A short time after entering the legal profession as a second career, a local attorney has been recognized by her peers for her contributions to the legal community.
Amber R. Hayes was recently named the Solano County Bar Association’s Young Attorney of the Year during their annual installation dinner in January. The state bar recognizes a young lawyer as a member who is in his or her first five years of practice in California or who is age 36 or under.
Hayes, a Napa native, is an attorney with the Vacaville law firm Hodson & Mullin and specializes in family law.
It was her first career as a juvenile probation officer in Napa County that helped steer her in the direction of becoming a lawyer. It was in Napa County that she was assigned to the juvenile probation office’s court unit.
“I knew I wanted to go to law school when I became a probation officer,” Hayes said.
Already holding a degree in psychology from University of California, Santa Cruz, Hayes decided to enroll at Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minn., where the draw was to be involved with legislative work.
However, upon graduation, Hayes eventually followed a path to family law, an area of law that is often challenging.
“I enjoy the complexity. I enjoy that it really requires a higher level of analysis than some fields require,” Hayes said.
However, Hayes still gets involved with the legislative side of things, as she sits on two state Bar Association boards, notably the Family Law Section and its Executive Committee (FLEXCOM), which, among its duties are assisting the State Bar in working with the legislature to develop family law legislation.
According to Hayes, receiving the Solano County Bar Association recognition, came as a surprise.
“It was a shock, honestly. I’m still a little floored,” she said.
However, Hayes is quick to point out the great work being done by other young attorneys in the area.
“A young attorney brings a fresh perspective to a practice,” she said.
Bernadette Curry, president of the Solano County Bar Association, remembers the first time she met Hayes and quickly became impressed with her work with the California Young Lawyers Association in seeking to facilitate mentoring opportunities for other young attorneys.
“She’s excited and is really trying to create opportunities for young attorneys to grow,” Curry said.
“When you have that type of energy you want to recognize it,” she added.
The Solano County Bar Association also recognizes a law firm of the year and attorney of the year.
Julie Hilt, executive director, said that Young Attorney of the Year is someone who goes above and beyond to raise the bar on standards for the legal profession.
“I’ve always been impressed with her enthusiasm,” Hilt said.
“She gets involved to make a difference,” she added.
Article Source: The Reporter
For more information about Hodson & Mullin, please visit http://www.hodsonandmullin.net/