Focus on an AAAA Fellow
W. Waverley “Wave” Townes, Kentucky
Practice Affiliation: Mosley & Townes
Year Admitted to the Bar: 1969
Prior Occupation: None
Law School: University Of Kentucky School Of Law
Tell Us About Your Practice of Law:
- What led you to a legal career? Taking an aptitude test sometime in undergraduate school that indicated law would be a good fit probably was the impetus for at least considering going to law school. When I went, I had absolutely no idea if I would practice law or use law school as a background for whatever venture I might pursue.
- Did you set out to practice adoption law and/or art law or was it a natural progression? Not at all, it just evolved over the years, beginning with my first adoption case in the early 1970’s.
- Is there a particular aspect of the law you enjoy most? Least? Most- seeing results that are clearly in the best interest of children; least- the growing lack of collegiality among the members of the bar.
- What is your greatest accomplishment as a lawyer? Every case that results in what is “right” is what I’d consider to be a great accomplishment for the parties involved, and therefore for me as well.
- What is the greatest lesson you have learned from practicing law? The confirmation of my long held belief of humility being a great attribute.
If you were starting over and choosing a career today, what would it be? If not law, probably teaching.
- What would anyone be surprised to learn about you? I probably have an NCAA Division 3 record, or certainly tied for it, in having scored only 1 point in my one year of play!
- What was the very first job you ever had? I was an Assistant United States Attorney after clerking for what was then Kentucky’s Supreme Court.
- What is your greatest personal accomplishment (if different from your professional one)? Convincing my wife-to-be to say “yes” and having two great children and four wonderful grandchildren
- Describe one of your most cherished memories. The births of our children and grandchildren
- What contributions do you make to help others? I’ve served on boards of various institutions that care for vulnerable children; mentored law students and other lawyers who don’t practice in my fields of practice; have done a fair amount of pro bono work (some not intentionally !)
- What inspires you to go beyond your legal career to help others? I think a sense of gratification...the idea that you always get more out of helping people than even they get from your help.
- What would you like your gravestone to say about you? I hate to think about that, but I guess I’d better start- - something like he was a gentleman and he cared about others.
Rosemary Ebner Pomeroy, Ohio
Practice Affiliation: Law Offices of Rosemary Ebner Pomeroy
Year Admitted to the Bar: 1988
Prior Occupation: Assistant Branch Manager - National Bank of Detroit
Law School: Detroit College of Law now Michigan State University College of Law
Tell Us About Your Practice of Law:
- What led you to a legal career? My Dad was a real estate lawyer for a large bank, and he loved being a lawyer so much, that I thought I would like it as well. He always thought that women were very well suited to the legal profession and encouraged me to consider the law as a career path.
- Did you set out to practice adoption law and/or ART law or was it a natural progression? I started law school with the idea that my Dad and I would eventually own a real estate title company in the metro Detroit area. I met my husband at a local Catholic Church singles group, and he convinced me to consider moving to his hometown of Columbus, Ohio - the central Ohio area. I guess he was persuasive because I decided to leave my roots in Michigan and relocate to Columbus. As luck would have it my best friend here in town is an adoptive mother. I connected her with Fellow Susan Eisenman, and Susan found my friend Susan's son, Joe. I decided after my friend's good fortune in adoption that I would try to make adoption work part of my practice. I actually told people I was an adoption attorney, before I actually was one. I thought if, I closed my eyes and kept saying I was an adoption attorney I would eventually be one. I also begged Susan Eisenman for overflow work, and I am grateful to her, because she did give me referrals. I also had another attorney pal who did a lot of adoption work, and left the practice of law to teach school, so I ended up with a lot of adoption referrals from her, and hence my adoption practice began to take shape.
- Is there a particular aspect of the law you enjoy most? Least? What I love the most, is meeting with clients, understanding their legal issues, and then troubleshooting to a good result for them. I am an extrovert, and I simply love making the legal system work for regular folks. What do I like least, well I guess it would be dealing with the business end of my practice, billing, and trying to get clients to pay my bills.
What is your greatest accomplishment as a lawyer? Well number one is simply having a law practice, and still managing to have a great family life with my best friend and favorite lawyer Mark Pomeroy, and my beautiful children Sarah 26 and a lawyer at Jones Day in Washington DC and Michael 23, a financial consultant at Ernst and Young. They make every single day so much better, and I am blessed to have these three wonderful people in my life.
I guess number two is having an amazing group of attorney colleagues in town, through bar association activities, and the beloved Ohio Adoption Roundtable...the most amazing group of quality legal practitioners in this world, particularly the Ohio AAAA fellows.
Number Three is being a member of The American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, a truly wonderful, wonderful group of attorneys. As Tim Russert of Meet the Press fame used to say "what a country" and wow he was right.
- What is the greatest lesson you have learned from practicing law? The greatest lesson I have learned is to put myself in the shoes of my client, to understand where they are coming from in terms of legal needs, to try to keep them calm and sane through the legal process, and to tell them, that within the bounds of the law, I will try to help them achieve the best possible outcome.
If you were starting over and choosing a career today, what would it be? I would be a piano teacher and music therapist. I am 61 and have been playing the piano since I have been seven, I am currently taking lessons as an adult, and I have done often over the last 40 years of adult hood. Music in all of its forms makes life so much richer. The piano is an instrument, that even if you cannot play, you can go to those 88 keys and plink out just the simple melody of a song, and feel that for that brief moment you have accomplished something positive and wonderful.
- What would anyone be surprised to learn about you? That I enjoy my down time, and I can actually be quiet and not talkative. I like to play the piano, needlepoint, read, cook and bake. I love to just have time to create. I also am obsessed with classic 60's TV, and pretty much know the lines to every single Leave it to Beaver TV episode.
- What was your very first job? My first job, was working at the Farmington Public Library in Farmington, Michigan. I was fired for reading the books instead of shelving them.
- What is your greatest personal accomplishment (if different from your professional one)? I think my greatest personal accomplishment after marrying Mark and having my two children, was moving to Columbus knowing only my husband and in laws, and making a wonderful life here in Central Ohio, with so many wonderful friends and law pals.
- Describe one of your most cherished memories. Right before my mom died, I took her to the Ohio Theatre to see the singer Debbie Reynolds. We went out to dinner and to the concert, and simply had a wonderful time. My mom was the greatest. The other memory was taking my Dad to an opening reception at my law school before I started. He was so thrilled to be there with me. He seemed exceptionally proud of me that evening.
What contributions do you make to help others? Number one, I have a few young lawyers I mentor, and advise...love the young lawyer population. I also run the EAGLE committee of the Columbus Bar Association - Extraordinary Attorneys Got Legal Expertise, an activity committee for the experienced lawyer population of the Columbus Bar Association. I also coach moot court teams and serve as a practice judge.
I also sing in our church choir, and I hope I enhance the quality of our worship every Sunday. And, I simply make myself available to my family and friends. I think Mother Teresa said to do little things with great love. I hope I do that every day.
- What inspires you to go beyond your legal career to help others? I think my inspiration comes from my husband and my parents, to reach out, to lend a hand, to make a difference. They have always done that for me, and I want to do that for others.
- What would you like your gravestone to say about you? Grateful daughter, wife, mother and friend, and that I am a Michigan State Spartan and that I wore too much green and ate too much candy...heheh. Not sure we can afford that big of a tomb stone.