Selma woman achieves dreams of becoming an attorney in her hometown

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 10, 2003

When Virginia L. Blackwell discovered she had passed the bar, her first thought was one of relief.

Blackwell received the good news Sept. 26 &045; the same day she began practicing law with her father, Cartledge Blackwell Jr. Their office can be found sitting underneath the Spanish moss on Alabama Avenue, just a stone’s throw away from the Vaughan Smitherman Museum.

Blackwell took the bar exam from July 28 to 30 and was a member of the first class to take the test’s newest format. The first day was filled with writing essays on Alabama civil practice, procedure and remedies. The second consisted of 14 different subjects ranging from wills to corporate law. The third day was the multi-state portion of the test, which included laws covering multiple states.

Once she passed, Blackwell was able to practice law anywhere in Alabama, but she chose to stay in Selma.

Blackwell mainly handles real estate and probate law, which includes writing wills. She disagreed with the notion that probate work is boring and noted that no two wills are alike.

And, when engaging in real estate and probate work, you get to talk with people more.

That experience comes from her father, but Blackwell also pointed to several others who had an impact on her legal career including former Circuit Court Judge Edgar Russell, Camden-based attorney John L. Godbold and Dallas County Probate Judge Johnny Jones.

Blackwell is currently working on cases ranging from a divorce to a will to a real estate closing. &uot;You can see the diversity of cases in that,&uot; she said.

Being an attorney is a good way to help people, Blackwell said, and that’s something she plans to do while practicing law in Selma.

As for her long-range future plans? &uot;To be a great lawyer,&uot; she said with a smile, &uot;and to help the community.&uot;