Debbie Zimmerle, 26, graduated from law school and passed the Bar exam this summer, and this week she joined the law office of David McKenzie in Lewisburg.
"I always knew I'd be back," said Zimmerle. She's going to specialize in family law - divorce, child custody, child support, and juvenile matters - but also expects to do some probate work.
McKenzie said he's been turning away potential clients for a while, waiting to find the right person to join his office.
"I wanted somebody with a heart, who's able to devote time to taking care of clients," McKenzie said. "Debbie convinced me she would work tirelessly to give clients the attention they deserve. I think she's going to do a good job."
Zimmerle is the first lawyer in her family, but says even as a "young kid" she felt she wanted to get into family law to represent children and look out for their best interests. By the time she was in high school, she was certain of her career path.
"I had a great education at Forrest High School," Zimmerle said. Sports fans will remember the 2004 graduate as an outstanding pitcher for the Lady Rockets who went all the way to runner-up in the state tournament her sophomore year. Zimmerle went on to the University of Tennessee at Martin, where she got her bachelor's degree in political science. Then, for a change of pace, she went to Loyola University College of Law in New Orleans.
Zimmerle said she lost all her hobbies and interests while she was in law school. Now she's taking up quilting, and hopes to get back into swimming: she was a lifeguard at the Henry Horton State Park pool. She enjoys watching football, and is glad to be living at home on the farm with her parents, Mike and Donna Zimmerle.