LSA welcomed Lakeshia Parks, Staff Attorney, to its Montgomery Office on Dec. 16, 2019. A recent graduate of the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law, the Birmingham native is excited about the opportunity to serve the state’s most underserved.
Parks believes working for Legal Services is an opportunity to serve the community, especially those of low-income.
“Legal Services (Alabama) has always been on my list – I have a passion for the work we do and I fully support the mission of LSA,” Parks said, who did an externship with the One Place Family Justice Center while in Law School. “Everything that I’ve done, even in law school, has been geared toward disadvantaged/low income people. I have always envisioned myself as being an advocate and resource for people.”
Having survived a childhood plagued by poverty, Parks and her twin sister Iyeshia, are first-generation college graduates. The experience encouraged Parks to further her education in law, advocating for the “underdog.”
“I had a pretty interesting upbringing. I remember evictions. I remember desperately needing resources and not knowing where to find them,” Parks said. “Whether it’s someone who can’t afford a private attorney or someone who needs to know about the resources that are available to them, I want to be an asset in their corner.”
Parks earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from The University of Alabama (2015) and a J.D. and Master of Laws in Advocacy and Alternative Dispute Resolution from the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law. Parks believes her experience as a mediator is helpful overall. “You have more favorable outcomes in mediation versus in the courtroom,” Parks said. “In mediation you can come to a mutual agreement. This teaches you how to deal with people, be a resource, and facilitate conversations. Being an attorney, you have to do that with opposing counsel all the time.”
Parks believes her worth ethic, ability to relate to the community she serves, and her background give her an advantage.
“You need to have trust to win your clients,” Parks said. “Trust is needed from the beginning of representation until the end. Clients need to know their interests are just as important to their attorney as it is to them. They need to be assured their attorney is in their corner throughout the entire process. When I look at the clients, I see my family members or the people I grew up with. I will do all I can [to help them] and do my best for them.”
An Army Veteran, Parks is a member of the Capital City Bar Association, James W. Wright Leadership Development Institute, Gear Up Alabama (mentor for Carver High School), and former Youth Court Coordinator with RESET Diversion Program, which offers a second-chance and rehabilitative services to juvenile delinquents.
With a passion for helping underserved youth, Parks has been mentoring students at Carver High School since 2016.
“I have been mentoring at Carver since my first year of law school,” Parks said. “The students do not know people like me exist. I was a child with behavioral problems, but for them to know that someone can go through that and make it out, it’s eye-opening. I love to connect with them on that level. Being there with them – it’s important to me.”
When not practicing, Parks enjoys traveling, being active outdoors, as well as spending time with her mother Re’Chelle, older brother Lorenzo, twin sister Iyeshia, and baby sister De’Avion. Parks hopes to one day go into private practice with her twin sister, who is also an attorney.
For more information about Parks or our advocates, please visit: www.legalservicesalabama.org.