For Melissa Klages, lawyer and owner of Arrow Law Corporation, being a lawyer is about fair access to the justice system.
Klages says people shouldn’t have to leave Revelstoke to talk to a lawyer and they have a right to understand the system.
When dealing with divorce or other family disputes, she wants to help her clients come to a fair agreement and move on.
When working alongside someone charged with breaking the law, she wants them to understand what is going on and find a fair resolution.
Klages moved to Revelstoke on Valentine’s Day in 2008. She articled and then worked for Christ Johnston for 12 years, before taking over his firm in January, upon his retirement.
Unlike in a city, Arrow Law is a general practice — they offer all legal services.
Klages specializes in family law, but also acts as duty council at Revelstoke’s court days once a month while the other two lawyers at the firm have strengths that compliment her own.
“It isn’t just me, but the team,” Klages insisted.
She added that Tasha Stockman, who is the legal secretary, bookkeeper and conveyancer for the firm, is as important as any of the lawyers.
Stockman started at Christ Johnston when Klages first became a lawyer.
“I’ve enjoyed being around to witness her growth as a lawyer and then her journey of becoming a mother,” Stockman said.
“She has created a beautiful family all the while taking care of our ‘family’ at the office.”
Stockman said Klages inspires her for several reasons, including her kindness, motivation, supportiveness and dedication to giving back to the community.
Klages said she feels it is her responsibility to use the good fortune she has had to give back.
She is a board member for the Revelstoke Arts Council. She also accepts clients from Legal Aid on top of working as duty council on court days.
“I’m not a lawyer because I am smarter than everyone else, I got lucky” she said.