and did not actively pursue what they believed in!
Kim is a founding partner of Wallace Turner Law, LLC…AND a talented, young professional, determined to change the Capital Region workplace narrative. Like the suffragettes, Kim has not allowed others’ perceptions or expectations to deter her from actively pursuing her goals.
When Kim began to consider the law profession, her network did not include lawyers…And as she explained, “when you don’t see others that look like you in a particular profession, it’s easy to question your ability to “fit-in” and succeed in that line of work.”
“I had a lot of questions when I enrolled in the Russell Sage College Law and Society program. My faculty advisor, Professor Gabrenya called me the email Queen! I felt like I was annoying, but I was determined to figure out HOW TO REACH MY GOALS!”
“As a child, I used to watch a lot of TV, especially a lot of legal shows…and my idea to become a lawyer began to grow. But if I had simply followed the lead of many of my relatives – who also moved here from Jamaica – I would have gone into the Certified Nursing Assistant field. I knew though that I had other aspirations!”
And so when I was invited back to Sage to teach a class in the Law & Society program, I jumped at the opportunity! I knew how much I wanted to encourage other aspiring black students!
“I am able to tell my students that I was here ten years ago and (like them) I didn’t know what I would be doing when I graduated…or how I would get there. My parents told me that I could do it. But I know lots of kids do not have that encouragement or expectation given to them. And because I can share my career journey with these students – AND CONVEY MY BELIEF IN THEM – I am opening up their vision of possibilities for themselves!
I asked Kim what motivated her to leave her full-time position with the public defender’s office and start her own business. Kim describes it as “fortuitous.”
My partner Raysheea Turner and I met at a fundraiser…and then the stars seemed to line up! We realized that we had similar goals and desires. We both very much wanted to help people. We knew that there was no law firm in Albany headed by black lawyers….From the start, our goal has been to make our services accessible and affordable!
And that’s how we run our business! We don’t turn down clients because a person is unable to pay the full amount immediately; we come up with a manageable payment system. We also do pro bono work. And we take pride in ensuring that we are easily accessible; our clients can text us at anytime.
We’ve come a ways in the Capital Region. “But support continues to make a difference for me, both personally and professionally,” Kim explained. “I’m part of a monthly diversity initiative…a safe and supportive space for professionals of color. It’s not always easy for black and brown professionals in area workplaces. I can walk into a courtroom in any County outside of Albany and some, in Albany, dressed in my professional attire and carrying myself with confidence…and it will be assumed that I’m the defendant!”
Even with these challenges, Raysheea and I are determined to stick with our vision and continue to seek out support from those who believe in our vision!…grow the firm, BUILD OPPORTUNITIES that demonstrate to young, aspiring adults and others in the area, what is possible! … and ultimately attract other black professionals to our firm and the Capital Region!
And as you continue to pursue your career dreams and goals – like Kim and other successful professionals do, keep a lookout for those individuals – peers as well as professionals, perhaps a few steps ahead – who will route for you and want to see you succeed! …and THEN, continue to build those beautiful, mutually-supportive relationships!!
And Happy International Women’s Day!