LSA recently welcomed Staff Attorney Charles Turnipseed to its Montgomery Legal Staff on March 30, 2020. A native of Briar Hill (Pike County), AL, Turnipseed earned a J.D. from the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law and a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Political Science from Troy University.
Turnipseed spent 10 years in private practice, worked as Editor for the Savannah Morning News, and as a journalist for the Troy Messenger.
He believes his broad background helps in his relatability to the clients he serves. “I am familiar with the clients we have at LSA. I’ve gained exposure to dilemmas people in poverty face on a daily basis.” Turnipseed also attributes his lower-to-middle class beginnings to being able to relate even more to his clients, “I grew up on a farm, and my mother was handicapped and suffered a debilitating disease. We were a one income family and my father did tremendously in providing support for us. It was challenging.”
According to Turnipseed, his professional experience with clients as well as colleagues has garnered him a positive reputation.“I bring with me courtroom experience, and over the course of my private practice, I’ve gained a working familiarity with core personnel in most of our area that includes clerks, prosecutors and judges. I have an established reputation – one of reliability and truthfulness, and my communication skills are also effective.”
Turnipseed said acquiring food, shelter, and clothing are just some of the challenges poor people face day-to-day that many people take for granted. “Poverty is a vicious cycle. For those who are not in poverty, obstacles come up in life and they are able to have the resources to address them,” he said. “When you’re in poverty, it becomes an insurmountable wall that people don’t understand, unless they’ve been in poverty themselves. We have an obligation to take care of the poor, (and) they deserve our compassion.”
Turnipseed also served in the U.S. Army National Guard and the Alabama Air National Guard [232nd Combat Communication Squadron]. His unit provided communications and support for the 10th Mountain Division’s combat team.“My job was network infrastructure. I was deployed twice to Iraq it was a fascinating, sobering adventure. I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Turnipseed said. “It [the experience] made me greatly appreciate combat troops who are out there putting their lives on the line – some lost their lives. I had the privilege of working with some of the most ambitious, capable, and competent people of any age.”
While at LSA, Turnipseed hopes to continue to provide solutions for the River Region’s poor, letting them know they have “someone on their side.”“ It is so rewarding to talk to a client who has a dilemma they don’t see an answer to and to help them find a successful resolution,” he said. Reassurance and solid representation are two things Turnipseed said his clients are sure to receive.“When they get off the phone [with me], they know they have gotten substantial assistance — they have a solid legal opinion and/or advice, or court representation from LSA and its licensed attorneys. [Our clients] are so relieved and appreciative of the assistance.”
Turnipseed currently serves on the Alabama State Bar’s Indigent Defense Committee and enjoys spending time with his fiancé, a music instructor in South Carolina.
For more information about Turnipseed or our advocates, please visit: www.legalservicesalabama.org.