perhaps because I had already juggled finances and a house purchase, and because I had children and had worked, law school was not foreign to me, once the first semester was over – it was all about learning a new language.  (My four years of high school Latin helped a great deal, I confess.)

After graduation, I essentially became what I felt like was the only female plaintiff’s medical malpractice trial lawyer in the area, and frankly, it was a hard row to hoe.  I came to love the language of medicine, the jigsaw puzzle aspect of working out exactly what had happened to the sad folk who arrived at my office for help. I came to love the exceedingly detailed prep work for trial, and the theatrics and poise needed to try a case.  However, please understand this: I have never handed any family members a check at the end of a case without sorrow for their losses. I’ve always felt profoundly grateful for their trust. I traveled all over the State, and have tried or settled cases in Alabama and Mississippi.  I’ve settled death cases for prisoners, have taken on pro bono cases for grandmothers who are trying to save their grandchildren from drug-affected families, and have long since lost count of the mile-high pile of medical records I and my partners have reviewed. (If you have a case, you’ll hear us tell you “why” you do, but if your case lacks merit, you’ll receive an explanation for that as well. No one benefits when lawsuits without a strong foundation are filed.)

There are folks reading this who may never have needed a lawyer before, and you are the lucky ones.  Perhaps you are young, or no catastrophic events have occurred, and bless you if that’s true. If, though, you find you do need a lawyer, I can tell you that we’re careful, caring, and as conscientious as we can possibly be.

Education
  • Loyola University School of Law in New Orleans
  • The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville