For more than thirty years, Bartina Edwards has been an entrepreneur, a small business owner, and an advocate for employers and employees, alike. Bartina’s perspective is shaped by her unique background, which includes: ten years of experience in the banking industry; experience owning and managing a staffing and consulting agency; and experience practicing law with North Carolina’s most renowned civil rights advocates. All those experiences led her to becoming an integral member of the North Carolina Civil Collaborative Law Association. Bartina shares her personal and professional story as it relates to a journey that led her to envision a different way of resolving civil disputes. Here is Bartina’s story, in her words:
What do you like most about practicing law?
Empowering people with solutions that can change their lives; and experiencing the realization that these changes often have lasting influence and impact beyond the individual client.
Tell us a little about how you got to where you are today.
I’m not sure how I got to where I am today, but it has been a journey. I don’t recall ever sitting down plotting it all out from my past to present, although I always feel like I have some form of plan A, plan B, and plan C. Ultimately, I would describe it as a guiding light. Simply put, I got here with a lot of passion, drive, ambition and tenacity, coupled with lots of learning experiences, strong family support, prayer, and good folks who went before me.
Why are you passionate about civil collaborative law?
Collaborative law supports my ongoing personal journey that started over 12 years ago to become more mindful in how I live, and it supports a lifestyle of my definition of balance. Because collaborative law is still in its infancy, I am learning and developing a method to fully embrace it as a way of practicing law. While it supports my vision of conciliatory dispute resolution among lawyers, I see it as a bigger opportunity for those who currently do not have access to justice. For those underserved by the current legal system, collaborative law offers a cost-effective opportunity for more clients to access a dispute resolution option without having to shoulder the burden of filing a lawsuit. It is innovative, forward-thinking, and next generational.
What is your favorite book and why?
Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself. The title is self-explanatory! It is a great book that encompasses the academic, the science, the medical, the biblical, and the mystical all in one. It explains our human behavior in a way that aligns with many theories, ultimately leading to a discussion about meditation. I found it an interesting read, and I have recommended it to many, who have said it has been life-changing for them.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Free time to me is having the freedom to do what I want when I want. It’s on ongoing goal I strive toward. In terms of hobbies, I like snow skiing; reading for pleasure; and attending social, cultural and entertaining events.
Be sure to connect with Bartina or any other specially-trained collaborative law attorney if you would like to learn more about an emerging, efficient method specifically-tailored to help clients resolve civil disputes more efficiently.