Jamaica Gleaner / Attorney-at-Law Loriann Tugwell is finally living her dreams and is now at a place in her life where she can make the impact she wants on other lives too.
The 2016 Norman Manley Law School graduate told Family & Religion that she has always had a passion for being a mentor to young girls, “particularly young girls who seem to be lacking in some arena.
“Whether it be that they are from a volatile community, a single parent family or a history of abuse, I make myself available to guide them and be somewhat of a big sister,” she shared.
Now that she has achieved her goal of being an attorney, Tugwell said her next goal is to operate a people-centred law practice and to ultimately work in the field of restorative justice.
“My main aim is to encourage persons to understand that their mindset and attitude are the only limitations to success and happiness,” she said, adding that she got the revelation while working at First Global Bank.
Tugwell, who at points in her life felt like she would never complete the journey, and confesses to actually thinking about giving up several times, said that space she was in gives her the empathy to help others.
“My mother was solely responsible for financing my education, and as a single parent, there were times when financially it was very difficult for her. I entered law school based on faith that God would provide all my needs and left with the testimony that He did,” she shared.
STRONG FAMILY SUPPORT Motivation for her was not hard to find as she said a solid family support kept her on track. That, plus the thought that she would be the first person from her family to matriculate to university.
Now 30 years old, Tugwell who hails from Springfield, St James, and lives in Montego Bay, grew up in a single-parent family home with her mother and three siblings.
From as early as age six, she said she made the discovery that determination was needed to achieve one’s goals.
The Montego Bay High School past student lost focus a bit, as she said in the first few years, she was the life of the party with less focused on school.
“I was always joking around and wasting a lot of time. One day a teacher, in her frustration, looked at me and said, ‘You are a very lazy girl and you will never come to anything in life’.”
That, she said, was the catalyst that saw a total transformation in her life.
“I appreciate her so much for those words, because I was determined to prove her wrong and it was those words that effected a change and propelled me to higher heights,” she recalls.
She also credits the same teacher with the path her life took as she said the seed to become a lawyer was planted by her.
“I was a student councillor and the ‘village lawyer’, and the teacher would say to me, ‘Loriann, how you chat so much? Yuh must go turn lawyer’, and I thought to myself, ‘Hmmm, that is a good idea. I’ll work on that’.”
STEPPING STONE However, her road to being a lawyer was interrupted as she pursued a BSc in psychology before going on to work at First Global Bank for three years.
There, she met Wendy Ansine Bernard, who helped to mould her personality and shaped her into the hard-working woman that she is today.
“After three years at the bank, my mother told me to apply for law school. I reluctantly complied. By then, I was 24 years old, and to be honest, we really couldn’t afford it. My mother insisted that I apply as ‘God will provide’, and somehow, though it was rough, He always provided,” said Tugwell.
Now employed at associate attorney at Townsend, Whyte & Porter in Montego Bay, she is using the opportunity to reach out to those who are of the opinion that it doesn’t make sense to try to put those thoughts aside.
“I always tell the young girls that I mentor that there is nothing new under the sun. If someone achieved it before, then so can you, and if you think you will be the first to try it, you only conceived it because you can achieve it.”