Who I Am

attorney mejiaI was raised in Minnesota, the daughter of a Surgeon (dad) and College Professor of French and Spanish languages (mom). I finished high school in Santa Barbara, California, at San Marcos High School. Throughout those early years, I played the piano and clarinet, sang in school and church choirs, performed in musicals, and worked backstage for theater productions, building sets and assisting actors with their lines and choreography.

I did my undergraduate work at Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA, where my maternal grandfather had been president for 19 years, so it was familiar territory. There, I met and married my first husband, whom I followed after graduation with a B.A. in Secondary Education, to Salinas, California, where I began teaching English classes at local high schools. To acquire my Life Credential in Secondary Education and achieve tenure, I did my graduate work at San Jose State University, graduating with an M.A. in Education the year I married my second and present husband.

My years in education included a brief assignment in Alternative Education and a longer assignment as Librarian at Salinas High School. In serving the needs of teachers who utilized the library for class instruction, I researched issues brought to my attention at the local Law Library associated with the Monterey County Superior Court in Salinas, and fell in love with the law.

I took classes at the University of California, Santa Cruz, to acquire my Paralegal Certification, and took a year’s leave of absence, to experience working in a law office. I loved it, and worked days full time, while attending night law school at Monterey College of Law for four years. Upon graduation, I took the bar exam and passed it the first time.

Admitted to practice law in California courts in 1993, I opened my office as a sole practitioner and maintained that practice for over 23 years, when I retired January 1, 2017. I passed the California State Bar exam for Legal Specialization in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law, and maintain that standing even now after retiring from the practice of law.

Over the years, I have been a member of the State Bar of California, the State Bar of California Trusts and Estates Section, the Monterey County Bar Association (former Board Member and Chair of its Trusts and Estates Section), and the Monterey County Women Lawyers Association (former President and Treasurer).

In addition, my affiliations include the Professional Women’s Network of the Monterey Peninsula, the Kiwanis Club of Monterey, the National Register’s Who’s Who In Executives and Professionals, Calvary Chapel Monterey Bay, Salinas Valley Community Church, and Bible Study Fellowship.

I have volunteered my time to support Monterey County Legal Services for Seniors, Monterey County Aids Project, Monterey Peninsula Special Olympics, Carmel Bach Festival, Mozart In Monterey, Monterey Jazz Festival, and Pebble Beach TaylorMade (formerly Callaway) Invitational Golf Tournament.

In retirement, I intend to continue promoting close family connections, working with families of the developmentally disabled, writing and speaking on issues related to those subjects for optimal mental and emotional health while navigating life’s changing pathways, and mentoring young lawyers in the field of Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law.