A Chapter of the Women's Bar Association of the State of New York (WBASNY)
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Interview of the Month

An Interview with Wendy Marie Weathers

Susan L. Pollet
Chair of the Archive and Historian Committee

Q: When and why did you become involved in the WWBA?

A: In 2010, when I moved my career back to Westchester, I was immediately invited to join the WWBA by my mentors Jody Fay and Dawn Kirby. I was welcomed with enthusiasm and support. I sought inclusion and collaboration with other attorneys, which I found to be invaluable.

Q: Which activities and positions of the WWBA have you participated in?

A: Upon joining the WWBA, I immediately became a member of the Bankruptcy Committee.  Shortly thereafter, in 2011, Past President Lonya Gilbert appointed me as a Co-Chair of the Bankruptcy Committee along with Susan Mills Richmond.  One year later, I was appointed to be Co-Chair of Law Practice Management along with Jamieson Keiser.  We collaborated with the Westchester County Bar Association in numerous activities including presenting and attending CLE classes.  I also have had the pleasure to attend several NYSBA and WBASNY events supporting WWBA members honored at them.

Q: What would you like to see the WWBA accomplish in the future?

A: Like many local bar associations, collaboration is key to fostering and maintaining relationships.  This past year has taught us that.  Isolation is debilitating.  Expanding the Mentor/Mentee program would be a great accomplishment.  To be a mentor to the next generation of lawyers is rewarding and invaluable to the practice of law.  Sharing experiences and having the opportunity to work together allows the lift to not be so heavy.  It may sound clich√© – we can do so much more together than we can alone, professionally and personally.

Q: Please tell us about your legal career.

A: My legal career began in the Kings County District Attorney’s office in 1996.  Having gotten the taste and love for the courtroom, I transitioned to private practice, where I have represented both institutional lenders and borrowers in all aspects of the mortgage banking industry and residential foreclosures for over 20 years.  As a result of the relationships that were fostered over my decades of practice, I am now a partner in an amazing law firm – Clair Gjertsen & Weathers, PLLC – which is a collective tribute to the legacy Ira S. Clair built over the last 40 years. We primarily focus on foreclosure defense, consumer bankruptcy and landlord tenant.  We guide foreclosure defense clients through the legal process while educating them about their options and reducing their anxiety of the unknown.  We have filed hundreds of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases leading to discharges in the SDNY and EDNY, and in Connecticut.  I am also a Court-Appointed Referee for Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam, Dutchess County Foreclosure Actions.

Q: What advice do you have for new lawyers entering the profession?

A: I have three pieces of advice, the first is that it is important to have mentors. Find one or two people who really care about your getting the right experience and being there and available for questions. I wouldn’t be where I am today without having those certain people in my life pushing me.  The second piece of advice is to show up and listen.  The skill of listening is key to understanding your clients so you can be an effective advocate.  My last piece of advice is to keep yourself busy and take advantage of all the experiences and opportunities available. While I was in school, I worked, and I aimed to have different experiences to learn from. I was always juggling and balancing. I would attend CLEs as a student and network with attorneys. Take advantage of what the Bar Association can do for you and what you can do for the Bar. Put your name out there and network. Don’t be afraid; get involved!

Q: How have you balanced family responsibilities and your legal career?

A: That’s a good question! I have had tremendous support through my networks while I balanced being a single mom of two daughters and managing law firms.  Having lost my mother and biggest cheerleader when she was only 57 years old, I was determined to make her proud.  My mom and dad sacrificed their lives to instill the importance of education and I am so grateful for their love and support.  Now, the balance is easier since my girls are 19 and 16.  Having ownership in a firm allows me to balance my priorities. I also think that the pandemic taught us all the importance of family and work balance.

Q: When you are not lawyering, which community activities and other interests do you pursue?

A: I have always been in pursuit of public service and volunteer work. In the past year, I served as the President of the Westchester County Bar Association (WBCA) and initiated the Community Recovery Task Force, which provided resources to aid in the economic recovery by discussing topics like what happens if you’re furloughed, information about PPE, PPP, small business loans, etc.  I love spending time with my girls-they keep me young, trendy and humble.  And when I am not with them, I have fun with my significant other-hiking, day trips on a motorcycle, cooking, and gardening on my first zen garden.

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Phone: (914) 505-6045

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