I’ve been spending a lot of time on growing my business, and thought it would be good to reflect on how and why I got here. My life has changed drastically over just the last five years. Over a period of five years, I moved to a new city to start law school, had my third child, went through a divorce, and started my own law practice. Five years ago I had what would appear to be the American dream. I owned a nice home, had 2 wonderful boys with a woman I’d been married to for over 10 years, and had a stable job as a mailman for the USPS. I say job, not career, because just like each of my previous jobs, I knew right away I could not spend the next 20 years there doing the exact same thing every day in the same place with the same scenery. Before becoming a postal worker, I had already worked as a teller at a bank, a loan officer selling home mortgages, a wholesale rep for a mortgage lender, a bus boy and server at a steakhouse, an appliance salesman at Lowe’s (despite the schedule, quite possibly the best job I ever had prior to becoming an attorney), a day laborer, and a construction supervisor. This was all after interning to be a stock broker while in college (the first time). I had even taken a short stint to completely gut and remodel a house that I bought out of foreclosure, acting as an electrician, carpenter, plumber, and tile worker. There was nothing I could not do if I put my mind to it.
When I grew tired of one job I moved on to the next with the hopes of finding something more challenging and more rewarding. It wasn’t until I had children that I really began to think about what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Changing jobs like some people change clothes wasn’t going to be a great game plan anymore now that I had two little mouths counting on me for at least another 18 years or so.
I sat down one evening and reflected on all the jobs I had done and what experiences I had enjoyed the most. What I had enjoyed most was helping people, feeling like I had accomplished something, and being able to learn new things. None of these criteria were met in my current position as mail carrier, something that felt like being a factory worker with a slight bit more social interaction. The next step for me was to find a career that would check each of my boxes. I can’t stand the sight of blood, so being a surgeon was out. I didn’t have the capital to be a real estate developer so that was out. “I know, I’ll become a lawyer” I thought. I could solve people’s problems, there’s always something new to learn, and I knew winning a big case had to feel just as good or better than standing back and looking at the house you just built.
I signed up for classes at the University I had dropped out of 10 years prior where I received my first dose of the legal field. I picked the brains of my professors who were, or had previously been, attorneys, including one professor who was a family law judge. (He has since had the privilege of moving himself and his family to Tallahassee to serve as a First District Court of Appeals Judge.) I was enthralled with the law. Legal philosophy, criminal procedure, how to argue a motion, it was all fascinating to me, especially being in court. I knew I’d finally found the right profession.
Shortly after going back to school, I met Dean Laura Zuppo from Stetson Law during a law school fair. She informed me that my grades were good enough to take part of a new program that allows students to spend their last year of undergrad as a 1L in law school. The best part was there was a scholarship that went with it. All I had to do was get a good enough score on the LSAT……in less than a month.
I knew some people studied for the LSAT, taking prep courses to maximize their LSAT score. I, however, was currently enrolled full-time in college, working a full-time job as a mail carrier, and had two young children at home. I didn’t have time to study! Still, I spent a few hours reading about how the test works and what kind of questions would be asked. After that I took a full-length practice test, which made me realize timing may be the most important part of the LSAT. My crash course was enough to allow me to get the score I needed to be the first student from University of West Florida admitted to their new 3+3 early admission program and begin my new career path as a divorce attorney.
Things truly are different now. I now have three amazing sons that always keep me on my toes. I have met some of the most amazing people over the last few years with whom I am able to share the joys and hardships of being a lawyer. I am happy my journey has led me to becoming a divorce and family law attorney and a part of the rewarding legal profession. I look forward to many more years of learning, being able to help people solve their legal problems, and accomplishing great things for myself and my clients.
Kimberly McCorkle says
Inspiring story, Roland. We are proud of you and look forward to following your career!
Roland Boyd says
Thank you! I wouldn’t be where I am without you, Professer Harrell, and Judge Bilbrey.
Dana Jackson says
Mr. Boyd I read this entry as well as the best interest entry. Reading through all your jobs reminds me of my journey to discovering “what I want to be when I grow up”. I have been everything from Lifeguard to burger flipper at Wendy’s to Solider in the Army for 8 years. I am most content as a stay at home mom and homeschooling my 2 sons, but alas I find myself in the middle of a divorce and back in the job world. I will look for Human Resource/Admin type roles and maybe put my BS in Business Management to good use (finally) or maybe I’ll be a driver at Uber. Glad to hear your search of self-discover has brought you much fulfillment.