Gorman honored at ABA ceremony
Published 3:00 am Tuesday, May 12, 2015
When Tabitha Lynn Gorman is honored at the Alabama Bar Admission Ceremony at the Montgomery Performing Arts Center today, she will be escorted by Rugby, her service dog for the past four years. Rugby will share center stage with Gorman and will be recognized as a certified legal assistance service animal.
It will be a proud moment for Gorman and one she gladly shares with Rugby.
Gorman was diagnosed with Spina Bifida when she was nine years old. Tightness in her muscles affects her balance and makes bending difficult.
When she was admitted to the University of Florida eight years ago, a service animal would be the key to her living independently.
After the death of her first service animal, Rugby became her “rock” so she gladly shares center stage with him.
Gorman earned a law degree from the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law Faulkner University in May 2014 and, in April 2015, she was certified by the Alabama Bar Association to practice law.
For Gorman, Tuesday, May 12, 2015 will be a time to celebrate the realization of a dream that began when she was an eighth-grade student at Banks School.
Gorman job shadowed Troy attorney Jon Folmar and, when she got through “picking his brains,” she knew what direction she wanted her life to take.
“My family and friends always said that I would argue with a brick wall,” Gorman said, laughing. “That’s a good trait to have if you want to be a lawyer. The job shadowing experience that I had in eighth grade really got me thinking seriously about law as a career. When I was invited to participate in a People to People law summit in Washington D.C. and I got to participate in a mock trial, I knew for sure.”
Gorman was excited to be accepted at the University of Florida and she knew being on her own on a big university campus would present challenges. But, with a service animal to assist her, she faced the challenges with confidence.
At the University of Florida, Gorman’s major was criminology and law, which included the study of relationships among the legal, social, political, historical and psychological influences affecting law processes and crime and justice.
“When I graduated, I knew that I had a good foundation for a career in law,” Gorman said. “But finances and a little bit of homesickness brought me back to Alabama to attend law school.
After graduation from Thomas Goode Jones School of Law Faulkner University, Gorman began studying and preparing to take the Alabama State Bar exam.
“The Committee on Character and Fitness of the Alabama State Bar has to examine, evaluate and make a decision as to your character and fitness,” she said. “Preparing for the bar was a grueling time but I made it. I made it.”
Gorman’s journey from eighth grade to membership in the Alabama State Bar Association has not always been easy but Gorman has never taken her eye off the prize.
Now, it’s time to take all that she has learned and put it to practice.
Her dream is to practice criminal/family law and, she hopes to practice close to home.
But wherever she hangs her “shingle,” Rugby, will be right by her side, assisting her as she lives her dream.