For as proud as Katherine Blackmon Carroll is of her own accomplishments, she is even more proud of and thankful for her team — the people who truly make her law firm thrive.
People like Marlane Barnes, the firm’s client liaison. Her background of a bachelor’s in creative writing and a master’s in acting did not spell working in a family-law-focused organization, but this outside the box mindset has made her a perfect addition to the team.
“Acting was a real-deal career for me for a while,” she says. “I was in Twilight, Mad Men, and Sons of Anarchy, just to name a few, and totally supported myself as an actor for many years.”
After moving back to Arkansas from Los Angeles, transitioning to a new career with Carroll provided Barnes the opportunity to utilize the people and organizational skills she had developed through acting and the skills she finessed as a screenplay editor.
Legal assistant Sarah Maxam received her bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Central Arkansas, graduating from UCA’s Schedler Honors College. She began working with Carroll in March after a career in the mental health care profession.
“What I love most is getting to celebrate with clients when they make it to the other side of whatever issue they are facing,” she says. “We genuinely care for each client — we’ve cried with our clients, celebrated with our clients, and held their hands through tough times.”
Associate attorney Allison Koile joined the team after earning her Juris Doctorate from William H. Bowen School of Law in 2011. She had previously double-majored in criminal justice and international government. She attributes the biggest break of her professional career to date as joining the Law Offices of Katherine E. Blackmon.
“I have been a practicing attorney for nine years,” she says. “After working in some other excellent work environments, I was attracted to Katherine’s tenacity, dedication to her clients, and the close-knit group she has created of exceptional attorneys and staff.” Koile was also attracted to the collaborative approach that the firm takes with each case and the unique experience this provides the clients. “We are all involved and quick to respond to emails or answer a phone call, even on the weekends or at night.”
Fellow associate attorney Alexandra Waddell also studied law at William H. Bowen after earning her B.S.B.A. in supply chain management at the University of Arkansas. At Carroll’s law office, she found a place where she could continually challenge herself to be better on behalf of the clients.
Waddell believes that their firm is special. “The expertise, dedication, and hearts of the attorneys and staff is unique, as are Katherine’s fantastic litigation skills and the willingness and ability of the firm to adapt to best serve our client’s needs on a case-by-case basis,” Waddell says.
Jalen Toms serves as another of Carroll’s associate attorneys. Toms studied at Louisiana State University, and after receiving an undergraduate degree, earned her Juris Doctorate from William H. Bowen.
“I wanted to work in an area where I felt like I was helping people,” Toms says of the decision to get into the industry. “With family law, it is so much more than that. Being a family law attorney means being something akin to a part-time therapist to your client. I love being there for the people in my community and making sure they feel like they have a confidant to help them through this difficult time in their life.”
Toms is grateful for her colleagues and the work the firm accomplishes, feeling that it is truly a one-of-a-kind law office for the state of Arkansas.
“We are like a family — not only in the way we approach our work as a collaborative effort, but also in non-work related activities,” she says. “We are a team — we come from a variety of backgrounds and bring those experiences with us in our work.”