Shandy Arguelles is a Mississippi native and owner of St. Germain Law Office located in Slidell, Louisiana. Arguelles opened her practice 6 years ago practicing in family law, successions, and personal injury.
Growing up in Mississippi, Arguelles always placed high goals for herself that she wanted to accomplish in her adulthood. Being the oldest of four siblings, she could handle any situation at hand. She had dreams of becoming a lawyer, opening her own practice, and becoming her own boss. It was not easy though. With her parents constantly moving, debt, and the struggles of being a student, she almost felt it wasn’t attainable, but she was wrong. Today, Arguelles is a wife, mother, and lawyer running her very own family law practice in Slidell.
Arguelles received her undergraduate degree at Louisiana State University in 1999, where she attended all four years, and received her law degree from Loyola University in New Orleans in 2003.
“School was definitely a challenge. I had to work constantly just to get by and take out a lot in loans to cover my expenses for school” she said. “Some nights I would cry in my car because I felt so overwhelmed.”
After completing school, she decided to take a break. A few months after her graduation, she headed off to California. She worked for the Honorable Jo Ellen Grant in the 24th Judicial District Court for two years, learning and gaining experience in the courtroom. Arguelles was a clerk, or judicial assistant for Grant during her employment with the court. She would assist her, along with other attorneys, in legal determination and researched issues that were needed for the case before court took session.
“I just felt I needed to get away. I am a strong believer in taking time off to discover what you want out of life, and that’s what I did”, said Arguelles, “I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything in the world because it taught me a lot about myself.”
During her time in California, Arguelles was able to gain experience for her career and passed her Bar exam, a state issued exam administered in each state that decides whether or not a candidate is qualified to practice law in jurisdiction.
After being in California, Arguelles worked in-house doing corporate law. Although the job was great, she found herself wanting to be in the courtroom.
“After three years I decided I wanted to start my own practice and pursue family law cases, which were cases that I felt the most comfortable doing and had a knack for” said Arguelles.
With the help from her husband, Jason, she opened her first law firm. The duo restored an old Victorian town home, and transformed it into a complete law office with all the essentials to accommodate her team and clients.
“Restoring was a long process, but we managed to make it into her dream office” said Jason.
Arguelles knew it was the right decision to open her own practice. She wanted to provide her clients with services on handling divorces, writing custody agreements, determining child support, and writing successions and wills. Arguelles has taken on new specializations as she has established herself in her career. Arguelles has pursued personal injury cases, such as accidents in the workplace and insurance claims.
“Opening a practice was something I always wanted to do. I wanted to have a say in how I handled my business and establish myself as a lawyer. I wanted to take it to the next level.” Arguelles said.
Arguelles attended school in Louisiana, therefore she felt she wanted to stay in the area since she was familiar with law system in Louisiana instead of Mississippi, where she grew up.
“I wanted to stay in Louisiana since I was pursuing law. Since attending school here, it made sense since I was more familiar with laws and because of my husband”, said Arguelles, “Louisiana has a diverse law system so it benefited me to stay.”
Arguelles is a member in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana and all Louisiana state courts. Arguelles has helped oversee issues the parishes in Eastern Louisiana currently face, like bankruptcy, employment, criminalization, and providing their service through the state.
Arguelles is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association, Covington Bar Association, which includes the Family Law Section, meaning she is a part of the exam process. Her job is to administer the exams to those specializing in Family Law.
“It brings me back to when I first took my exam. I want to help those succeed in whichever field they choose” said Arguelles.
Arguelles is also a member of the Slidell Bar Association where she is a Certified Child Custody and Visitation Mediator. She meets with the clients to help them come up with custody arrangements, helping both parties come to an agreement.
“I like being involved with other court systems and keeping up to date with new rules and developments that happen in the courtroom. It is an environment that is constantly changing so I try to stay on top of it as much as possible” Arguelles said.
Arguelles doesn’t do it alone. On her team she has her paralegal, Kerry, her assistant, Ashely, and her accountant, Kenzie. Kerry meets with the clientele, writing their legal documents and obtain information for their cases. Ashley handles the consultations with new clients along with their portfolios, and Kenzie handles the expenses and court accounts.
“Shandy makes the office such a fun environment, we all are so close and work well together as a team”, said Ashley.
“I’ve been with her since the beginning and she really goes above and beyond for her employees”, said Kerry, “She is more like a friend than a boss.”
Arguelles has changed the game in law. Arguelles juggles being a mom, being a wife, and running her own office. She rose above what she thought she would be and made herself what she is today.
“The experience has been amazing. I never thought that I would accomplished what I did because it always seemed so out of reach”, said Arguelles, “I am thankful for having an amazing support system and for those around me wanting to achieve everything I want out of life and chase my dreams.”
Shandy Arguelles specializes in all matters regarding family law. For more information on Arguelles and her business visit www.dsglawoffice.com