For most people, bankruptcy is often thought of as a financial Armageddon, set to reverse a lifetime of hard work and worse yet, irreversibly scar their reputation for years to come. Ashley Morgan helped us understand that in reality, bankruptcy (and bankruptcy lawyers) are not as bad as people think. She is one of just a handful of bankruptcy and immigration lawyers in NOVA that are bilingual (fluent in both Spanish and English) and has found education to be the real culprit behind crippling fear: “When people come into my office, I think they’re worried about what I’m going to say, but you don’t have to make a decision right away – a lot of my clients make a decision after they go home and sleep on it. Sometimes months later.” She asserts that if you’re scared about anything, the best way to overcome that fear is to get educated on what your options, rights, and possibilities are for your future. “[A lot of people] think lawyers are all sitting back making lots of money; most of us are small business owners just like everyone else. But you don’t go into law, especially bankruptcy, [to become] a millionaire. You go into helping people.” This passion for helping people was no better illustrated in a story Ashley shared with us regarding a complex immigration case: her client was facing deportation despite being instrumental in cooperating with the government against a cartel gang that would kill him if deported. On top of that, he had a criminal conviction, which meant his resources were even more limited. Having almost no options, Ashley taught herself as much asylum law as possible and prepared extensive documents for the court case. In the end, when all the information was presented, the judge granted relief under a specific code section that had never done before and was only possible because [they] had met an exceptionally high standard. Needless to say, this accomplishment is very rare, but in reflecting on this story Ashley remained as humble as ever: “we didn’t realize in the moment [that the case was special] because when we were going through it, it was [just] something that worked.” You can reach Ashley at: afmorganlaw.com.