• Amanda LaBelle, Esq.

From staff attorney to small business owner.

When the Maine Community Law Center (MCLC) temporarily closed its doors due to COVID-19 in March, I was pretty naive. I honestly never thought that I would be where I am today. In the span of a month, I went from being employed, to partially unemployed and collecting unemployment, to being a small business owner. My head is still spinning.

When I received notice that we were going to work remotely from home, I didn't think too much of it. I assumed it was going to be temporary. I didn't really have any worries then. I honestly thought it was going to be great. I didn't have to get up so early, didn't have to worry about what to pack for lunch, or even what to wear. I continued to get up and "go to work" at my normal time and put in a full day. Like so many others I faced the new challenge of juggling working from home, two children doing remote learning for school, ignoring the ever constant dog wrestling match, and trying to keep everyone out of the Zoom frame. It has been (and still is) a struggle that's for sure. But, I was figuring it out and making it work.

So, when I learned at the end of March, that MCLC was going to close on May 1st, I was surprised and speechless. It was such an amazing organization. A place of learning and growth with a built in support system and an amazing mentor. I remember feeling such loss at the thought of not working in this type of environment any longer. Following the announcement I took some time to figure out what was next. It was pretty clear to Travis and I that what was right for our family was for me to open my own practice. The plan was to always open my own firm. I just didn't expect to be doing it this soon or under these circumstances.

Well, it is May 2nd. MCLC has officially closed. I am proud to have been a part of such an amazing organization. I met so many wonderful people and learned a lot. I will be forever grateful for my time there. The Law Office of Amanda LaBelle is now open! I can honestly say that even though this has been a crazy month, I am happy, proud, excited, and even a little scared, to be where I am today and beginning this new journey.

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