Young Woman Beats Odds to Practice Law

A single mother at age 15, Amanda Ray Jelks, has had a few roadblocks in her life. Now a Chattanooga attorney at 26, Jelks talks about the journey and those who encouraged her. “Growing up, going to college was never discussed,” she said. “I did not know any college graduates personally as a youth. My mom told me growing up I should be a lawyer because she said I could argue with a stop sign and convince it that it says go.” She graduated from the University of Memphis with her law degree at 24. During the summers she interned at Chambliss, Bahner and Stophel PC, where she now works full-time. Read her story in the Times Free Press