Attorney Henrietta Turnquest ~ Building a Lasting Legacy
Attorney and former State Representative Henrietta Turnquest is living proof of the power we all have to change each other’s lives.
As the oldest of seven children growing up in New York, Henrietta witnessed her parents’ determination to provide the best for their children. Her mother and father were always involved in community activities.
“My parents told me I could be anything I put my mind to,” Henrietta recalls.
With their encouragement, she enrolled in Spelman College with plans to become a kindergarten teacher. Henrietta never dreamed one day she’d become a successful lawyer and elected official. However, three professors had a huge impact on her life: a professor who taught American history from an African-American perspective; an English professor who was an independent thinker and encouraged her to be the best she could be; and finally, a political science professor named Dr. Lois Moreland.
“It was Dr. Moreland who stopped me one day on campus and asked if I had ever thought about being a lawyer,” Henrietta says. “I was stunned.”
Following her professor’s advice, after graduating from Spelman, she enrolled at New York University School of Law and the phenomenal success that followed is history. Attorney Henrietta Turnquest went on to practice law for more than 30 years and spent 12 years as a Georgia State Representative. She considers serving as the Assistant Administration Floor Leader under former Governor Roy Barnes, whom she called “A brilliant governor with a very progressive program”, as one of her greatest work-related accomplishments. Throughout her career, Henrietta has received numerous awards. Her latest is the Pioneer Award by the DeKalb Lawyers Association.
This powerhouse woman doesn’t own a television, choosing to read or listen to music instead. She is currently working on a book and follows in her parents’ and professors’ footsteps, by volunteering time to mentor youth, some of whom will no doubt be inspired to find their own road to success.