Member Spotlight: Maggie Simar
Get to know incoming LBA President Maggie Simar
Hearing Officer, Maggie Trahan Simar is the incoming President of the Lafayette Bar Association. Originally from Covington, Louisiana, she earned her B.A. Broadcast Journalism from Louisiana State University in 1995, and her J.D. from LSU Law in 1998. Since 2003, Maggie has been the Hearing Officer for the 16th Judicial District's Family Court docket. In that capacity, Maggie hears and makes recommendations on all family filings, including custody, child support, domestic violence litigation, spousal support, use of property, community property and any other ancillary issue pending from divorce, custody or domestic violence litigation, including criminal nonsupport.
As a student, Maggie shares that she did not always intend on being an attorney: “I would like to say I've always wanted to be a lawyer; however, the truth is that when I was graduating from LSU, there were not many job opportunities presented. My family offered to assist me in attending law school, and it seemed like something I would be good at.” It is her family that continues to inspire her, “My children inspire me every day to be a good person and to be someone they can be proud of. My parents inspired me to be hard working and to be loyal. My mother, in particular, has shown me that you can be a professional woman who is trustworthy, loving and truly cares about people.”
While also being inspired by her family, Maggie's professional inspiration has been Judge Edward Leonard. “He was the first person to believe in me, that I could do this job that I love so much. He was the person who was always on my side when I needed guidance. Since his retirement, I have 8 wonderful judges who fill that supportive role for me, but he will always be the first in my corner and for that, I will always be grateful to him.”
Aside from being an attorney, Maggie has served on the Louisiana State Bar Association Editorial Board, 2013 and is still currently serving. She has served as Secretary of the Louisiana State Bar Association Young Lawyers Council, Elected 2011- 2012. She has also been a District 3 Representative, elected 2007-2012, served on the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Council as the Children and the Law Chair, appointed 2006, and as the Family Law Chair of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Council, Appointed 2007. She is a past chair of the Lafayette Young Lawyers. Maggie has served the Junior League of Lafayette from 2000 to present, where she has served as the Financial Vice President (2011-12), President-Elect (2014-2015) and President (2015). She has also served as Assistant Financial Vice President, Grants Administration Chair, Fund Research and Development Chair, Junior Quiz Bowl Chair, and Opportunity Knocks Chair. Maggie is also a member of Krewe Xanadu, with whom she was Royalty Muse in 2009 and crowned Queen in 2013. She was also a Woman of Excellence with the Lafayette Commission on the Needs of Women.
Taking a look at a typical day for Maggie, we find ourselves at City Club at 5:30 in the morning. “I wake up every day at 5:30 a.m. and go to City Club to work out. I come home and wake my kids up to get them off to school. Then I generally drive to the courthouse in St. Martinville, listening to the Howard Stern show or KPEL on my way there. I then start my day, which is always different. Sometimes, I get to help parents resolve their differences for their children to be raised by two happy co-parents, sometimes I get to set support, sometimes, I get to stop a domestic violence situation, and sometimes, I partition community property. Every day is unique, which is why I probably enjoy my job so much. Most days, I also work on one of my volunteer activities. There is never a dull moment!”
When it's time to relax, Maggie can be found reading her favorite book, The Great Gatsby, or enjoying her guilty pleasure: Real Housewives. She also DVR's Judge Judy every day: “I aspire to be her one day, and have been guilty of plagiarizing a catch-phrase or two from her.” When she's not in the office, Maggie also enjoys watching her daughter dance, watching her son play spots, and spending time with her children. When asked what three things she could not live without, Maggie answered, “1. My Children, 2. My pillows, and 3. LSU Football.” In true south Louisiana fashion, her favorite colors are purple and gold and her favorite food is boiled crawfish.
Maggie has served several positions on numerous organizations and makes a difference in the lives of those who are experiencing divorce or domestic violence, all while being a devoted and loving mother. Her advice to new attorneys echoes her character: “Realize that law is not about amassing a fortune; it truly is a helping profession. There is so much power in the law, but the power comes from caring for people and solving their problems. Also, in the quiet moments, pat yourself on the back because you have accomplished so much by becoming a lawyer.... now go out and make the world a better place!”