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CARA Cookson


Favorite Part of Job: I love working for an organization that empowers crime victims and helps them heal as they navigate the complexities of the legal system.  The work requires  every facet of my intellect and demands that I seek out the nuances while trying to find the common threads that arise from people's experiences.

Most Inspiring Mentor: My mom, Rhonda Miller Goodrich, entered the workforce when I was nine, and from that point on, she's been my model for how to be my best self at work.  Whenever I feel like slowing down or giving up, I try to remember how unselfishly she gave me so many of the opportunities that have brought me to where I am today. 

Favorite Vermont Escape: I love spending time on my mom and step-dad's dairy farm in Cabot.  As soon as I turn down the dirt road and see the big red barns, I feel an immediate sense of ease.

Favorite downtime activity: Running is one of those love or hate activities, but I find it the ultimate way to unwind.  Otherwise, when it's too dark or too cold, I'm a total bookworm.

What is the best career advice you have received? My law school advisor, the late Cheryl Hanna, believed that when professional women lift each other up, we all rise together.  Living this concept is easier said than done in practice, but it's a beautiful thing when you can be part of it. 

Where do you see yourself professionally in ten years? I've never held myself to any one career goal defined by prestige or position, so it's hard to say where I see myself in ten years.  However, I plan to spend the next ten years the same way I've spent the past ten by challenging myself, living my values, and staying open.  I know I'm "doing it right" when I'm helping people understand and access the legal system--legislatively or in court--and when my work contributes to improving the lives of Vermonters and the state as a whole.

Community Involvement: UP for Learning, VBA Joint Commission on the Future of Legal Services; 

Reading Mentor, Everybody Wins! Vermont Chapter; Pro Se Clinic Volunteer, Women Helping Battered Women


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