Matt Easom had a plan. With dreams of becoming a doctor, Matt decided to attend Emmanuel College where he received a full-ride academic scholarship to study pre-med.
He quickly realized, medicine wasn’t his calling and he stepped away from Emmanuel to reassess his plan.
“At a certain point, I realized that I needed to go where my interests and skills lie and stop trying to fit a square peg into a round hole,” Matt remembered.
After having what he considered a “Come to Jesus” moment, the Elberton native realized that law was something he was passionate about. He returned to Emmanuel in 2006 to study pre-law and graduated with honors in 2009.
He went on to law school at Georgia State where he finished in the top 10% of his class.
Like Matt, Erica Roquemore thought she had her future laid out.
“I grew up dreaming of becoming a country singer,” she remembered. “I went to school in Nashville my first year and found out when I got there that everyone else had the same dream I did.”
While in Nashville, however, Erica was exposed to Entertainment law, something she found very fascinating and a way for her to still have her hand in the music industry.
When she decided to transfer to Emmanuel after her freshman year, the Madison County native was quick to decide on the pre-law major, which was where she met Matt.
“We were in the pre-law program at the same time and had classes together,” Erica said. “I took a year off after Emmanuel and he went straight to law school. I kind of got a feel of what law school would be like from keeping in contact with him.”
Erica graduated from Emmanuel in 2009 and attended the Jones School of Law at Faulkner University. Once she finished, she returned home and joined Matt at a law firm in Royston. The duo has worked together at a few local firms for the past several years before deciding to branch out on their own in 2020.
How did their time at Emmanuel prepare them for practicing law?
“I think it’s difficult to prepare for law school, it’s a completely different experience, but we had some outstanding professors at Emmanuel, like Dr. Black, and Dr. Bobic,” Matt said.
“I went to law school with students from UGA and Emory and I was just as prepared as they were.”
For Erica, her time at Emmanuel helped her become a better communicator.
“Law school is a different language, a different world,” she said. “Emmanuel taught me how to better communicate and interact with people because it was a smaller campus. It fostered community and helped me with law school because I didn’t fear talking to people or asking questions.”
For both Matt and Erica, when the opportunity to practice law close to home arose, they were eager to serve the community they grew up in.
“Being from this area has been extremely helpful because we both have relationships here,” Matt said. “Royston is the perfect place to start a small business because it’s 15-20 minutes from everything. We like the small-town feel you get from Royston.”
Although Matt and Erica practice everything from Family to Criminal law, Erica’s passion is for Child Welfare.
“I serve as a Guardian Ad Litem, which means if there is a child involved in a case, the judge will appoint me to be their advocate,” Erica said. “I get to meet with them and make sure they’re protected in whatever the court decides. I enjoy being able to give a voice to those who typically don’t have one.”
What advice would they give college students looking to go into law?
“Know that it’s something you want to do,” said Matt. “It will be the hardest thing you do in your life.”
Erica echoed Matt’s response.
“Make sure you’re passionate about it because it takes a lot of work,” she said. “If you’re not truly passionate about it, you’ll get burnt out. If a student is interested in the law, I encourage them to reach out to a local office to see if they offer internship or shadowing opportunities. There isn’t a lot of other ways to get exposed to it other than sitting in a courtroom.”
For both Matt and Erica, their path to practicing law wasn’t linear. However, they are thankful that their journeys led them back to the place they’ve always called home.
For more information on Easom & Roquemore Attorneys at Law, visit their website https://www.easomroquemore.com
Photos by EC alumna, Lauren Peeples Townsend ’10