Preeminence follows alumna into the courtroom
Preeminence follows alumna into the courtroom
A ttorney Victoria Turner Dye, ’04, was put on a path to preeminence with her education from Georgia College. She holds the prestigious AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating from Martin-Hubbell for achieving the highest ratings for professional ethics and legal ability by her peers. This included defense lawyers, plaintiffs, lawyers and judges. She was also named in the National Trial Lawyers “Top 40 Under 40” list of Alabama attorneys for several years and the Mid-South Super Lawyers "Rising Starts" list since 2017.
Her time at Georgia College set her up for success with her law school career, where she achieved a scholar of merit award in several of her courses.
She learned good study habits at Georgia College that she applied at Cumberland School of Law. Dye also learned to foster a community of peers to use as a support system and a way to measure and ensure success of her academic efforts.
“Nobody can go it alone in anything they do,” she said. “It helps to have good people around you, who are like-minded, whether it’s in academics or community service. I learned that was important at Georgia College. I applied that concept to law school and did well.”
The biggest thing she learned at Georgia College that she applies in her role today is to treat everyone as a person.
“I loved my Georgia College experience, because I felt seen,” Dye said. “When I met with professors, or interacted with faculty and staff, I felt like I was treated more as an individual than just a name or a number on a piece of paper.”
She takes the same approach when dealing with everyone—from clients to potential clients to expert witnesses to lawyers.
“I really try to make some connection with them,” she said. “I try to remember a name or a face so that the person understands that I recognize them and quickly engage them to try to make them feel comfortable.”
Dye practices this much like her professors did for her at Georgia College.
“Dr. Whipple was my sorority advisor,” she said. “I just loved her dearly. She is a one-of-a-kind, truly caring person.”
Dye also gravitated towards Professor Dr. Bob Wilson’s history lessons.
“Dr. Bob Wilson made learning so much fun,” she said. “I loved the way he took time to explain things in a way that has real-life application. It wasn't an abstract idea or theory that came from a book. He taught it in a way that made it easy to understand and relate to.”
Her 14-year law career resulted in her achieving appellate success in the Alabama Supreme Court on behalf of her clients. In her profession, Dye deals with clients of all socio-economic backgrounds who may not understand legal terms and processes, which can be foreign and scary to them.
“One of the things I try to emulate from Dr. Bob is to really talk to people, as if we're just having a conversation,” she said. “I want them to know that I’m on their side. And the best way to do that is to make them feel at ease with the process of helping them learn and understand what we're doing and do that together.”
Aside from her studies at Georgia College, Dye gained leadership skills serving on the executive board and as president of Alpha Delta Pi sorority.
“In my leadership role, I learned a lot about the organization and people and conflict management skills,” she said. “It also taught me responsibility. I had to maintain a certain GPA in order to be an active member of the sorority.”
Dye was also a part of the Georgia Education Mentorship (GEM) program.
“It was fantastic. I loved it,” she said. “The workshops taught me proper business etiquette. I was also paired with a very high-profile attorney in Atlanta and shadowed him for a day, which was a really cool experience, as well.”
Dye also interned at the US Attorney's Office in Macon, Georgia, which was a program that was set up through her advisor at Georgia College.
Creative-minded Dye was drawn to the liberal arts aspect of Georgia College, which proved helpful in her career.
“I think the experience helped me to not just look at things the way I've been told to look at them across the spectrum, but also learning to evaluate things and make my own decisions and come to my own conclusions, no matter what,” she said. “I think Georgia College fosters that spirit of independent thinking and being able to form your own opinions on things.”
For Dye, no two days are the same, which works well with her, as she loves doing a variety of tasks and learning new things.
“I get to touch on many different types of cases and files,” Dye said. “And I love that experience of getting into the research and figuring out what this means anywhere from medical record research to researching crash sequence data analysis, filing cases, arguing motions and hearings, writing letters, writing 20-page briefs, making phone calls and dealing with my staff. You name it—it’s probably been done in a day.”
However, the one constant in her busy schedule includes maintaining open communication with her clients. Her clients run the gamut in terms of their background, education and socio-economic status. The common thread with most of Dye’s clients is they did nothing to deserve the position that they’re in now that required them to hire her. Much of her time is spent counseling individuals on topics which may not have anything to do with their lawsuit.
“That's a very scary thing for a lot of them,” she said. “There can be a stigma around hiring a lawyer or being involved in a lawsuit. So, they often feel very lonely, because they don't want to talk about it around family or friends. And so often times, this is the reason why they call attorneys ‘counselors at law.’ Sometimes there are people who will just call me crying.”
Dye genuinely enjoys helping her clients. That aspect is very important to her. And there are some cases that pull her heartstrings and drive her to do the best she can.
“Success is being able to help people and lay my head down at night and know that I've done something good for at least one person today,” she said. “It’s extremely inspiring, even with all the chaos and stress in this profession. It’s such a fulfilling and rewarding career.”