Whether clients are overcoming the challenges of a disability or seeking a plan to age with dignity, Gretchen is passionate about finding clients the right tools to succeed. She guides clients and their families through the difficulties of public benefit eligibility and applications, long-term care planning, and finding the best options for individuals dealing with advancing age or disabilities.
She strives to listen to each person’s story carefully before strategizing with them to find unique and practical solutions for their future. “Aging and living with disabilities are not unique circumstances,” she observes, “but the way each individual navigates the process of aging or living with a disability is unique to that person and their family. I don’t take a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, but instead develop a specially designed roadmap for each individual.”
Gretchen took an unusual path into the legal profession. After earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Miami University of Ohio, she worked as a professional actress in New York City for ten years, enjoying roles in Law and Order, Sex in the City, and Failure to Launch as well as starring beside Holly Hunter and being directed by Joanne Woodward. When offered an artist-in-residence position through the National Endowment for the Arts, she readily accepted and began teaching theatre to at-risk high school students. She enjoyed working with students so much that she decided to pursue a teaching career. She earned her master’s degree in special education from the University of Oklahoma and spent several years teaching children with learning disabilities, autism, ADHD, and emotional and behavioral disorders. Gretchen served on several district-level advisory boards and became her school’s teacher of the year in 2010.
Her desire to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities led her to pursue special education law. While attending the Washington and Lee University School of Law, Gretchen spent the summers researching, drafting, and lobbying for legislation while working for the North Carolina State Board of Education and the Cooperative Council of Oklahoma School Administrators. She also helped clients pursue employment and medical claims while working with the Disability Law Center of Virginia. Upon graduation, Gretchen represented North Carolina public school districts on special education, First Amendment, and Americans with Disabilities Act matters.
Advocacy for and planning on behalf of individuals with disabilities remains her passion, and she is grateful to have the opportunity to help clients directly at Brady Cobin Law Group. She wants clients to feel that she is an attorney with whom they can build a life-long relationship. “Traversing through aging and/or disability is a constantly changing journey,” she notes. “I want clients to know that I am knowledgeable, a dedicated problem-solver, and patient, but mainly, I want them to feel heard.”