Law Office of D. Anne Emery: Full-service with a personal touch

“Our clients become part of the family while they are here.” That’s how Attorney D. Anne Emery describes her small, full-service law office in Leonardtown. Emery, Associate Attorney Kathleen McClernan and Paralegal/Legal Secretary Beth Dougherty pack a whole lot of legal experience into that firm.

Emery began her legal career as a legal secretary in a Prince George County law firm in the 1970’s. While there she concluded she could do what the attorneys were doing and proceeded on the quest which led to a college degree at nights, clerking for Calvert County Judge Perry Bowen, a law degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law and an 18-year career in the St. Mary’s County State’s Attorney’s Office.

The Connecticut native moved to Maryland with her husband and they migrated south from the DC area to finally happily settling in St. Mary’s County. Her husband Tom is now in a second career as a museum technician for the Museum Division of St. Mary’s County department of recreation and Parks.

After retiring from the State’s Attorney’s Office, Emery launched her private practice as a sole practitioner. Starting not only her own firm but also a business was a scary proposition. She was helped immensely in the early stages by her legal assistant Pam McKay, who now works for the sheriff’s department.

While building her practice Emery had occasion to observe a young public defender just out of her alma mater, the University of Baltimore School of LAW. Emery admired the work of Kathleen McClernan, who eventually was transferred to the public defender’s office in Washington County. As fate would have it, Emery learned on Facebook that McClernan was marrying a man she met while she was in St. Mary’s County and returning to the area. She offered her an associate attorney position and she accepted.

Dougherty runs the office. She a paralegal and office manager and keeps things running smoothly. She is a native of St. Mary’s County and is working on an Office Management and development degree from the College of Southern Maryland.

The firm does a lot of family law cases, which includes divorce. custody and child support, but is far from limited to that. Their practice throughout the tri-county area includes criminal defense, traffic/DUI defense, business organization, trusts and estates, protective orders and wills.

McClernan noted in an interview in their Leonardtown office that doing family law cases involves being part lawyer and part social worker. Emery observed that other legal cases could also be described the same way.

There was a brief slowdown in their work duri

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