We had the good fortune of connecting with Amber R. Donley, Esq. and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amber R., we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
In my opinion, risks really boil down to making decisions and comparing the pros and cons along the way. When I reflect on my life, I can definitely see how the decisions I made throughout my life came with great risk. After graduating from high school, I made a decision to leave my hometown of Miami, FL to attend Bethune-Cookman University. I am a first generation college graduate, so for me that was a huge risk. I did not know what to expect in college and I relocated to a place where I had no friends or family. To be honest, I really did not consider whether I could truly afford the expense of college. I just knew if I wanted different results in my life, I needed to do something different. In my mind, the unknown was better than staying at home and working. Fast forward several years, I quit a job working as a teacher to relocate my family to Jacksonville, FL to pursue a childhood dream of becoming a lawyer. That came with great risks. My family went from two incomes to one, and I had a daughter to take care as well. Again for me, the unknown was better than staying in a career that had run its course. Even the decision to open a law firm came with a great risk. Again, I quit a perfectly good job and remained unemployed for a year to figure out my next step. Eventually, I realized that my next step would be entrepreneurship and I never looked back. Without taking risks or chances, we may be missing out on what we are destined to do.
What should our readers know about your business?
I am the proud owner of Donley Law Firm, PLLC in Orange Park, FL. I practice in the areas of family law, probate, guardianship, and estate planning. I’ve owned and operated my business since October 2015. As a business owner, I don’t take it lightly that people who may be going through very difficult times in their lives choose me to handle their legal matters. I pride myself on providing excellent service and legal representation which is how I was able to receive success in my practice. When I started my practice, I had a laptop, Google Voice, and a virtual office. It was not easy in the beginning to build my practice, but I was a good steward over the few clients that entrusted me with their matters. Fast forward five years, I have handled hundreds of cases, I am an employer, and I own commercial real estate. Over the years, I learned to prepare for what I am expecting. I had an employee handbook before I had an employee. I identified a payroll company before I had payroll. If you are prepared for the success you are expecting, you will be prepared to handle the success when you achieve it.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If I have friends traveling to town for a weekend trip, we would shop at the St. John’s Town Center. We would visit the shops and restaurants in Atlantic Beach. Also, one day would definitely be spent touring and eating in St. Augustine. My favorite restaurant in St. Augustine is Harry’s Seafood, Bar, and Grille. Sawgrass Marriott Golf and Spa for a day of relaxation.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My mother, Alice Barthell, gets major kudos for raising me to be a strong and driven woman. My mother was a single mom who raised nine children. While growing up, she worked as a custodian at a Miami high school. I observed her work tirelessly to provide for our family and to provide us with a solid foundation. We spent endless hours in church to help us remain centered and to realize that there is a greater power at work in our lives. She is my inspiration and motivation to be the very best at anything I take on in my life.