Teresa Renee McMahan

Teresa Renee McMahan

Lonneman & McMahan, PLLC

Local attorney Teresa McMahan’s interest in law has been solidified since her time in high school. A native of Hodgenville, McMahan, 35, took part in the Teen Court program in high school, a program she said had a monumental impact on her career trajectory.

Teen Court is a peer-run di­ver­sion program for juveniles who commit low-level crimes. Members of teen court take on roles such as prosecutors, defense attorneys, jurors, bailiffs and clerks to determine disciplinary action.

“It is not a lecture or mock story presented to the teens but real-life happening around the community for these teens and that makes a much larger impact on those who participate,” McMahan said. “Teens can hear stories all the time about how drunk driving or drugs may affect you, however, when they see it first-hand it makes a lasting impact.”

A first-generation college student with no family connections in the field of law, McMahan said the networking opportunities with local attorneys and judges she acquired through Teen Court were instrumental in getting where she is today.

Now, McMahan volunteers with the Teen Court Program, visiting local high schools to register students into the program, conducting training sessions with participants and presiding over cases throughout the school year.

McMahan balances this with her job as an attorney at Lonneman & McMahan PLLC, an Elizabethtown firm. McMahan has worked with the firm for the past 10 years.

Through her position as an attorney, McMahan has given back to the community each week by serving as a guardian ad litem for children, protecting the interests of minors involved in the court system. She also volunteers with Legal Aid and other community initiatives such as divorce clinics and expungement clinics.

Through expungement clinics, McMahan helps those who have paid their debt to society receive free assistance in clearing their criminal records to receive better career opportunities.

“This in turn allows for our citizens to become more self-sufficient by allowing them to gain better employment opportunities, better pay and therefore, better provide for their families and further engage in the community, economically and otherwise,” McMahan said.

McMahan also serves on the United Way of Central Kentucky Community Investment Team, is vice president for the Young Professionals Network of Hardin County, is treasurer of the Elizabethtown Junior Woman’s Club and is a board member of the Young Lawyers Division of the Kentucky Bar Association.

“Our individual lives become better when the community around us is better,” McMahan said. “Providing for and volunteering with things to help make a better community provides for growth personally and for our community as a whole.”

McMahan currently lives in Magnolia and owns property in Elizabethtown. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling  and participating in sports such as softball and volleyball. She also enjoys taking part in mission trips through her church.

Andrew Critchelow can be reached at 270-505-1746 or acritchelow@thenewsenterprise.com.

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