We are delighted to announce that Maria Rooks has joined Milestone as a qualified settlement fund project manager. Maria has worked in the legal industry for over a decade, acting as a project manager, database coordinator, and client liaison. As a legal assistant and paralegal, she has specialized in mass torts, probate and estate planning, corporate litigation, and labor and employment law. She also brings with her an accounting certificate and experience in banking.
To get to know Maria a bit better, we asked her a few questions about working in the mass tort world and her life in St. Louis, MO. Check out her answers below!
Where did you attend college, and what did you study?
My Alma Mater is Wash U (Washington University in St. Louis) and I graduated with a BA in Music. While my studies included performance elements (I was in a jazz quartet for a few semesters!) my capstone project was theory based.
What inspires you about working with mass torts?
Working in defense law firms, I always felt like I was “working for the enemy.” Once I started working in a plaintiffs’ law firm that specialized in mass torts, I knew I wanted to invest my talents in supporting real, sweeping change to protect people across the country who are suffering and in pain. They hoped for something better for themselves, and a company took advantage of their trust. I also like to stay busy, and within mass torts, there is always something to do and someone to help.
What’s St. Louis like?
St. Louis is nice because we are equidistant from our families that live in Colorado, Texas, California, and Florida. It’s been awesome and delicious to watch the brewery community grow and I’m proud to say that some of my favorite brews start in St. Louis. Also, the food truck scene here has exploded, making culturally diverse food accessible and affordable. We’re an outdoorsy crew, and there is so much to explore in the Missouri State Parks and Recreation areas.
What attracted you to Milestone?
I first heard about The Milestone Foundation and was relieved to learn that there existed a viable option to the widely known and used loan sharks. It was always heartbreaking to discuss with a claimant why, because of the interest accrued on the loan they borrowed, they would receive none of their settlement. A short time after learning about the Foundation, I had the opportunity to speak with an attorney at Milestone, and there was a very clear sense that this firm was different. Milestone offers self-respect and hope by arming people with choices, knowledge, and financial tools that otherwise would not be available. I call that “using their superpowers for good”!
What are some interesting facts about you?
Most weekends my family of five (which includes the dog but not the cats, fish, or plants) can be found camping, kayaking, hiking, biking, rock climbing, or making new friends at playgrounds and surrounding wineries and breweries. Our souvenirs from these excursions range from unique glassware to local honey. Food is my love language and cooking is my way of sharing that curiosity.
Join us in welcoming Maria to the Milestone family!