Betsy Brazy opened the Law Office of Betsy Brazy in Oakland in 2012. A graduate of Golden Gate University School of Law, she specializes in helping students with disabilities advocate for their education.
When did you know you wanted to be a lawyer?
In 2002, long before I went to law school, we sued Alameda Unified School District for my daughter’s special education rights. I admired my attorney’s advocacy, and I enjoyed the 11-day administrative hearing. Becoming a special education attorney myself seemed like the best way to protect my daughter’s future.
If you hadn’t become a lawyer, what would you be doing instead?
I might still be working in the software industry, or managing a non-profit.
What do you know now that you wish you had known when you were first admitted to practice?
Client control really is key. Most people think they have an emergency, but actual emergencies are rare. I’m pretty good at keeping everyone calm. But for clients who try to take control, or ignore my advice, it’s time to part ways.
What is the biggest challenge facing you as a lawyer today?
Well, so far every case I’ve taken has settled. I need trial experience in administrative court.
What is your favorite part of being a lawyer?
Helping people! I love it when I’m able to give parents piece of mind, and help kids learn.
What is your dream vacation?
I’d like to spend the summer at a lake cottage in Michigan lots of extended family and friends.
What are you reading now?
Romance novels, “Neurotribes,” “Wonder Woman Unbound,” and “The Notorious R.B.G.”
What’s one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?
I spend a week every summer at a family performing arts camp – but as a family of one, since my family does not like camping. Last year I learned to play the recorder, but I haven’t practiced since then. This year I want to learn to play the didgeridoo.
What person, living or dead, real or fictional, would you like to have dinner with?
Why did you decide to be an ACBA member? What is the greatest benefit of membership?
ACBA offers some great programs, like a Boot Camp for newbies. I live in Alameda County and I’m a lawyer, so of course I joined the local bar.