I met Debra through Instagram about a year or so ago, and we finally met in person this year at the 2018 Houston Vegfest. Let’s get into this interview.
First, tell me a little bit about you and what it is you do.
Hello, My name is Debra and I’m a licensed attorney and a freelance writer and blogger.
What inspired you to want to get into law?
I was initially inspired to go into the legal field because I wanted to understand how the law worked. I would watch political shows and I was active in my community, and I wanted to understand things better for myself. I didn’t know exactly what area I wanted to practice, but I knew that I wanted to make a difference in education, since I was a teacher before law school.
What kind of attorney are you? Why did you choose that?
I’m an Assistant General Counsel, which means that I advise companies on internal issues. My focus is employment law. For the first 7 years of my legal career, I actually worked for a public school district, primarily working on Human Resources issues and policies. I enjoyed it because I wanted to make a difference in education. Over time, I developed an interest in working specifically on employment and HR issues instead of School Law, so I transitioned into my current position.
Do you plan to open your own firm?
I did own my own firm for a while, and I did not enjoy it. I ran my firm while working my full time job, but I had a physical location and everything. There is a lot of liability and overhead with running a firm, and I didn’t feel fulfilled from that work. I find my freelance writing business to be much more satisfying, and it’s also more profitable with less liability.
As a fellow blogger, tell me a little about what you blog about and why.
I currently blog about ways that people can overcome adversity and achieve their goals. I consider my blog to be a personal blog because I share a lot of my own story. I recently revamped it, and I plan to share a lot of what I’ve learned and how I’ve achieved my goals over the years.
You’re a single mother like myself. What is it that you want to teach your son with all that you’re doing?
I want to teach my son to be a good person, to help others, and that he can do anything that he puts his mind to. He is a very creative and artistic person, and I encourage him to pursue his passion for the arts.
Has it ever been or does it ever get tough being a single mom?
Yes, being a parent is tough. Being a single parent is tough mainly because of the stigma that society places on single mothers. But, it’s also tough because the financial, physical, and emotional obligations of parenting are primarily on me. I am blessed to have support from my family, but ultimately the parenting responsibility falls on me.
In the last year or so, I sought out a parent support group and that has helped both me and my son a lot. We also go to family counseling now. I would tell single mothers to find a support group, and to seek family and individual counseling even before you think that you need it.
What is your ultimate goal whether it be with your career or your blog, or both?
My ultimate goal is to write and blog full-time. I want to be financially free and have the luxury of location independence, so that I can travel the world once my son is older.
What inspired you to become a writer and do you plan to ever write a book or solely keep your writing for your blog and legal work?
I always wanted to be a writer from the time that I was a young girl. I was an avid book reader, and I wrote a lot; I also majored in English in college. Before law school, I was an English teacher also. I do plan to write several self-help and motivational books in the near future. It was hard for me to write about my story for a long time, but going to counseling has helped me learn how to open up more.
Where can people find you?
My blog is debrajohnson.com, and I’m active on Instagram @bydebrajohnson. I would love to start making videos on YouTube again. If your audience has any ideas for videos, send them my way! My YouTube channel is youtube.com/debrajohnson.