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I never thought I would ever leave journalism – especially the incredible team at KSDK.

Yet here I sit, about a week since I did my last story for them.

Telling people’s stories as well as holding people accountable is what I did for 23 years, mostly in newspapers and the last nearly five of my best years for Channel 5.

And what a ride it’s been.

There is nothing like the rush of breaking a big story.

Nothing like getting that exclusive interview you have been lusting after, whether it’s an incredible story of survival and the resiliency of the human spirit or questioning someone who doesn’t believe they should be questioned.

Nothing like telling the world something evil people never wanted anyone to know.

Nothing like giving a voice to the brave sources I had through the years who trusted me with their identities so I could expose their truth without putting their livelihoods at risk.

But there is also nothing like being able to do all of that and have enough time and energy to be with your family, and I mean really be with your family – not letting your mind slip into thoughts about the news you feel like you must tell the world in order to help try to save it.

It also brings long hours, unpredictable schedules as you never know what news is going to pop up. Vacation time in the journalism industry is always dependent on seniority and barring any major news event that demands all-hands-on-deck.

My editor at the first newspaper I worked at, The Peoria Journal Star, ingrained this in me very early in my career by saying: “News doesn’t take a holiday,” after I politely asked for Memorial Day off.

I came to realize news also doesn’t take a day off, or a break if you want to be the best.

They were words I lived by for 23 years.

Another reason I never thought I would leave journalism is because there was never another job I ever thought I would actually enjoy and feel like I was making a difference.

As a journalist, the work you do truly can change lives, and, sometimes, even save them. It can help a victim feel empowered again. It can change laws. It can warn people of a danger they might not know about. It can influence politics, so corrupt leaders are held accountable at the voting booth.

You get the picture.

Then, a conversation in passing with a Simon Law attorney turned into an opportunity I didn’t realize I was looking for.

As a crime and courts beat reporter, the firm was one of the regulars I would call just to see what cases they had going on that might make good stories.

Calls to Simon Law always yielded a healthy crop of stories.

They always seemed to have the biggest cases, or at least a tie to them.

After walking away from one of those conversations with about five story ideas, I mentioned how they should have a Communications Director, someone who pitched stories about their cases to reporters because the only reason I knew about their cases was by calling them myself.

And voila, not too long ago, they asked me if I would do it.

So, I spent a lot of time looking into the types of cases they take, their philosophy on litigation and their reputation.

Everything was stellar.

Everyone I talked to about them — never indicating there might be an opportunity for me to work there — told me without hesitation how well-regarded they are in the legal community.

Judges, other attorneys, former attorneys alike were in unison about it.

That’s not something I’ve really ever seen.

Simon Law is selective about the cases it takes. The firm wants the cases it pursues to ultimately affect change, be it at the government level, private company level or beyond.

Once this firm takes on a case, it becomes a cause.

Even if a case doesn’t result in a big settlement or verdict, the fact that it exposed wrongdoing through litigation means mission accomplished.

That is a company I can get behind.

So, stay tuned, as they say.

You haven’t seen the last of me yet.

You will still see “breaking news” coming from me in this new role, as I plan to “cover” all of their upcoming trials through the firm’s website, live tweet and blog with gavel-to-gavel coverage as they work to expose wrongdoing.

You can follow me on my social media accounts, which all remain the same to see this new coverage.

I’ll also be linking to the podcasts the attorneys here do called, “Heels in the Courtroom” and “The Jury is Out” as they talk about what the public and other attorneys need to know about these cases and the law in general.

I’ll also be sharing as much information as possible about the work we do here with reporters, who will shed additional light on cases as well.

The hours and schedule to do all of this are also what I need at this point in my life with my family, which I have always been fiercely private about.

And yes, the salary is better than what a journalist makes. But salary has never been as important to me as being happy and fulfilled in what I spend 40 hours a week of my life doing.

My mental health is priority number one over salary, because if momma isn’t happy, no one is happy.

A dear friend told me as I was weighing this decision, “Opportunities don’t pause, they pass.”

So, I hit the play button on this one.

I look forward to sharing with the community the amazing work this firm is doing to expose wrongdoing and hold people accountable.

It’s just going to be through a different lens, one that’s been adjusted to do what’s right for my family.

Contact The Simon Law Firm, P.C.

Our mission is to provide the highest-quality legal services with integrity, professionalism, and respect for our clients.
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