Glenda Leatherman grew up as the oldest of five children, first at Indiana University where her Dad was a student, and then in rural Indiana as her Dad began his teaching career. Her family moved to Southern California in the boom years’ migration to the sunny Pacific shores.
Glenda’s father often suggested that she become an attorney. She simply assumed she would become a teacher like her father. As a student at Orange Coast Community College, she worked in a volunteer program for blind, autistic children at the local state hospital. As a psychology major at UCLA (BA) and at CSULA (MA), she was a research assistant on a project at UCLA where some of the first behavior modification work was done with autistic children.
Three factors led to Glenda’s decision to become an attorney. As a Los Angeles County Deputy Probation Officer, she performed court investigations in order to recommend a disposition for juveniles being charged with crimes. In the process, she observed DAs and PDs in court doing a job she knew she could easily do. In addition, she served as Legal Action Coordinator for a community organization and people often mistook her for an attorney. Finally, her husband, a lawyer himself, told her frequently that she should go to law school because she thought like a lawyer. Her conclusion was that everything pointed to a career in law.
While in law school at U.C.S.F. Hastings, Glenda worked summer jobs in legal services for the poor in Kentucky and for an anti-strip mining group in East Tennessee. She also had an externship with the EEOC office in San Francisco. After graduating and passing the Bar Exam, she had to choose between job offers from the U.S. Department of Labor Litigation Unit and Matthew Bender legal publisher. She chose the legal publishing position because she had enjoyed being a law review editor in law school, and she saw it as an extension of that.
Glenda loved her 10 years at Matthew Bender and, during that time, earned an MBA at Golden Gate University, and managed to fall in love with technology. She then enthusiastically went into marketing with two legal technology startups in succession, and ultimately settled at Cisco Systems where she helped design and develop high-end, automated publishing systems. Her primary focus was always on creating products that enhanced attorneys’ abilities to do their jobs.
In 2010, Glenda made the decision to leave the high-tech world to practice law. In January 2011, she formed Leatherman Law Group with a focus on helping people plan and administer their estates.
Glenda’s two guiding principles are: (1) Give whatever you are doing and whoever you are with the gift of your full attention; and (2) Have a positive impact on the life of anyone you meet and leave them in a better place than they were when you initially met. The goals in her practice are to give clients her full attention, and to help them decide how to best secure the future for their loved ones.
Glenda finds time to devote her efforts to animal rescue organizations and the “no-kill” animal shelter cause. Her favorite sayings are “spay and neuter” and “adopt, not buy.” Her interest in this area came from having pets all her life. Most of the pets were cats and dogs, although in college she adopted her Psychology lab rat, Freda, to save it from being destroyed at the end of the term. She currently has a Pug/Staffordshire Terrier mix dog named Jasmine and a Selkirk Rex cat named Col. In her practice, she encourages her clients to ensure that their pets are cared for in their estate plans.
Here is Glenda at home, along with photos of Col and Jasmine.