The Creation of a Trial Lawyer: A Lifetime Ambition
Growing up in Hudson, Ohio, Sarah Margaret spent her formative years surrounded by a vivacious community of engaged citizens, and a family that taught her the value of writing, speaking, athletics and sportsmanship. From a young age, their influences became evident, with Sarah Margaret finding herself enthralled in school field-trips to historical Hudson monuments, including the Underground Railroad at the childhood home of famous abolitionist John Brown, and active in her American government classes. At age 8, she joined the Explorers Aquatic Club Swim Team, and fell in love with a sport that would translate into a lifelong benchmark of discipline, physicality and toughness. By 8th grade, after reading about James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and the Constitutional Delegation, the seed for becoming a legal scholar was planted. That seed blossomed in 9th grade English class, when she met the character Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, a trial lawyer who defended an innocent black man during a racial divide in rural Alabama. It was also then that she discovered an innate speaking ability, memorizing and passionately reciting the 10-minute love poem, The Highwayman, by Alfred Noyes.
“Early on, I enjoyed the historical relevance of lawyers, and how they were the ForeFathers to our entire system of American Government. These men were remarkable public-policy academics, writers and statesmen,” said Hulburt. “Eventually, I realized that lawyers could also serve as agents of social justice if they were able to fearlessly stand among a live-audience, and eloquently speak to the causes they championed.”
Not remiss to the investigative skills and resourcefulness she would need, Sarah Margaret, along with a contingency of fellow civically-minded students, banded together to form the Explorer newspaper during her sophomore year. The concept of freedom of the press, and its Constitutional roots of holding a government accountable to the discourse of the people, resonated strongly among the group.
“As one of the Founding Editors of the Explorer, I was deeply compelled by the Press’ ability to confront authority, not for the sake of gaining power or prestige, but for uncovering the truth,” observed Hulburt. “Journalists are brave, tenacious people who possess an uncanny affection for throwing themselves into the heat of controversy, and then disseminating their experiences in an articulate way. A good attorney must do the same.”
Besides academics, Sarah Margaret stood true to her athletic passions, qualifying for Districts on a State-ranked Hudson swim team in the 100 breastroke and 500 freestyle, events that were stacked back-to-back in competition. Her notorious conditioning stemmed from an impeccable weight-lifting regime that saw her bench-press 135 pounds as a freshman, and eventually, morphed into undisputed female record-holder of the Hudson High School Bench Press [225 lbs.], a mark that is deeply intact.
“I love swimming and lifting equally, although I was introduced to lifting through swimming,” noted Hulburt. “There is such a sense of confidence imbued from being a force both on land and in water. I am strong in each element.”
Sarah Margaret expanded her pursuits, beginning college at Kent State University at age 16. She soon established herself as the Lead sports writer for the Daily Kent Stater newspaper, covering the Golden Flashes football and wrestling teams. Academically, she majored in Political Science, with an emphasis on American Political Economy, and Spanish. By 2006 - two (2) years after high school- Sarah Margaret earned her Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, and was a member of the President’s List for a 4.0 gpa.
“Since I started college so young, I was able to graduate early,” said Hulburt. “I felt myself getting that much closer to my career as a lawyer, and I wasn’t going to be slowed by anything.”
A commitment to dearly regional schools continued with matriculation in the University of Akron School of Law. Despite carrying full-time legal studies, Sarah Margaret exercised her remaining NCAA eligibility and swam for the University of Akron Swimming and Diving team, the first student in law school history to maintain such a feat. By 2009 - five (5) years after high school- she earned her juris doctorate, and learned the meaning of true physical discipline.
“Swimming, while in law school, was amazingly difficult, and pushed my physical and mental limits,” said Hulburt. “It truly prepared me for the challenges of being a lawyer.”
Today, she still maintains a competitive lifestyle, winning the 100 Freestyle at the 2012 Hudson Alumni Swim Meet, besting a girl’s team that would go on to finish near the top in the State. Sarah Margaret also keeps up a prolific lifting regime, that is on par with her college and high school days.
Upon passing the Bar Examination on her first sitting, Sarah Margaret became a lawyer five (5) years after high school, and the youngest in the State. She soon found herself immersed in an exciting, fast-paced law practice that extended across Northeast Ohio, over 50 Courts and hundreds of cases. Her physical confidence, coupled with her academic mind, created a powerful courtroom presence that has seen myriad accolades, ranging from not guilty verdicts, victories in the Court of Appeals, large monetary judgments, successful child custodies, and the resolution of many complex legal issues. Her commitment to Constitutional advocacy remains paramount.
“My career as a lawyer is the culmination of a lifetime of education, discipline and wise-teachers,” said Hulburt. “But most essentially, I seek to uphold the law in all arenas that I practice, and to apply it respectfully and justly.”
This tenet has witnessed the successful resolution of a diverse array of legal issues, that continue to expand in an ever-changing social, economic and global era. Above all, the individuality of each client, and each life-situation he or she faces, must be carefully understood and considered when crafting a winning-case. For Sarah Margaret, this is the ultimate utilization of her skills.
“I derive incredible joy from being able to use my talents to help people with real-life problems,” said Hulburt. “Truly, this is my greatest asset and legacy to my fellow citizenry.”