Sara Marler sits down and answers questions about why she loves the work she’s doing, her food and podcast recommendations, and gives us other fun facts about your favorite family law attorney. Anything else you’d like to know about Sara? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave us a comment below.
What made you want to pursue a career in law?
I’ve wanted to be a lawyer since I was really little. Honestly, I was saying it before I could pronounce the word properly – that’s the story my mom tells.
When I was in grade school, I did a book report on Saundra Day O’Connor and I can remember being impressed with her story and her journey to becoming a Supreme Court Justice. Also, I love a challenge, so her story really resonated with me. So, I’ve been interested in law for a long time – there was really nothing else I was going to do.
What made you interested in family law in particular?
I did not take a normal path to get to family law. In college, I majored in business with an emphasis in marketing because I wanted to practice corporate law. I wanted nothing to do with the courtroom. Frankly, I never wanted to set foot in a courtroom, I just wanted to do transactional law. Then I went to law school.
In the first year of law school you are required to draft briefs, prepare and make oral arguments in a courtroom. I was shocked by how much I enjoyed the entire process, so at that point I was like, “Okay I definitely want to be in the courtroom, so now what am I going to do?”
Then I had to try to figure out what type of law I wanted to practice that would get my in the courtroom regularly. So, in law school, I tried every clerkship, internship, whatever-ship I could get my hands on. I did an internship with our school’s law clinic and that was all family law related. And I had a really big success in that, which had a major impact on me because each semester the clients of the law school clinic get a new lawyer. So, I was the sixth student lawyer on this woman’s case. But I got really lucky with the timing of it and I got to represent her when her case was set for trial in court.
It was a child support case and the father of the child owed her $20,000 in back child support. Her lawyer was really rude to me and would only refer to me as “number 6,” rather than addressing me by my name. Well when we went into court, we asked for him to be held in contempt of court, which basically meant lock him up and set the bail at what he owed in child support and we won! It was awesome. I was like, “Who’s number 6 now?!” So that was an exhilarating experience, and at the end of the day, he paid the money he owed. It was my first experience in court and seeing what having an effective attorney could do for people made a profound and lasting impression.
I don’t know that anyone goes into family law thinking “I want to practice family law; this is going to be great!” It’s hard. It’s emotionally draining. You are seeing really good people at their worst times. They are typically going through the hardest time in their life. Everything that is important to them is what is at stake. But I think a true family law attorney ends up being called to practice family law. You don’t just dedicate your practice exclusively to family law on a whim.
What is a hidden talent?
I love interior design!
What shows do you like watching?
I’m [actually] addicted to podcasts.
What is one you’d recommend?
Crime Junkie. And I also like Dax Sheppard’s podcast, (the husband of Kristen Bell from the Good Place.) Arm Chair Expert.
If you weren’t a lawyer what would you be?
Honestly, I’m so ingrained in family law, if I weren’t a lawyer, I’d probably be a therapist or psychologist.
If you could be a celebrity for one day, who would it be?
Lin Manuel Miranda [the writer of “Hamilton”]. I’m obsessed with “Hamilton”. My dogs are named after “Hamilton” characters; “Hamilton” and “Eliza.”
What is your favorite thing about your coworkers?
How real we can be with each other. We try to create an environment where we are comfortable with honesty and can have a close-knit working relationship. We don’t gossip or tolerate drama, we have enough of that with our cases. We also have a lot of fun together. We work really, really hard, but we have fun.
If Marler Schrum were to compete in an Olympic Sport, what would it be, and why would you excel at that?
We would do heavy weight lifting – the strong man. How much weight could you hold for one minute?
What is your ideal day off of work?
I’m torn between going to the beach and going to the mountains. My folks just moved out to Utah, so I’ve recently started liking the mountains more.
What lawyer stereotypes to find to be true and untrue?
Well, one that is true is that we like to argue, which we do! One that is untrue is that lawyers don’t truly care about the outcome of a case – and there are some that are like that – but they are few and far between. Most lawyers invest emotionally, mentally, and financially in their client’s cases; your case becomes my case and I deeply care about the result.
Where is your favorite place to grab a bite or drink after work?
In Farmington, my favorite place is Mexican at El Tapitillo. In St. Louis, I would say Shaved Duck.
What else should folks know about you?
I’m a stepparent, so I bring a unique perspective to family law cases. I have two girls and three dogs. My dogs are named Hamilton, Eliza and Lily.