Thank you for taking the time to read about me. Researching and choosing the right lawyer and trusted advisor is a big deal. And I know dealing with lawyers isn't everyone's favorite thing to do!
BTW, if you want to read more about the legal services I provide and how I can be of service to you, please see my Estate Planning (aka "Life Planning and Protection") page or my Business Legal Services page. Continue reading this page if you want to know something about me, Debra Garcia, the attorney and counselor-at-law behind this website.
So here is some of my story...
When I was younger, I wanted to “save the world.” This led me to seek out and attend a public interest law school. (I actually cried when I read their brochure and how they trained people to "save the world.") After law school, I practiced law for a short while. Unfortunately, I discovered that I absolutely could not stand the adversarial nature of the law as I experienced it then. I looked for a way out as fast as I could. It took me over two decades to circle back to the practice of law and to the passion I originally felt about using the law to be of service.
In the interim, I had an opportunity to work for a legal publishing company writing and editing legal how-to books for attorneys and I also had a fantastic opportunity to work with Consumers Union as a consumer advocate to help ensure that California's EBT system worked for the folks it was intended for.
Afterwards, I pursued my passion for education by getting a master’s degree in Adult Education. I started my own small business teaching English as a Second Language to adults (mostly small business owners and other professionals who wanted to improve their Business English skills, as well as “visiting scholars” at U.C. Berkeley). I did this for over a decade and gained invaluable experience as a solopreneur/small business owner; plus, I met wonderful people with incredible life stories. I also realized that my legal background enabled me to be of service in an even more supportive way to the small business owners I was serving, so I dusted off the law degree and got back to my first passion.
Serving small business owners, I've discovered that most do not have their "personal business" in order and are in danger of having the State, or other people they do not want, making (literally) life and death decisions for them. That's when I became interested in Legal Life Planning and Protection (aka Estate Planning). I want to ensure that my clients' personal wishes are carried out in the event of their incapacity or death and that their loved ones are taken care of.
And now, although I still serve small business owners (especially those who are working to make a positive difference in the world), my practice is primarily devoted to helping people stay out of court and out of conflict and ensuring that their wishes are carried out in life and after death via thorough and compassionate Estate Planning.
On a more personal note, I'm a California native and I have lived in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area since 1987. I'm a cat lover and have a ~20-year-old black cat named Neko. Social justice is even more important to me now than ever and I do what I can to make the world at least a slightly better place.
I would love to learn about you and how I can be of service. You can reach me at (510) 495-0445 or use the Contact page on this site.