Full Time Practice

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Meet Sandra Sharon

(This article was written in first person, by Sandra Sharon.)

Every woman has her own story.  In the legal world, every woman has her own intriguing and unique story.  Choosing to pursue a career in law and learning how to balance the law with all the other demanding facets of a woman’s life is not something to be undertaken by the squeamish. 

I am Sandra Sharon.  I am an administrative law judge for the State of Kansas. I just finished my 23rd year in this position.  Kansas has gradually moved from a state agency with a presiding officers model of administrative law to a central panel of administrative law judges.  My position has evolved with this process.

There was not that one moment that I knew I wanted to be a lawyer. Joining the legal profession was another process for me, but this time a personal one. In young adulthood, I looked for the right path for me.  The search seemed on going and I was unsettled.  Every now and then I would consider law school.  Finally, three years after I had earned my undergraduate degree and feeling continually unsettled and unchallenged, I again considered law school.  It was then that I realized that three years had passed since I first looked into law school. If I had gone when I first considered it, I would have been finished by this time!  Those three years had passed and the next three would too.  I could continue to feel unsettled or I could recognize law school as a viable option and apply myself to this goal and challenge.  
Once I had entered law school, people would say to me, “Oh, I’m not surprised, you were always headed toward the legal profession.”  Once I really listened to myself and paid attention to my personal drive and strengths, I realized what other’s already seemed to know, the law was the right path for me.

Because I feel truly comfortable with my chosen profession, I have never felt conflicted between being a lawyer and a mom.  The two roles feel right for me.  Although being a mom is so much more intense than any exam I’ve taken or any case I’ve worked.  I think being a lawyer has helped me instill in my son a sense of balance and personal responsibility.

I believe my love for the law and my love for the Church come from the same place within me.   Our God is a God of order.  He is a God of covenants.  He allows  personal agency.  We know what He expects of us and what we can expect of Him.  In the law, we strive for order, we make and enforce covenants, and demand personal accountability. My sense of order, balance, and fair dealings are satisfied by each.

My membership in the church was, once again, a process.  I was an adult convert.  It was ten years after I graduated law school that I found the restored gospel.  Just like my search for a profession, I was searching for answers to questions I had been asking since my teenage years.  The answers from the Church resonated in me and I knew their truthfulness.  I felt as comfortable with Church doctrine as I do with legal doctrine.

Every path I have gone down; motherhood, the legal profession, and finding the church have merged within me and brought me to a place where I feel my Heavenly Father wants me to be.  He helped me recognize who I am; that he is my Heavenly Father and I am his daughter. He wants me to be happy and I recognize his hand in directing me to where I am now.  

(We want to regularly use this blog to highlight you: women of faith who have been trained in the law.  You are doing great things--in the courtroom, in your community and in your home.   Getting to know each other better will strengthen each of us individually as well as strengthen us as a whole.  If you know anyone you think we should highlight, please let us know at nanbarker@gmail.com.)

1 comment:

  1. Loved this! Nice to meet you Sandra! You are making us proud!