No Place Like Home: Long Road Leads Attorney Heather DeLoe Back to Clarion County
(Pictured above: DeLoe in her new office located at 17 South 5th Avenue Unit A in Clarion, behind The Haskell House. Photos by Adrian Weber.)
Although Heather DeLoe wasn’t planning to practice law in Clarion County, family ties helped make her decision to open a law office close to home.
After graduating from Keystone High School in 2010, the Knox area native attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania for her undergraduate degree and completed an internship at the Indiana County Public Defender Office. Then, she attended Widener Commonwealth Law School in Harrisburg while balancing a Certified Legal Intern position at Cumberland County Public Defender Office from 2017 to 2019 throughout her tenure at law school.
DeLoe found her time in Cumberland County vital in her development as an attorney.
DeLoe told exploreClarion.com, “The attorneys I worked with in Cumberland County have always been there to help me and mentor me and challenge me to think outside the box. They always worked really hard for their clients and that’s something I always respected.”
After graduating from law school and passing the BAR exam in 2019, DeLoe took a position in 2020 as an attorney at the Clarion County Public Defender Office where she made connections and became more involved with the community.
DeLoe cites local attorneys Blair Hindman, of Clarion, and Robbie Taylor, of Brookville, as great assets to her advancement in her profession.
“Blair taught me a lot. He taught me how to work hard and listen to clients. Robbie really has taken me under his wing and helped me at any chance he had,” DeLoe explained.
She also recognized local attorney Cassandra Munsee, of Clarion, as someone who has been a great resource for her career and even helped her find housing at law school.
In November 2022, DeLoe–who specializes in criminal defense law–decided that she “wanted to dive into the private world and give it a try.”
According to DeLoe, her experience in public defender offices has directly influenced how she runs her private practice.
“That (public defender) was something I always enjoyed doing. I enjoy helping people regardless of the amount of money they make. I think everybody deserves a great defense and somebody who’s going to work hard for them. And, that is something I pride myself in working hard for my clients.”
Even though the intensity of starting a law practice has left limited time for personal time, DeLoe enjoys spending time with her young nephews and playing volleyball.
The desire to spend quality time with her nephews is what led her back to Clarion County.
“I really cherish the time that I’ve been watching them grow up. My family is what brought me back to this area,” said DeLoe said.
In addition to her experience in the area of law, Disney World has been a place where DeLoe learned influential lessons about people.
From January to August 2011, she had the opportunity to work at Disney World, most of the time working as a photographer.
“Working at Disney was an eye-opening experience. You’re open to different religions, races, and ethnicities,” DeLoe explained.
Part of her job was working in coordination with Make-A-Wish America.
“That experience helped push me to know that I want to help people and that I’m really interested in doing that through practicing law,” DeLoe said.
She added, “That’s what I’ve taken from working at Disney. You never know someone’s life experiences, and you never know what somebody is going through, so it’s very important to treat everyone with respect.”
“I look at each case individually and formulate a defense off of what each case entails. I want to work hard for my clients. That is my biggest thing. I work really hard for my clients. If I was in their position, I would want someone who would fight for me.”
Taking pictures around the park at Disney is something that DeLoe enjoyed and learned from, as well.
DeLoe said that her job as a photographer taught her how much “attention to details matters.”
“In photography, it’s very important to pay attention to the details and get the best picture possible for that memorable family moment,” DeLoe said.
For now, DeLoe will put some of that “attention to detail” to work as she decorates her new office located at 17 South 5th Avenue Unit A in Clarion, behind The Haskell House.
For more information about DeLoe’s practice, visit the Law Office of Heather DeLoe, LLC on Facebook.
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