Monday Profile- Rita White

By Jo Mathis

Legal News

Rita White, who owns and manages the Law Office of Rita O White, PLLC, is a metro Detroit area attorney with a focus on criminal defense and family law. In practice for nearly 13 years, she has litigated hundreds of criminal & civil cases involving murders, child welfare, juvenile, robberies, drug trafficking, and financial crimes.

Prior to the launch of her own practice, she served as a Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor for 10 years.

White graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in psychology. During her years there, she was a high-ranking member of the U-M women's track & field team, placing fifth in the 1998 Big Ten Championship triple jump event.

A graduate of the Wayne State University Law School, White is a member of several professional organizations, including the Vanzetti Hamilton Bar Association and the Federal Bar Association-Eastern District of Michigan. She is regional representative of Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, Washtenaw Region.

White and her husband, Dr. Oronde White, live in Plymouth Township.

How do you feel at 8 a.m. on Mondays? Focused and ready to start the week.

My mother always told me... to be respectful to people and have confidence in whatever I do.

When and where were you happiest? My wedding day in my hometown.

What's your greatest achievement? Starting my own private law practice, which had always been my passion

Do you have spiritual beliefs? Yes, Christian.

What's the oddest thing you ever bought? Three ferrets.

What is something most people don't know about you? I am an avid animal lover.

What's the hardest thing about having your own practice? Time management.

If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be? My late maternal and paternal grandfather and maternal grandmother.

What is your motto? "Good days give you happiness. Bad days give you experiences. Both are essential to life."

Why did you want to become a lawyer? I was always the analytical, rambunctious child ready to debate almost anything. My mother worked as a social worker for the State of Michigan Department of Human Services when I was young. I would at times accompany her to court. The court hearings were very captivating. I would consistently analyze the substance of the hearings and follow up with questions to my mother as to legal aspects. These types of experiences did nothing but encourage me to stay on track with my original goal of becoming the lawyer I am today.

What advice would you give a law student today? During law school, don't hesitate to feel out different areas of the law through internships, externships, and volunteer programs. This will help you form a good idea of what direction you may want to head into as a career upon graduation. The practice of law is very vast in scope Thus, one should always keep their options open in deciding what path they wish to take in the legal field.

What's the most challenging part of your job? Time Management is the most challenging part of my job. As a trial litigator with a pretty regular heavy case load, it can become difficult to be at two places at the same time. I believe good communication with court staff, colleagues, and clients along with effective multitasking are keys to overcoming this challenge.

Published: Mon, Jun 17, 2013

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