Patricia A. Brandt is Partner at Spitz, The Employee's Law Firm. Before becoming an attorney, Patricia held multiple positions in a Louisiana sheriff's office, the most notable of which was as the first female member of SWAT in the parish. She was selected for the FBI Instructor Development Course which entitled her to teach anything within the state's police training curriculum. Patricia's duties included holding an interior perimeter on missions and instructing officers in subject matters such as firearms, less than lethal munitions and hand to hand combat.
In 2018, Patricia graduated from Southern University Law Center in Louisiana. While in law school, Patricia gained valuable legal experience through an internship with the public defender's office and as a law clerk for Louisiana's First Circuit Court of Appeals. Upon earning her Juris Doctor, Patricia relocated to Ohio where she passed the Ohio Bar Exam and opened a private practice representing clients in the Cleveland area. Since being recruited by Spitz, The Employee's Law Firm, Patricia has continued to represent clients focusing her practice on employment law. Patricia is currently a deputy marshal in the training and grant writing division who teaches conceal carry classes and self-defense in her spare time.
Interview questions and answers:
Tell me about a time when you felt discriminated against, picked on, or bullied and how that impacts how you do your job?
As a female police officer in a predominantly male environment, I’ve tirelessly demonstrated my physical and mental strength to earn equal treatment. After 15 years, I joined the SWAT team and became a police trainer. However, when I aimed to attend a firearms school to grow my career, I faced a figurative glass ceiling.
I was the sole woman competing in a demanding bullseye course, requiring a score of 240 points out of 300. I scored 260, outperforming a male coworker who scored 244, yet he was selected, his last chance after three prior failures. Ultimately, he failed the school.
The next year I was told I could not compete because it was time to allow two new male officers their chance. This irrational decision left me feeling powerless.
My experience of losing control over my own path drives me to fiercely advocate for my clients. I’ve stood where they stand, facing opposition, obstruction, and personal sacrifice, and it fuels my commitment to pursuing their claims, no matter the obstacles.
What was law school like? Did you have any second thoughts along the way?
I chose to attend Southern University Law Center, a HBCU (Historically Black College and University), and it was the best decision I ever made. My law school fostered a strong sense of community and was committed to promoting diversity and inclusivity. SULC’s emphasis on social justice and advocacy met my desire to advance civil rights and address social inequities. Because of the incredible curriculum and the engaged professors, I did not have a single second thought about practicing law.
Who or what inspired you to become an attorney?
My great-grandfather, my grandfather, and my father inspired me to become an attorney. My great-grandfather practiced law in Louisiana. He fought tirelessly for the underdog in any dispute and represented many plaintiffs against large corporations. After my grandfather was admitted to the bar in 1950, he practiced law with his father. My grandfather served in the Louisiana state Legislature as an Administration Floor Leader and served as Chief Assistant District Attorney in New Orleans for four years. He began as a judge on New Orleans Municipal Court in June, 1963, and served there until his retirement. He was a combat veteran of World War II, having served with the United States Marine Corps on the islands of Roi, Namur, Saipan, Tinain, Iwo Jima, Okinawa and the initial occupation of Japan, retiring with the rank of major. My father began his career as a prosecutor for the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office. Since leaving the District Attorney’s Office, he continues to fight for individuals’ rights when they have suffered injury. These men shaped my sense of equity and justice and raised me to speak for those who cannot.
- Southern University Law Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
- University of Southwestern Louisiana, Lafayette, Louisiana
- B.A. - 2008
- Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office
- Jeanerette City Marshal’s Office