But her office currently has three full-time employees and a full caseload due to her own persistence and understanding she “needed to throw myself in,” as she referred to her first introduction to the Watertown Chamber of Commerce.
“Bill Shults invited me. We had the first meeting in a circle in the parking lot of city hall because the air was out. In the fall, we had officer elections, and at that meeting I knew I needed to throw myself in,” said Vance.
She started as secretary and later became president, where she is known for accomplishing a lot for Watertown and the surrounding county.
“It was a phenomenal experience because of the name recognition. I didn’t have a lot of experience as a business owner, and the connections you make are underestimated,” said Vance.
The reason she didn’t have a lot of business experience 15 years after she graduated from High School is because a guidance councilor told her with her scores she shouldn’t even apply to college because she would never qualify. She told her she should just settle on becoming a housewife and a stay-at-home mother.
Vance had no reason to think the authority figure would give her the wrong advice, so she took it and got married and had two children soon out of high school. She joined the PTA and threw all her energy into volunteering at the schools and taking part-time jobs as they came along. Now, her sons are 27 and 30 years old.
Her breakthrough came when she took a part-time job for attorney Jim Stallings in 1992.
“I love the idea of helping people, and I can do this,” Vance said.
By August 1993, she had enrolled in Cumberland University. She graduated in 1997 and started law school soon after in Nashville.
On Sept. 1, 2002, she opened her office on the square in Watertown, which was her plan from the day she graduated from Cumberland. At the time, the attorney on the square had recently died, and there were no legal services in Watertown.
“I feel blessed and fortunate to plant roots here and maintain that office here,” said Vance.
Since then, she moved her office to 224 W. Main St., just a bit off the square where she has more room.
“In 2004, I was invited to be a part of Leadership Wilson. It was a tremendous education and exposes you to all aspects of Wilson County. Agritourism began to come a thing at that time. There was a big cross cut of real estate agents and business owners. It had many of the same benefits as the chamber. The leadership connections launched me to be on the Lebanon chamber, then the United Way, and now I am the chair of Wilson County CASA. It all started with Watertown chamber involvement,” said Vance.
The primary focus of Vance Law Office is family law, which often includes custody visitation.
“It’s very satisfying to be able to help a family continue their family dynamic in spite of a divorce,” said Vance, ”We also do some estate planning and probate. What we don’t do is criminal or bankruptcy, although we do try to help, but it is outside our wheelhouse. We give them referrals.”
Vance Law Office will be featured as a business of the month June 28 from 5:30-7 p.m. at the office during the next Watertown Chamber of Commerce business after hours. Refreshments will be served.