CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., July 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Amanda Ray, a 25-year-old attorney at Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C., has overcome tremendous odds to reach her current position. Ray, who was born in a poor neighborhood in East Chattanooga, became pregnant at age 14, but has managed to become a successful lawyer, all while working full-time and raising her son as a single mother.
Ray spent her early childhood years in a low-income, dangerous neighborhood, with her mother as her only support system. When she became pregnant at the young age of 14, she decided she was not going to allow herself to become another statistic as a young mother on welfare.
“I immediately knew I had to do what was best for my son,” says Ray. “I completely focused all of my attention on him and rid myself of the negative influences in my life.”
Ray began working full-time on the day she turned 16, at a Krystal restaurant on Brainerd Road in Chattanooga, and has been working full-time ever since. She also became an extremely diligent student, graduating as the valedictorian of her high school at age 17. Ray continued her education at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and graduated in only two and a half years with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
“Graduating college was a very proud moment for me and I was the first member in my immediate family to accomplish that, but I still wanted more,” says Ray. “I always had a strong desire to go to law school, but didn’t think it would be possible since I had to work full-time and did not have money for the expensive tuition.”
However, Ray’s hard work paid off and she received a full scholarship to the University of Memphis Law School. She graduated in May of 2010 and was the youngest person in her class at the age of 24.
Ray now works as an attorney in the litigation department of Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, but she also focuses her energy on giving back to the community. She regularly volunteers and speaks for Girls Inc. and other organizations to encourage young girls to live up to their maximum potential. Ray and her son, who is now ten years old, live in Chattanooga.
“We are extremely grateful to have Amanda on the team,” said Richard Bethea, who heads the litigation department of the firm. “Her work ethic is exemplary, and we wholeheartedly support her volunteer efforts to share her experience in the community so other young women know there is hope in overcoming major challenges in their lives. Her achievements should be an inspiration to everyone.”
Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, which is currently celebrating its 125th anniversary, serves as counsel for regional, national, and international businesses, financial institutions, local governments and non-profit organizations. The firm’s major practice areas include all aspects of litigation, health care, non-profit law, labor and employment, corporate, automotive law, environmental law, financial services, real estate and taxation. Three firm attorneys were recently named BTI Client Service All-Stars, a distinction shared by only 15 law firms nationwide. Chambliss was the only firm headquartered in Tennessee to receive this honor.
SOURCE Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C.
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