Attorney, Advocate and Actvist

Terri Pickens Manweiler Shares Her Story

“My greatest professional passion is helping women and children,” states Terri Pickens Manweiler, managing partner of Pickens Law, P.A. Pickens Manweiler is a Hope Level Corporate Pillar for the Women’s and Children’s Alliance and a volunteer attorney for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). Pickens Manweiler’s favorite achievement or accomplishment is being honored with the TWIN Award (Tribute to Women in Industry) by the Women’s and Children’s Alliance (WCA). She has a special connection to the children served by CASA and the WCA.

“I had a very challenging upbringing. I wanted to be an attorney at age 12 to save the world. Or in more specific terms, to spare all kids my age from going through what I did.”

Building a Case for Professionalism

Pickens Manweiler advocates for the advancement of women in the practice of law. When Pickens Manweiler first practiced law she encountered sexism from some attorneys and judges, but over time she has built a solid practice and a stellar reputation.

“Practicing law changed for me over the years because I have gained the respect of many attorneys and judges,” she says. “However, it hasn’t changed insofar as I deal with attorneys who still judge me based on gender. I am not the only female attorney with this concern for the Idaho Bar. Being a female in this profession in Idaho is very difficult without thick skin and a fast wit. I do not appreciate being judged for my gender alone, which happens surprisingly often.”

But she has hope for the future.

“My mentee and paralegal, Shannon Pearson, who is now a third year law student at Concordia School of Law, has followed my lead in pursuing her passion to be in the court room and become a strong female attorney,” says Pickens Manweiler. “She is doing a fantastic job as a licensed legal intern and will be a remarkable attorney.”

A Courtship with an Attorney

“The thrill of advocacy in the court room, the appreciation of a satisfied client, and the freedom the profession affords me to work to live rather than live to work, are what I like most about law,” she says.

Pickens Manweiler enjoys living in Boise and is passionate about her family which includes her children Maya, Parker, and stepdaughter Molly. She is happily married to Mark Manweiler, a successful and prominent criminal defense attorney in Boise, whom she met through an attorney friend. Her family also includes two dogs, Lucy and Angel, a pygmy goat named Ringo Star, two rabbits Sonny and Cher, and four cats Stella, Stud, Thelma and Louise.

Pickens Manweiler shares some tips for others interested in law.

“Stick with it. We all have bad days, we all win some and lose some. Our cases and clients do not define us. We define us. Show professionalism and respect and it will be returned to you…eventually.” Pickens Manweiler’s biggest challenge in practicing law is simply, “I do not like to lose. Ever. So every now and then, I don’t get the outcome I was hoping for. Judges disagree with me or the law is interpreted differently than I expect. It is a tough pill to swallow. After this happens it is hard to reset and move forward, but I do. Move on to the next case or next big issue in law. I would say the biggest challenge often becomes the reason I am still doing this. I would ultimately like to go to the Federal Bench.”

Goals and Inspiration

“My goal is to be appointed as a Federal District Judge for the District of Idaho,” states Pickens Manweiler. “Right now judge Edward Lodge is taking senior status on July 1, 2015. Senators Risch and Crapo are in the process of screening and soon will be interviewing potential candidates. I have submitted my Judicial Questionnaire for consideration. Once they create a short list they will interview the finalists and pick one or two to give to President Obama to make a formal nomination. Once nominated and after passing a background check, the full Senate has to approve the appointment. So a long process but I am staying positive!”

“Maya Angelou is one person who inspires me,” shares Pickens Manweiler. “She overcame the most difficult odds to become a voice of peace and reason. She was a true champion for women’s and children’s rights.” Pickens Manweiler is also inspired by “travel, world culture and creating a world that treats my daughter just like my son.”