My Momma always wanted to be a lawyer like her Daddy, my Grandpa Leader. Year after year my Daddy said, “I’m sorry we just don’t have the money for you to go to law school maybe next year.”

My Daddy was a medical doctor, a surgeon, and his patients were fishermen and farmers so they paid him in vegetables or fresh fish. We always had plenty to eat just no money for law school.

My Momma had waited over eight years to go to law school and one day she made an appointment with the Dean of the local law school. The Dean said “If you can get A’s in both of these Law classes you will be given a scholarship to attend law school.”

Momma got A’s in both classes. She was willing to study hard to reach her dream. She had gotten into Harvard Law School years before, but my parents did not have the money for both of them to go to school at the time.

Momma arranged her law classes so she would be home when my older brother and I got home from elementary school. She’d have milk and cookies on the dining room table for my brother and I and she would join us with her coffee. We would all study together every day after school. Momma had her law books to study and my brother and I had our homework from elementary school to study. If you had a question Momma would say very softly, “How about opening your book and looking for the answer?”

As a child of 8, I remember thinking that it didn’t feel quite so lonely and awful anymore to sit and do our homework because Momma was right there with us doing her home work too. We worked together for three years until Momma finished law school at the top of her class.

My Momma, Romayne Leader Frank, was one of the first women to graduate Law School at the College of William & Mary Law School. She graduated at the top of her class. She practiced Family Law & Real Estate Law for 38 years helping others.

Strong lessons learned: My Momma dreamed of being a lawyer and though she didn’t have the money for law school she found a way to have her dream. She was willing to study hard to prove she was worthy of a Law scholarship.

My Momma believed in education and because she was sitting down to do her homework we would do ours too! Just by Momma being there you were encouraged to do your best because you knew Momma was doing her best.

My Momma taught us to never give up on your dream, whether it was to become a lawyer or inspire your children to do their homework. Momma taught us to keep looking and thinking and you will find a way to solve your problems and if you want something badly enough you will be willing to study and work hard enough to get it.

Momma was our role model. She was willing to lead us by example and show is how to study, how to learn, how to think, and how to reason out our problems.

My Momma never gave up on anything and neither should you!