She’s a North Dakota girl who came to Nashville to chase her dream of being a singer. Eventually, though, she traded in the keyboard and mic for a briefcase and business license, and today, she’s a single mom of one (almost two) and running a successful law firm, Everhart Law Firm. Meet today’s FACES of Nashville feature, Amy Everhart.
Tell us a little bit about your background. Where did you grow up?
Mott, ND (like the applesauce, and I used to lie and tell people we grew the apples there), population 1,000. One hour from the nearest fast food restaurant and shopping mall, 10 hours from the nearest major city. I loved it and still do.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in law?
I’ve always been a good arguer. Sometime in high school, I made up my mind that’s what I would do, and that was that. I knew nothing about it, so I still find it amazing that I became a lawyer and remain one now that I know what it’s all about.
How did you wind up in Nashville?
I wanted to take a year off between college and law school and have an adventure. I packed up my car with little else but my keyboard and drove straight to Nashville to become the next Loretta Lynn. For the record, I did not. Become the next Loretta Lynn, that is. I stayed here for law school, and it became my forever home.
When — and why — did you start Everhart Law Firm?
I hung my shingle as a solo entertainment and intellectual property lawyer in 2009. I’m grateful to the law firm that “raised me” from baby lawyerhood for incredible mentorship and opportunities, but I knew deep down I needed to be my own boss (I’m very bossy!) and do my own thing outside of a traditional law firm setting. Second best decision I ever made! More on the first later …
What has been the most exciting part about owning your own law firm? What has been the most challenging?
The most exciting is knowing I can start with nothing but my education, experience and skills and build something with it that feeds my soul and feeds my family. The most challenging? Convincing clients that I don’t work for free and need to be paid.
What has been the strangest case or client you’ve ever represented?
An opponent representing himself in a copyright infringement case against my client would sing the allegedly infringed song to me over the phone, as well as a few other numbers he’d been working on.
If you weren’t a lawyer, what career would you have pursued?
Definitely writing. One day, one day soon, this will happen.
Who has been a key mentor in your life and why?
My English teachers, Mr. Moore and Mrs. Mehrer, encouraged me to write for fun and allowed me to stand up in class and entertain my peers with the written word.
You have a special little man in your life. Tell us about him and his new sibling set to arrive next month.
Ah, Teddy, my just-turned-2 son. Several years ago, I was nearing 40 and wanted a baby, but that elusive Mr. Right never materialized. Vince Gill, Brad Paisley … they were already taken. So I became a “single mom by choice” (that’s what they call it, from what I understand). Toughest and best decision I ever made, and Teddy could not be more perfect (as long as we’re not judging him by his behavior). He is the love of my life and my best friend, and we already fight like teenagers over the remote control. His little sister is scheduled to rock our worlds in April. And I don’t have her nursery ready.
Why did you pursue motherhood by way of insemination?
Meeting a baby daddy at the bar wasn’t working out (nor was it a good idea), and adoption seemed expensive and tough to achieve as a single parent. Insemination through a fertility clinic was still a possibility at my age, and was potentially cheaper than adoption.
What has been the best part of being a mom? What has been the most challenging?
The best part is his genuine little bear hugs that are meant just for Mommy (it feels so good to be loved so much!), and watching him grow into a unique person with his own mind and tastes and opinions. What a miracle life is! The most challenging is that I am constantly exhausted. Times when we are both sick are simply brutal.
What advice would you offer another woman who wants to be a mother, but has yet to find the perfect companion with whom to share the parenting duties?
If fear of what people will think is the only thing holding you back from single parenthood by choice, don’t let that stop you. I had that fear, but it’s never crossed my mind since my sweet boy has arrived. On the other hand, single mommyhood without a partner (even one who gets the kid every other weekend) is relentless in its responsibility, and that is something to consider seriously before embarking on the parenting journey solo. For me, it could not be more worth it. I ultimately made my decision by imagining how I would feel 10 years from now if I didn’t try. I knew the only decision for me was that I had to try or I’d regret it.
What is one indulgence to which you treat yourself when you need a little pampering?
I take a bubble bath every single night after Little Mister finally allows himself to sleep, and rarely a day goes by when I don’t have some form of chocolate (usually something wrapped in foil).
What’s your favorite place to eat out, and what do you order?
I finally got to try Husk, and the shrimp and grits is my new favorite meal in town. I also get takeout from Swagruha in the Farmers’ Market weekly—veggie rice with butter chicken, naan and a double helping of cucumber sauce, please. Oh, and fruit tea from Bread & Co., slurped upon filling and then topped off. Man, you’ve got me hungry now.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
When my dad was in the hospital before he died, he told me how he was with his own dad shortly before he died, and his dad said how quickly his life had passed: “Poof!” I know my dad felt the same. It reminds me of that Kenny Chesney song, “Don’t Blink,” and that has become my mantra.
What books are currently on your nightstand?
I’m so behind the times—I just finished Gone Girl. I kept waiting for the big surprise and then the book was over—I don’t get all the fuss. Also, a Curious George book about his throwing a Valentine party with the Man with the Yellow Hat. Quite good. Teddy points to the Man with the Yellow Hat sometimes and says, “Daddy!” (He sees Daddy in every grown man right now.) I’ve decided the Man with the Yellow Hat is actually quite a catch. Why is he still single?
If you could offer a piece of advice to your 20-year-old self, what would it be?
Stop being such a chicken! Get on up there and sing! Call him! Argue your case! Show them your writing! Have the courage to do what makes you happy!
What are three things you can’t live without, aside from faith, family and friends?
Sleep, delicious sleep; something to read and dessert
Thank you, Amy, for sharing a peek inside your world with us today. And congrats on your soon-to-arrive new family member!
Thanks to Ashley Hylbert for today’s beautiful photos. See more of her work at ashleyhylbert.com.