• Mary K. Wimsett

    Mary K. Wimsett

    Attorney, Law Office of Mary K. Wimsett

    Gainesville native, Mary K. Wimsett obtained her J.D. at the University of Florida Fredric G. Levin School of Law after graduating from Vanderbilt University. With the encouragement of the progressive community in Gainesville, Wimsett opened her own law firm where she practices adoptions, guardianships and advocacy for children, elderly and the disabled. Along with her law firm ownership, Wimsett is a founding member of the Gerald T. Bennett Inn of Court, a program that fosters professionalism among attorneys and mentors law students, and a longtime board member of PACE Center for Girls, where she was recently elected as Vice-Chair

    “Success is the result of very hard work,” said Wimsett. “However, working hard is not enough.  Success, achievement and accomplishment happen when I’m sharing them with people I care about. To me, that’s also an unsung attribute of being fierce.”

    What does it mean to be Fierce?  

    To be fierce is to be passionate about your purpose whether that is your career, family or service to your community.

    What does success, achievement and accomplishment mean to you?   

    Success is the result of very hard work. Working hard, though, is not enough. Success, achievement and accomplishment–these things happen when I’m sharing them with people I care about. To me, that’s also an unsung attribute of being fierce.

    What motivates you in the morning?

    I’m the first person awake in my house each morning and I love the peace and quiet that comes before the controlled chaos of the later morning. I’m grateful every day because I’m raising three amazing girls with my husband, helping people who need me and living life with purpose and positivity.

    What or who is inspiring you right now? Why?  

    My clients are my inspiration. From the adoptive family adopting a special needs child who has languished in foster care, to the families with handicapped adult children in need of a guardianship, to the brave birth mothers who put the needs of a child above their own, to the teens in foster care who can be incredibly resilient and brave in the face of adversity. The list goes on and on.

    What was the best decision you’ve made? What’s the worst?  

    The best personal decision I have made was to marry my husband and create our amazing family. The best professional decision I have made is to open my own firm. The worst decision I have made recently was to get a new puppy (so much work!). Jokes aside, when I make a mistake, I try very hard not to wallow in negative feelings such as doubt or regret and instead focus on learning from the mistake and moving on.

    What has been your biggest obstacle and how have you overcome it?  

    Balancing life as a small business owner and mother of three girls (and did I mention the puppy is so much work!) is no easy feat. Some days it feels like just surviving the day is an amazing achievement.

    How do you address negativity in your life and in business?  

    Take the constructive criticism (if there is any) and then move on. I see no value in spending my energy on negative thoughts and ideas. But I also think it is important to accept responsibility for any mistakes and learn from them (see number 5).

    Is there a particular instance or occurrence that you credit for building your confidence and self-esteem?  

    My parents raised me to always believe in myself–I was encouraged to always seek out a meaningful career. My husband has continued this path as he is my constant companion and advisor who always supports me and lifts me up. He also helps me take myself a lot less seriously and makes me laugh multiple times every day, even when we are stressed to the max.

    How do you empower other women?  

    I am a founding member of the Bennett Inn, an organization with a mission of fostering professionalism among attorneys and mentoring law students. In this capacity, I mentor many young female attorneys. I am also a longtime board member of PACE Center for Girls, where I spend significant time supporting the girls of PACE and their staff.

    What change do you want to see in your industry?  

    We are very fortunate in Gainesville to have a progressive community. I would like to see us continue to grow and support women-owned businesses.

    Do you have any advice for young women as they try to achieve their goals?

    Treat everyone you encounter with dignity, respect and grace.  Do not hesitate to reach out to someone you perceive as a possible mentor and ask to take them to coffee or lunch. You never know how your paths will cross in the future. The bulk of my business is from referrals from clients, attorneys and professionals.

    What do you want to be remembered for?  

    I would like to be remembered as an attorney who never shied away from speaking up for those who have been marginalized and may not have a voice.

    How do you defy the current stereotypes, stigmas and double standards that women have today?  

    I try very hard to always be supportive of other women, providing positive feedback and constructive advice whenever I can. I also hope to always be the best version of myself for my girls. They are already an incredible force so look out world!