Nervous and running late, the first person I met as I arrived at my internship was Sara who was working for the same law firm where I would be spending my summer a couple years ago. Since that moment, she has become a friend and an inspiration. A few months working together and several lunch meetups later, I thought that I knew her pretty well. Little did I know, I had only skimmed the surface of her admirable story. That is why I am fascinated with the art of communication. This in-depth lens into the lives of each interviewee has taught me some of the most invaluable lessons about human strength.
After paying her dues in the legal industry, Sara recently opened her own boutique law firm in the heart of Buckhead in Atlanta, Georgia. In her spare time, she dedicates her passion and serves as the pro-bono attorney for the non-profit she co-founded, Make Over For Hope. As a survivor of domestic abuse herself, the cause is dear to her heart and a reminder that any vulnerability in life can be turned into a catalyst for empowerment. Thank you Sara for sharing your story & insight with Millennial Nomaad.
Name: Sara Ghazaleh Eslami
The key to happiness is: Self love and making yourself a priority in your own life
My kryptonite is: Being too compassionate
In three words, I would describe myself as: Straightforward, genuine & loyal
I dream of: Making a positive difference in peoples lives
Success to me means: Waking up and and working towards what you love
Define curiosity: To be intrigued about someone or something and seek more information
To be brilliant is to be: Different and think outside of the box
First off, congratulations on recently opening your own law office in Buckhead! What are some perks of running your own firm?
Being a business woman again, setting my own hours, not having to answer to a boss, getting to choose the clients that I want to help, practicing the areas of law that I love
What are some challenges?
The high level of responsibility I have to my clients and knowing their fate is in my hands, hiring support staff, and the increase in financial responsibilities, such as creating and following a budget
The legal industry seems to be going through bit of a funk right now. Why did you decide to be come a lawyer?
I always knew I wanted to do something to help make a positive life altering difference in people's lives. Throughout middle school and high school, the aptitude tests we were required to take all pointed towards counseling. So, I started researching careers in counseling. Then through my own personal life experiences and through witnessing injustice to others, I knew I wanted to study law in order to help those who can not defend themselves and so I would know how to protect myself as well.
What advice would you give someone who is currently considering a career in law?
You have to be absolutely passionate and dedicated to the study and practice of law. A lot of people go to law school because they want to further their education; yet, they do not know what the practice of law actually entails. I would advise aspiring attorneys to intern and work at a law firm or government agency for at least six months to one year to make sure they've got what it takes and really enjoy the practice of law.
Your story of helping start a non-profit and being their Pro Bono Attorney is an inspiring example of turning vulnerable experiences into a great strength . Can you share with Millennial Nomaad your story?
I am a survivor of domestic violence. My ex-boyfriend in college was abusive. I thank him every day for it because it turned me into the strong woman and fighter that I am today. Feeling as vulnerable and helpless as I did at the time was another reason why I decided to go to law school, because I never wanted to feel helpless ever again. So when my friend approached me in regards to her idea of starting a non-profit organization that assists survivors of domestic violence, (we use the word "survivor" because we do not victimize ourselves; even if you are still in an abusive relationship, you are surviving through it), I was happy to empower survivors of domestic violence and be the pro-bono attorney for Make Over For Hope. I also dedicate my pro-bono practice hours to assisting survivors of domestic violence.
Tell us a little bit about the non-profit itself. How can people contribute to its mission and growth?
Like our Facebook page for updates and contact me in regards to future events. We visit shelters and provide different tools & resources to survivors of domestic violence. So, anyone who wants to volunteer his/her time and expertise would be great. For example, we have a dentist on our Board of Directors who donates his services. Also, donations are greatly appreciated.
If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you like to do as a career?
A traveling journalist, so I could travel around the world and document my adventures. I was a journalist before I became an attorney and it's still something that interests me.
Where do you think fear comes from?
The unknown and uncertainty of what may come
How does it affect you?
I do my best to not allow fear to affect me. I believe fear is just an illusion.
How do you deal with it?
Positive self talk, and I try to do something new each day that I was afraid to do the day before to prove to myself that fearful thought is ridiculous.
What does "awareness" mean to you?
Listening to and paying attention to the signs and vibes I receive from the universe to guide me. I also equate it to an acknowledgement and an appreciation towards a particular subject that in turn motivates me to educate others.
Would you consider yourself a spiritual person?
Most definitely. I believe in Karma. I believe God is God & as long as you're a good person, you will lead a good life.
What are two key characteristics that a successful person embodies?
Passion for their work and a strong work ethic
Love. What do you think is the key to healthy relationships between family, friends, couples, etc?
You have to love yourself before you can love anyone else. Communication and being sympathetic are key as well.
What is your favorite quote/motto and why?
"I allow myself five emotional minutes a day...then I gotta be hardcore/gangsta with it."
This is my motto, because life is what you make of it, and it's too short to waste time on being upset on things that don't really matter. I choose to live my personal life in the moment and not concern myself with things that won't matter in a day, week or year from now.
For more information on Sara's firm, check out: