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Community Highlights: Meet Atalia Garcia-Williams

Today we’d like to introduce you to Atalia Garcia-Williams.

Hi Atalia, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
My name is Atalia Garcia-Williams, an attorney and business owner located in Southeast Dallas. My story began in the community of Pleasant Grove, where I grew up with my parents and two sisters. My father worked hard to provide us all we needed, and my mother stayed home. Both of my parents are immigrants from Mexico. I attended neighborhood schools like E. B. Comstock Middle and H. Grady Spruce High School. As the firstborn, I can recall translating for my parents, writing checks, and even drafting bills of sale before graduating high school. Since I can remember, I wanted to grow up to be an attorney. Yet, there were many external influences and peer pressure that led me to get into adult situations too soon. Although graduating high school early, I did not attend college right away. I worked at a couple of dental offices in the neighborhood, married, and became a mother. I was still a teenager but I sure did not feel like one anymore. Many people do not know that I am a survivor of domestic abuse. I felt helpless in my situation and thought my life was over. All of my dreams of becoming an attorney were gone, and I found myself in the cycle of abuse. I struggled with depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. I separated from my abusive partner at least 15 times before finally divorcing and became a single parent in full custody of my daughter, Nathalie.

One day, I started attending classes online and eventually gained my Bachelor of Business Administration. It was hard to work, help my parents, study, and be a single mom all at the same time. However, I was determined to become a lawyer. In 2009, I graduated from Texas Wesleyan University Law School (now Texas A&M University Law) and eventually completed a Master of Business Administration from Texas Woman’s University. Education was the key that opened doors for me and helped me think outside of my previous circumstances. I opened Garcia Legal Group, P.C. in 2010 and have been working to represent my clients ever since. Machell Williams, my husband, joined the firm in 2015.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It definitely has not been a smooth road. I have had personal struggles in an abusive relationship. I graduated from law school as we were recovering from the 2008 economic depression and had to seek a loan to start my business. I was a single mother for many years, so it was hard to juggle all of my responsibilities. There were several bumps in the road. Luckily, I have been blessed to have the support of my family and a close circle of friends. I can recall staying up working on the firm’s processes. Being an attorney and an entrepreneur makes for endless work. There were plenty of struggles along the way and most recently, the pandemic shut our business down for a few months. However, I have learned that each time that we have a challenge, we also gain new opportunities.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Garcia Legal Group, P.C. is a firm that specializes in Personal Injury, Criminal Defense, Immigration, and Family Law. I have built the practice from the ground up and serve clients from all over North Texas. In particular, I cater to the Latino immigrant population. I am fully bilingual. Our firm treats its clients like family, and we provide the representation needed for their cases. We believe that everyone should have access to information about their situation. We offer counsel and representation that you can afford so you can get the help you need. We also support the community around us. We have sponsored several nonprofit events, participate in the Southeast Dallas Chamber, and give back through offering internships and scholarships to local students. At Garcia Legal Group, P.C., we believe that everyone deserves the utmost respect and quality service. I am most proud of our small but mighty team. We are humble servants to our clients and have over 18 years of collective attorney experience. Machell Williams is an associate attorney and a retired U.S. Navy veteran. Our office manager, Jorge Hernandez, has been at the firm for over six years.

Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
I recommend picking up a good book or listening to a meditation on the Calm app. I like to spend time with my family. During the week, I use my Peleton to get some physical activity and on weekends, I enjoy time at the park with my family. I enjoy journaling about my days and setting goals for the day, week, and month. Typically, I get things done when I write them down and cross them off my list. A quote I enjoy reading often is “I am an example of what is possible when girls from the very beginning of their lives are loved and nurtured by people around them. I was surrounded by extraordinary women in my life who taught me about quiet strength and dignity.” – Michelle Obama.

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