PLAINS TWP. — Even in elementary school, Tiffany Crispell liked to debate.
She debated with teachers about the need for seat belts on school buses and the desire to wear a doctor’s cap instead of a nurse’s cap, which was given to all the girls at a school event.
Today, the 35-year-old applies her skills to advocate for the well being of the region’ s children who are taken from their homes.
Crispell is an ad litem attorney at Crispell Legal Solutions.
“I love this job,” she said. “I love working with the kids.”
Her clients range in age from just a few months to 21.
“It is a delicate balance of what my clients need versus what they want,” she said.
But getting children to open up after being exposed to traumatic situations is not easy, she said.
This is when Crispell draws on her own experiences.
She attended Coughlin High School in Wilkes-Barre until ninth grade. Her family relocated, and she switched schools to Pittston Area for her sophomore, junior and senior years.
“I know what it is like to be displaced,” she said.
She earns her clients’ trust by talking about what sports they like to play. She has shot hoops and played Legos with them.
“I played Little League and softball,” she said. “I played the clarinet for a short time in the Pittston’s band.
“I am familiar with a lot of the fields that these kids play on.”
Crispell’s employment also prepared her for a career in family and juvenile law.
“My first job was with the Times Leader,” she said. “I took sports scores over the phone and covered high school sports.”
“I got a lot of writing experience.”
Crispell also worked security for Wilkes-Barre General Hospital for five years.
“I saw things that I now read about in dockets,” she said.
She attended the University of Scranton. At age 31, she enrolled in law school at the University of Massachusetts School of Law.
At the time, Crispell was also juggling motherhood, married life and her educational responsibilities.
“Any of my accomplishments could not have been done without the support from my family,” she said. “My husband (Francis Walsh) worked second shift to be home with the children. My mom helps by picking up the over flow.”
She graduated, with honors, from the University of Massachusetts School of Law with a Juris Doctor degree. Crispell received the Sarah Bernstein Scholarship for her community work and the Servant of Justice award for her pro bono hours.
She passed the Pennsylvania Bar and New Jersey Bar exams in May 2015.
“I am very lucky,” she said. “At this point in my life, I am trying to find ways where I can give back.”
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Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews