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Conversations with the Inspiring Mariza Lockhart

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mariza Lockhart.

Mariza, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Helping others has been very important to me ever since I first volunteered with the American Red Cross in middle school. Growing up, I envisioned having a job in which I could help others and make a reasonable living at the same time. While I never imagined that I would become an attorney, I am glad I decided to attend law school and start my own firm in 2017. The knowledge I gained in law school helped me become a more effective advocate and being my own boss allows me to take the cases I truly feel passionate about.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
As a young female in a male-dominated profession, I have experienced a few challenges. Usually, these challenges take the form of difficult opposing counsel who see my bar license number and assumes I am inexperienced and can be taken advantage of. Having a mentor who knew the position I was in as a new attorney and who was willing to answer all of my questions, no matter how simple and obvious they were, was the most valuable asset I had. My advice to young women who are starting their journey is to find a mentor who can help give advice, counsel and resources.

What should we know about Lockhart Legal? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
As a solo practitioner, I handle a variety of business, contract, and real estate cases. As a real estate attorney, I have worked on cases ranging from landlord-tenant, HOA, buy-sell agreements, and construction, to ADA compliance defense. One of the best parts of being an attorney is being able to resolve my client’s disputes. Especially if that dispute involves my client’s home as issues with your home tends to emanate to other aspects of a person’s life.

I also enjoy working with small businesses to help them avoid litigation and other common pitfalls. Being on the proactive side of the law rather than the reactive side is always going to be cheaper but unfortunately, not all businesses realize this until its too late.

What sets my firm apart is that I personally handle all of my cases from start to finish. Because I handle all of my cases personally, my clients trust me and know they can always reach me if needed.

Do you have any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general? What has worked well for you?
Networking in general can be intimidating and overwhelming. The more events you go to, the more comfortable you will become and before you know it, you will be running into acquaintances you met at previous events. Having a networking buddy is an easy way to avoid that initial awkwardness. The important thing to remember is that at any given event, you are not the only one who feels awkward or out of place.

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