Making a Difference in the Community



We’re coming into the home stretch of 2018 and all businesses are thinking about how 2018 will finish out and what 2019 will look like, and possibly setting time aside to review a proposed budget and figuring out goals. White Law Office is no different. We’re focused on that as well, but we are also going to focus on what the business can do for the community and how each of us has the capability to make the lives of others better. I’ve personally felt challenged after attending a recent conference in New Orleans.

I never expected to attend a conference designed for attorneys and to be challenged as a person and feel like I need to do something to make the world a better place. Bryan Stevenson, New York Times Best Selling Author of Just Mercy, delivered a speech that was an emotional rollercoaster for many in the audience. One moment he had you almost in tears and the next you were laughing. One of the cases he talked about was that of a ten-year-old boy that was being tried as an adult. The little boy had accidentally shot his mother’s boyfriend. The boyfriend had beaten the mother and the boy thought she was dead. There was a handgun that the boyfriend kept by his bed and the little boy remembered this. The boyfriend was asleep and the little boy got the gun and held the gun at the man. The man woke suddenly and startled the boy who then accidentally pulled the trigger. Before Bryan Stevenson became his attorney, he was sent to prison. He was there for three days. We all know what happened. The little boy would not even speak when he met with Bryan. It was not until Bryan sat beside the boy and leaned into him, did the little boy respond. It was then that he unfolded the atrocities that had happened to him in those three long days. Thankfully, he was removed from that prison. He later went on to graduate from high school and college. Unfortunately, there are 13 out of 50 states that have no minimum age with which they will try children as adults.

Now, I would not be able to do the work that Bryan Stevenson does. One, I do not have the education requirements and two, I would have a very hard time remaining detached from my work. However, that does not mean that I do not have the capability of making a difference in my community on some level. After that speech and many discussions, our office decided that there were probably a lot of people that we could help here in Holmes County.

Our office is taking the time to design a plan to implement that is designed to meet the legal needs of those in the community. Not everyone can afford an attorney but many people will need to over the course of time. We want there to be a way that people can have access to legal services even if they are struggling financially or it simply in their budget. I’m not sure when we will roll-out this program or all the details but it is something that everyone in our office feels is paramount for the future of our firm.

We are also setting up a time to meet the Holmes County Education Foundation to look into sponsoring a scholarship for area students to help further their education. This is not going to be just for high school students but for non-traditional students to take advantage of as well. We want our community to have access to education and help, every little bit helps.

We cannot create change overnight. We also cannot go out and eliminate all the inequalities and unjust that happen on a day to day basis. But what we can do, is open our eyes to the fact that there are people here in Holmes County that need help. We don’t want to just talk about change, we want to do something about it. Let’s start with helping people locally. As 2018 is winding down, I hope that the year has been profitable and if it has not been profitable, then I hope it’s been fulfilling. Now ask yourself, how can you or the business you work for make a difference in someone else’s life in 2019?


Irene Burgett

Chief Financial Officer

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