By Brian D. Poe, Esq.
Ordered steps commanded by spiritual faith and community stewardship, paired with an industrious spirit, have been pivotal to attorney Tabitha Ponder-Solomon’s success. Her namesake, explained her parents, was always her first guide: the biblical Tabitha in the book of Acts is known for “good works.”
It was apparent early on that Ponder-Solomon’s good works were linked to her voice. She started singing in her father’s church at age 3. Though enjoyable, singing didn’t curb her constant chatter. “Daddy suggested that I become a lawyer because I talked so much, and I did just that.”
A psychology major and cum laude graduate of Albany State University, and then Mercer University School of Law, Ponder-Solomon began her legal career in Valdosta, Ga. “In 2000, I was the first black associate hired at a major Valdosta firm,” she remembers. She litigated a heavy caseload, using her alto voice to present compelling arguments, and eventually became supervising attorney of the firm’s insurance liability defense team.
After years of successfully defending companies and corporations, Ponder-Solomon founded her own firm, Ponder-Solomon Law Group, in Tifton — adding personal injury, wrongful death and Real Estate law to her already booming insurance defense practice.
While her practice flourished, she took on the role of professor as well, serving as a pre-law adjunct professor at Albany State University and as a logic and critical thinking professor at DeVry University.
In 2014, she officially transitioned her firm from Tifton to Atlanta to take advantage of major business opportunities in an urban setting. Ponder-Solomon Law has, indeed, steadily gained an impressive group of clients.
1. How has the transition been from practice in Tifton to Atlanta?
The transition has been very interesting, but sometimes challenging. Years ago, when I opened my first practice, I knew that in addition to being a legal expert, it was imperative that I learn sound business principles. I had to wear many hats, performing duties of a paralegal, an office manager, a secretary, and a consultant, for example. In my transition, I am performing some of these duties again. Having and growing your own practice brings freedom, but definitely much more responsibility.
2. Describe your daily practice in Atlanta?
I handle a range of cases, so my day can vary drastically. I handle injury cases, divorce cases, as well as Real Estate transactions. If I am not in court or attending a mediation or deposition, my day includes a gamut of things from answering discovery, meeting with clients to doing title work in the Real Estate department.
3. What has been one of your most significant accomplishments?
A little more than five years ago, I started a ministry for girls named SALT, which stands for Saving Adolescent Ladies Today. I started it in Tifton, which is in the middle of a rural area where there’s not much for young girls to do, and where there is a great need for community involvement. It is a very intimate group wherein we study spiritual and natural relationships. The girls are required to complete etiquette training and community service work. They must set regular goals and make sure their grades are on par. In fact, I monitor their grades and help prepare them for standardized tests. I’ve learned from this experience that when you put great expectations on young girls, you get great results.
4. Describe some of your interests outside of your professional life.
I absolutely love Latin dance. Merengue, salsa and bachata are my favorites. About twice a month, I dance at a local Midtown club. It’s an enjoyable way to counterbalance stress. I am also interested in learning to play the acoustic guitar. I’ve bought a really nice guitar, and I will be starting formal lessons soon. My goal is to eventually record a few jazzy, soulful, high encouragement songs and perform at open mic sessions. AT
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