Valerie Johnson can pinpoint the day that her life changed forever. When she was in junior high, the library was her second home. That is, until the day the librarian called her a racial slur. As she was leaving the library, Valerie saw a crowd of people outside the courthouse across the street. She followed them inside, where she watched a Black man stand trial for stealing a can of beans. The injustice and mistreatment she experienced and witnessed that day drove Valerie to pursue a job in law.
“It really was a pivotal moment — you don't have that many in your life — when you think, well, maybe I can do something to change the world. Maybe I can help in some little way,” says Valerie. “The law was always a pull. And I'm glad I ended up here, and I hope for some people, I can make a difference in how they see the law and how they see women and minorities, and how they can approach their own problems with the help of people who are really dedicated to helping them.”
In this episode of Voices of NCAJ, host Amber Nimocks welcomes Valerie Johnson, co-founder of and partner at Johnson & Groninger PLLC, to discuss her work as an attorney, her advocacy for people in the community, and her new role as president of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice.
🎙️ Featured Guest 🎙️
Name: Valerie Johnson
What she does: Valerie is the founder and partner at Johnson & Groninger PLLC, where she represents people injured at work and in the community. She made history this past summer when she became the first Black female president of NCAJ.
Company: Johnson & Groninger PLLC
Words of wisdom: “We always are in a climate of political change and shouldn't be surprised by it, shouldn't be surprised by trends one way or the other. We know that as an organization committed to advocacy, we're going to be in the fight.”
🗝️ Key Points 🗝️
Top takeaways from this episode
- Law is no longer a men’s club. Valerie talks about her hopes in inspiring other women, particularly women of color, as she takes on this role as president of NCAJ. Valerie also proudly co-founded Johnson & Groninger PLLC, which is composed of all female partners.
- NCAJ aspires to provide help and resources. Not only does the organization help community members needing legal guidance, they also take pride in providing their own members with resources and support.
- Adaptability is key. In this forever changing political and economic landscape, Valerie points to flexibility and adaptability as the key components for NCAJ to continue to thrive and help the community.
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