My freshman year of college, I was attending school in Pennsylvania and desperately wanted to go somewhere else. I glanced through the big book of colleges and saw a picture of a pretty girl studying on the side of a mountain. The school was the University of Montana. I transferred the next year sight unseen. I found my girl on the side of the hill, and we got married a week after we graduated.
After college, Meagen worked as a preschool teacher and I worked as an over-the-road truck driver and then drove a forklift. Meagen encouraged me to apply to law school, and to both of our surprise I got in. In law school, I had the opportunity to represent college students dealing with landlord-tenant and debt collection issues. I found it incredibly rewarding to stick up for these students and knew that when I graduated I didn’t want to work for insurance companies or corporations- I wanted to help people who couldn’t stand up for themselves.
After graduating, Meagen and I moved to Billings and started our family. We have four wonderful kids who bring us joy every day. Just two years ago, we started a new business venture, Local Kitchen & Bar, in our neighborhood. The goal with Local was to serve good, real food and make a restaurant that was part of our community. Through our Share the Love events, we have donated over $40,000 to local charities and people who for various reasons needed financial help. We are proud to be part of making our great neighborhood a little bit better.
Billings is also where I decided to set up my private practice as a consumer protection lawyer, representing regular people against banks, insurance companies, payday loan companies, debt collectors, and other large corporations. My work as a consumer protection lawyer has shown me that there are two economies and two sets of rules: one for the rich and powerful, and one for everyone else.