Lorna DeLoach has been working in various capacities of law for almost 30 years. In 1983, she went to work at a law office in Savannah where she took paralegal classes at night at the Coastal Georgia Center, which was under the Armstrong and Southern at the time. In 1988, she came back to Bulloch County to work for Steve Rushing at Taulbee, Rushing, Snipes, Marsh & Hodgin. After 17 years there, Lorna spent time working for Hall & Kirkland, the Taulbee arm of Taulbee, Rushing, Snipes, Marsh & Hodgin, and now calls the Stafford Law Group on S. Zetterower Avenue home.
She clearly has an established career as a paralegal in Bulloch County, so why run for Probate Judge now?
DeLoach says it’s a combination of things. She’s been working on wills and estates for decades and while Judge DeLoach has been talking about retiring for some time, she prayed about the decision to run. Thoughtful consideration and continued prayer ultimately led her to jump in the race. DeLoach also emphasized a series of experiences she’s had as a paralegal. Though 30 years would offer a war chest of stories, she told the story of the work she had with one incapacitated adult in particular:
“She was 26-years old. She was getting Social Security and struggled to manage her money. Her father was having a tough time handling her affairs. I went out and met with her and she had such a disability and it limited her from taking care of herself. I saw how careful the court system is in taking rights or freedoms from an adult. It was clear her father needed to care for her, but there was a process in place and it generated the right outcome after going through the proper channels. That really affected me because I want to help people.”
DeLoach says she has been working with the Probate Court since 1984, she is familiar with the law, and has been handling the procedural part of what the Probate Court does for several years now. She says she knows the right questions to ask of the Clerks and is willing to be open-minded and learn. The Probate Judge position is a hands-on, procedural job that should be handled by someone dedicated to balancing both sides of that, she says.
Lorna DeLoach wants to work to make the Probate Judge’s office a community-based office. If elected, she says she would like to have a series of seminars every year with different lawyers so citizens of Bulloch County can learn about what the Court is doing outside of marriage licenses and weapons carry permits. She says she would like to take a proactive position as Probate Judge.
The office has been working efficiently and there isn’t much that could be changed, but DeLoach would make sure clerks are cross-trained for specialties in the Court to help streamline processes. She says that will help with the “Team Mentality,” as she believes the staff in the Probate Judge’s office are the most valuable resource she will have.
DeLoach, if elected, would join several female Probate Judges in the region – like Tattnall, Screven, and Jenkins counties.
“I have the experience and I know I can do this job. This is a chance to do something to give back,” DeLoach says.
Growing up on the Bulloch/Bryan County line in Pembroke, DeLoach’s father was a farmer and her mother was a school bus driver. She is now married to John DeLoach of DeLoach Exterminating. She has two sons, Ryan and Justin Hynko, one grandson Jason, and a stepson Devon DeLoach.