Rebecca Hendricks is a staff attorney in our family law unit. She grew up in Blanchard, PA and, as a child, dreamed of becoming an equine veterinarian. She loved horses and was an avid horseback rider throughout her high school years. English and Art were her favorite school subjects, and while practicing law was kind of on her radar, she was more interested in traveling and learning about other cultures.
At Washington and Jefferson College, she continued to learn about other cultures and other languages, taking Arabic, Japanese, German, and French classes (to possibly have a career as James Bond, she says). She was also a part of the Magellan Project, where she visited France and studied the history of the Holocaust. When she returned, Rebecca saw the movie, “Provoked” which is a true story about a survivor of physical and sexual abuse who was sentenced to life in prison for killing her abuser. The movie inspired her to practice law, specifically for immigrant women who have been victims of domestic violence.
After graduating with a BA in English, Rebecca attended the University Of Florida Levin College Of Law. It was here that she started studying Spanish again for the first time since high school, and began extensive legal internships, mostly working with immigrants and domestic abuse survivors. She even spent a month on the border in Texas, assisting with asylum cases, and was Vice President of the Immigration Law Association at her school.
After graduating, she moved to Virginia where, “shenanigans ensued.” She had passed the Florida section of the Bar but not her MBE. She wasn’t sure if law was right for her and spent a substantial amount of time working with children, thinking she might move to Colombia and become an ESL teacher.
When her sister decided to move to Florida, Rebecca took a chance and went, too, with the goal of getting back into the legal field. One evening, she went to a PFAWL meeting and happened to meet a GLS staff member who told her about the organization. A little while later, she started volunteering with GLS attorney, Margaret Pearce, whose work is primarily with domestic violence survivors. She loved GLS and wanted to become a staff member. The only problem was that her Bar score was no longer valid…
She retook the Bar twice and failed both times. She thought it was a sign and gave herself one more chance – if she failed again, she would become a teacher and move to Colombia. Fortunately, fate intervened and she passed! She began working in our St. Petersburg office, but soon transitioned to our Wimauma office with her “work wife,” Attorney Malvina Tashi.
She loves the Wimauma office because of the clients – she is doing exactly the kind of work she hoped to do in college. She speaks Spanish most of the time, and loves getting fresh Mango from a food stand downtown. She hopes to continue doing this work and making a difference for as long as she can. After that, she’s decided she’ll become a full-time gardener and perhaps own a food truck with a flock of parrots to keep her company.
Until then, we’re so glad to have you, Rebecca! Thank you for teaching us about hard work, determination, and perseverance. We’re proud to have you on our team.