December 2013 Bar Bulletin
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Profile / Paula Boggs

Girl on Fire

By Karen Murray

 

When initially contacted to write an article about Paula Boggs, I hesitated. My hesitation was coming from a place of mass insecurity and was based on whether I could actually do Boggs justice.

From the moment she was introduced to the Loren Miller Bar Association some 20 years ago, I have been in awe of her presence, her accomplishments and her cool grittiness. I decided to push away my doubts and my insecurities to write the following about this astounding individual.

After reading as many articles about Boggs as I could find, talking with individuals who know her professionally and/or personally, pulling up information about her on the Internet, and watching videos that focused on her musical endeavors, a song kept playing over and over in my head as I pondered what I was going to write. That song, "Girl on Fire" by Alicia Keys, fits Boggs perfectly, in my opinion, because of what she has accomplished in her professional and personal life.

Where does this tenacity that makes Boggs the person she is today come from?

Who we are begins with those closest to us and is then mixed together with life experiences gained through relationships and situations encountered along the way. Boggs grew up with loving parents who taught her and her siblings that education is the key to opportunity and that simply doing enough to slide by definitely wasn't good enough.

As she stated in an article in Super Lawyers, "I have been really fortunate because in my life I have rarely been in situations where people have low expectations of me. But I think overall it is an obstacle that some, perhaps many, people of color encounter and thus must chip away at."1

Cornell Boggs, chief responsibility and ethics officer for Miller Coors, in supporting what his sister had to say, commented, "In our house growing up, it wasn't as if there was any question about whether you were going to college or anything. We just assume each other is going to succeed."2 Since the "apple doesn't fall from the tree," one doesn't have to look far to see where Boggs and her siblings acquired their tenacity.


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