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ESSENCE Network: Tami Wells Thomas, Saving Black Families from Foreclosure

As an Atlanta lawyer specializing in bankruptcy, Tami Wells Thomas helps families on the brink of financial ruin. Check out her career tips.

Name: Tami Wells Thomas

Age: 41

Title: Lawyer and owner of The Wells Thomas Law Firm, LLC Location: Atlanta, GA

LinkedIn: Tami (Wells) Thomas Lawyer at The Wells Thomas Law Firm

The gig: I am a bankruptcy and consumer law attorney assisting people to determine their options when they are overwhelmed with financial obligations. I get a true sense of satisfaction by helping my clients achieve some level of peace in a difficult time. Many of my clients have suffered financial or personal loss, which have led them to consider bankruptcy. They come to me upset and embarrassed. I strive to help them put the matter in perspective and leave with a better mindset.

The journey: I knew early I wanted to be a lawyer. As a kid, my dad said I tried to find the logic in everything. He was a law professor and my mother was a librarian for 30 years. They both were involved in community service and started me at an early age. There influence fueled my passion for the law and also in making a difference in the lives of other people.

Confessions of a Black woman in law: Although Black women are making great strides in the legal community I often face inaccurate assumptions that are based on my gender or my race. I have had the chance to provide a diverse perspective to my area of law and to hopefully positively influence my community’s opinion of Black women lawyers.

Biggest lesson learned: I am constantly learning. But most importantly, I learned to trust my instinct. I have been faced with several situations, that had I trusted my instinct the outcome would have been vastly different. The best way to recover from any setback is to keep moving forward. You can take about 10 minutes to feel bad for yourself, then get over it and move on. God makes no mistakes. Everything happens for a reason.

Best-time saving tips: I calendar everything for work and home on one master calendar, and make sure to schedule gym time and date nights. There is always room for spontaneity but by keeping a detailed calendar, I can make the best use of my time. I also draft emails at night and cook several meals on the weekend to last the week.

My secret hobby: I love to garden. I am a girlie girl, but I do like to play in the dirt, with gloves of course.

Best advice: With God, anything is possible.

Biggest career accomplishment: Successfully maintaining a law practice for eight years and a solo firm for three and a half years. I am a founding member and current Vice President of NewRock Legal Society in Conyers, GA.

Best networking tip: Be approachable and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Her stress-relievers: I hang out with my family to relax and manage stress. I work out, practice Yoga and try to get a massage as often as I can.

Student loan status: I just paid them off in April 2014!

Her secret superpower: Multitasking. I wear my cape most days and like to give it a break on holidays.

Her tech fix: I use my IPhone and IPad daily to stay tied into my office and home. Pandora provides me with much-needed music for my journey.

Her power accessory: You can never go wrong with pearls. They are classy and strong.

Juggling work and personal life: I’ve been married for eight years to a great supportive husband and we have two children that are 5 and 2. The balance between professional and personal is an ever tipping scale. When I start to feel things getting unbalanced, I stop, breathe, take inventory and readjust. Work will always be there, the people in your life may not.

Her theme song: “Golden” by Jill Scott.