April 25, 2008
Get to know lawyers from LiamLaw.com
~ written by Toki Clark
Why did you decide to become an attorney?
I became a lawyer out of necessity. At age 18, I got into a car accident and was told I had insurance, but it turns out I didn’t. After being sued by everyone involved in the accident (I still think they were in the wrong!!) I had no lawyer and no money and no hope. It was pretty bad. Four years later, after college, all this debt faced me. I stumbled into a law library on my own and started conducting research to try and get myself out of this predicament. Luckily, I found a rule of law that seemed to have been written just for me! I handwrote a Motion to Set Aside a Default Judgment, akin to what prisoners do. Somehow I managed to find the County Clerk's office to file my neatly handwritten document. Still more amazing, a Judge (Judge Martin) granted my motion and I was put in position to negotiate workable terms with Nationwide Insurance Company. I paid off the more manageable settlement amount over time, and told myself this would never happen to me again. I went to law school, and the rest is history, as they say.
What made you choose your primary area of law?
When I started Clark Law Office in 1995, I was a general practitioner. Over time, I realized that the vast majority of my practice was criminal cases. I also had an epiphany. I truly found this area of the law rewarding. I have a natural need to help people and through my practice, that need was being met. In recent years, my love of handling DUI cases –the clientele, the study of alcohol, the science of alcohol (hydrogen, oxygen, carbon), the mathematical calculations (six light beers of 12 ounces each over a three-hour period with a client who weighs 145 pounds and is 5’7’'), the chess and shell games with the prosecutor---has provided me a specialty within criminal law on which to focus.
What makes your law firm unique?
I am not so certain that I am unique. I’d like to think that most attorneys practicing criminal law in Franklin County are conscientious about their cases and their clients, and they work very hard to provide them with quality representation. So in this regard I don’t think I stand out so much. As a female criminal defense attorney, I am in the minority. I don’t walk around thinking about it so much. I just dig in and do the best job I can to get my client as much justice at the courthouse that I can secure, utilizing the assets that I have. I do tend to go above and beyond the call of duty for my clients, but as I indicated, I just think, or hope, most of the bar in this town does this for their clients.