When you look up work-life balance in the dictionary you are likely to find a photo of Chartwell Law partner Amanda Bartley who epitomizes the term. When she’s not working at her thriving law practice or taking care of her three children, husband, two dogs and three cats, she’s giving back to her community and to the legal profession.
Amanda’s passion for the law began in high school while she was working with a local law firm to prepare for a Constitutional speech challenge. After high school, she interned for Senator Jim Jeffords in Vermont. Both of these opportunities instilled within her a passion for law which she still has today.
“I love the challenge of being presented with an issue and determining whether there is established case law to solve the problem or whether it is a matter of first impression,” said Amanda.
“A recent significant development in workers’ compensation law is the Castellanos decision, which increased our clients’ exposure for attorney’s fees and costs if a benefit is not timely provided—based upon this case, claims are faster paced and decisions have to be made quickly in order to mitigate exposure. For example, right now, our clients are forced to issue $2,000 advances and pay for costly one-time change in physicians, even in denied cases, which does not seem fair to me. I hope, in the future, that there is equality and fairness to both sides of a legal matter.”
For ten ears, Amanda has practiced law alongside herhusband Brian. In 2015, they joined Chartwell Law and have helped to build the firm’s workers’ compensation defense practice in Southwest Florida.
“Brian and I wanted to be at a firm that’s always fair, provides a great quality of life, and allow its employees to be family-oriented. Chartwell Law checked all those boxes,” stated Amanda. “It is very scary when you work with your husband, all of your eggs are in one basket, and you make a leap of faith together. We are extremely fortunate, however, that we did because everything that Chartwell Law promised us came true.”
Throughout her life, Amanda has selflessly given of herself by helping others and giving back to the community. She helped raise over $140,000 for many local charities, including Voices for Kids Guardian Ad Litem Program, PACE, and Alliance for the Arts. She is extremely active within her legal community and has volunteered for several national associations and organizations including the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, and the National Breast Cancer Coalition.
Amanda was Miss Vermont in 2005 and competed in the Miss USA pageant on NBC. Today, she volunteers for both the Miss America Organization and the Miss Universe Organization.
Perhaps of all her philanthropic endeavors the one that is closest to her heart is #KindLee, a Lee County Bar Association committee, founded in honor of her stillborn son. The organization focuses on community outreach by bestowing random acts of kindness throughout the community. #KindLee hosted drives for bedding, Halloween costumes, Thanksgiving turkeys, Easter egg hunts, Ronald McDonald House events, and fundraisers for foster children. While growing up, Amanda’s father used to quote Hillel the Elder to his children:
“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?”
He also instilled in her that she needs to focus onher own goals in life while also remembering to give to others. Obviously, advice that Amanda has heeded throughout her life.