Saturday, 18 October 2014

Heather Shoemaker Wyoming: A Great Life Moment

Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming received her law degree from the University of Wyoming College of Law in Laramie. After graduating she worked as an Associate at The Law Offices of Vernon Dill for two years, before opening her own office in downtown Cheyenne in mid-2007.

"Law school at Wyoming was great," recalls Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming. "It's a beautiful campus, for starters. And it's a first-rate legal education, too."

The UW College of Law is the smallest public law school in the United States, says Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming. The small class sizes, which average a ten-to-one student to faculty ratio, promote interaction between the students and their law professors, she says, which is something you don't at bigger law schools. Most of the faculty members teach while keeping up their careers in legal research and inquiry, she adds. "And that helped me get a real insight into the realities of the day-to-day practice of law."

After receiving her degree, Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming went to work at The Law Offices of Vernon Dill, an established Cheyenne law firm.  As an associate attorney, she did a lot of legal research for Vernon Dill, but was also able to argue cases in court. "It was a fantastic experience," she says today, looking back on it. "I got incredibly valuable experience as a lawyer, both in court and out. Vernon is so great – thirty-something years of experience, and just a consummate professional." 

After two years though, Heather Shoemaker was ready to go out on her own, so she somewhat reluctantly resigned. Six months later she opened her downtown Cheyenne Office. "Heather Shoemaker, Attorney-at-Law. The first time I saw that on the door – well, it was one of those great moments in life, you know?"

Monday, 13 October 2014

Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming practiced law out of her home for about six months after leaving The Law Offices of Vernon Dill in late 2007. By the middle of 2007 she had found a suitable office to rent in downtown Cheyenne, and she hung out her shingle there on August 1.

Her husband Jeremy was working as a software engineer on a contract basis at the time, and he too was working from home. "That was a really good period," Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming recalls today. "Not very workable, because it's better for my practice if I have an established commercial office of my own. But it was nice that we were just a shout away from each other for those six months or so."

Jeremy has since begun working for a startup called Flat Mountain Solutions, where he is the head software engineer. He and his colleagues work long hours trying to keep the struggling company afloat. Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming also works long hours in her law practice, and so the two have had no choice but to take on help in caring for their three young children. They have had three au pairs since their oldest child Celeste was born in early 2006. The first two, Jennifer and Melinda, were both from England, and the third, Rita, is from Germany. 

Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming says all three young women became like members of the family. Each has cared for the children and done light housework in exchange for room board, and a small salary. It was hard on the kids when Jennifer and Melinda had to finally return home, Heather says, adding that it will probably be the same when Rita leaves. By then she says she hopes to have another arrangement for the kids. "But maybe not. The au pair program works for us."

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Heather Shoemaker Wyoming: Cheyenne Frontier Days

Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming has lived in Cheyenne for about ten years now. Originally from Midlothian, Texas, she moved to the Cowboy State after enrolling in the University of Wyoming. After graduation she went on to study law at UW's College of Law, where she received her degree in 2004. Along the way she met and married Jeremy K. Wilson, a software engineer and proud Wyoming native with no intention of living anywhere else.

By then, Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming had fallen in love with the Cowboy State, which as a lawyer specializing in civil rights law, she prefers to call The Equality State, another of its nicknames. Ten years, three children, and many house payments later, Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming is fully acclimated to Wyoming, and like her husband has no desire to be anywhere else.

As residents of Cheyenne, Heather and Jeremy look forward to the annual Cheyenne Frontier Days, held in Cheyenne every year since 1897. The Cheyenne Frontier Days draws some two hundred thousand visitors each summer, who enjoy outdoor rodeos and the celebration of cowboy culture. The Cheyenne Frontier Days spread over ten days each July, and Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming says that it is almost non-stop activity from start to finish.

"One of the things that Jeremy likes about Frontier Days is the fact that there is a Jack Kerouac connection," says Heather Shoemaker. Jack Kerouac is the celebrated author of On the Road and other novels. "He mentions the Frontier Days about thirty pages into On the Road. That was back in the 1940s that he was here, and he just happened to be passing through when – well, when he was on the road. But he wrote about it in his book. And Jeremy thinks that's pretty cool."

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Heather Shoemaker Wyoming: All About Saddles

Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming is a veteran attorney who has been in practice in Cheyenne since 2004. She is married and the mother of three children, and whenever she can get away from her practice enjoys horseback riding.

Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming says she is not a particularly skilled at riding, and calls herself an intermediate rider. And yet she has been around horses for most of her life. "I grew up absolutely horse crazy," she recalls. Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming was born and raised in Midlothian, Texas, a small town about half an hour from Dallas. Midlothian bills itself as the Cement Capital of Northern Texas, but there is a long horse tradition there too.

As a child, Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming preferred riding western style, but as she got older she switched to dressage, which is sometimes referred to as English riding. Both styles of riding, she says, have saddles that were designed for both comfort and security. But the two types of saddle have very little in common other than stirrups and being made of leather.

"The Western saddle, of course, was designed for cowboys," says Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming. "And cowboys spend long days riding the range, especially the old time cowboys. Western saddles are a lot heavier than English saddles. But they are bigger, too, and the weight of the saddle and rider together is spread over a larger area on the back of the horse. And that makes it less strenuous for the horse." The most obvious feature of the western saddle, she continues, is the horn, which is used in herding cattle.

English saddles, on the other hand, offer riders a closer contact with the horse's back. They are a lot lighter than Western saddles, and Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming says now that she has been using one for so long, she thinks they are a lot more comfortable.