Rebecca Beers: Committed to Her Community, Fighting Cancer and Cheering for the Crimson Tide
09.07.16 | Permalink
Raised on a cotton farm near Selma Alabama, Rebecca Beers, an associate in the Birmingham office of Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell, set her sights on becoming a lawyer at a young age. “I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer,” she admitted. “First of all, I tended to be more than a little argumentative growing up, and people told me often that I should go to law school. Then, one of my cousins became a lawyer and that definitely inspired me,” she continued. “I love to read and was always interested in politics, policy, and lawmaking. In high school, I participated in a program through the YMCA called Youth and Government. There was a mock legislature program and a mock judicial program, and my participation in those really piqued my interest in law.”
Just like knowing she wanted to attend law school, Rebecca also knew she wanted to attend Birmingham-Southern College after visiting the school as a young girl. “Because I really loved Birmingham, I knew I’d want to return after law school, so I wanted to spend some time living outside of Alabama for a while. I ended up choosing Washington and Lee University School of Law, which was, at the time, the smallest top 20 law school in the country and which is located about 3-1/2 hours from Washington D.C. The town, even tinier than where I grew up, was not the cosmopolitan, "big city" experience I was seeking in moving away from Alabama, but it turned out to be perfect for me because of my tight-knit law class and our close relationships with our professors,” she said. “Because the town was so small, pretty much everyone there over 21 was in law school, so my class was very close. In the end, I made lifelong friends from all over the country, as I was the only one in my class from Alabama,” she added.
Rebecca has focused her practice in the areas of securities and commercial litigation. “Securities litigation is very exciting because there is always something new. The financial services industry is heavily regulated, and there are always a lot of changes occurring. I enjoy staying on top of that,” she said. “This industry is important, and it’s a big responsibility to be the holder of people’s investments, savings, retirement, and future. I find it both exciting and rewarding to be looking out for my clients and their clients – the investors – and for the overall health of the industry,” she said.
“In addition, I really enjoy working with both my colleagues and the clients. I’ve learned a lot from my colleagues, who have all been working in this industry for many years. That institutional knowledge, combined with the application of basic legal concepts to a specialized area of the law, has given me a great foundation from which to work,” she explained.
While Rebecca works in Birmingham, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have the opportunity to work with attorneys from different offices. “I enjoy getting to know and work with attorneys in the other offices and in different areas of expertise,” she said. “RKC does a great job of working together, no matter the location, and I have gotten the opportunity to expand my knowledge and experience base to other, varied areas of the law,” she added.
One of the things Rebecca appreciates most about working for RKC is the firm’s support of her community involvement. “I do spend much of my time away from work volunteering,” noted Rebecca. She served as President of the Birmingham-Southern College Alumni Association for the past two years where her role also placed her on the school’s Board of Trustees. “At first, it was a little unnerving to be on the Board of Trustees sitting next to Birmingham’s business, civic, religious, and nonprofit leaders and legends,” remembered Rebecca. “Usually the president of the alumni association isn’t as (relatively) young as I am,” she explained. “Birmingham-Southern was such an enjoyable and positive experience for me, and it was a pleasure and an honor to serve my college by working with our community leaders to help guide the College to long- and short-term success.”
In addition, Rebecca has served on the executive committee of the Birmingham Bar Association’s Young Lawyers section for the past 4 years and is currently an officer of the section. “We do a lot of charity work and fundraising, as well as social and continuing education events,” said Rebecca.
Closest to Rebecca’s heart, however, is the work she does as a member of the Young Supporters Board of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. The comprehensive cancer center at UAB is one of the original cancer centers certified by the National Institutes of Health in the early 1970s. “It’s truly an incredible place,” said Rebecca. “When I was in high school, my oldest brother was diagnosed with leukemia at age 26. He received such wonderful treatment at UAB. He needed a stem cell transplant, and I was as close a match as possible without being identical twins. We did the transplant at UAB, which kept him in remission until 2012,” she shared. “By that time, cancer treatment had come so far that medications that were in trials when he had the transplant in 1997 were in their second and third generations. He didn’t need a second transplant and has been able to take daily medication to manage his leukemia and keep him cancer-free.”
Rebecca’s brother inspires her work on the Young Supporters Board. “The YSB provides services to cancer patients and their families as well as raises money for grants that are awarded to young scientists researching new cancer treatments and cures,” she explained. “We raised more than $150,000 this year and will be awarding multiple grants, and I am so proud of that. Every other month, doctors meet with us to explain the research they are doing and treatments they are pioneering. We are so lucky to have this incredible resource here in Birmingham. Patients come from all over the world to receive treatment here, and I am so thankful for the excellent care my brother received. It’s gratifying to be on a board that is working to move cancer treatment forward and strives to eliminate cancer as a public health problem. While science is not my forte and I could never conduct the research myself, it’s fulfilling that I’m able to use my skills to assist the young scientists who can,” she said.
When Rebecca is not busy working or serving her community, she is outside enjoying it, whether walking her dog or attending live music or sporting events. She likes to spend time with her dog (a mutt she rescued six years ago) exploring the many trails and parks in Birmingham. Rebecca also is a big music and sports fan, attending as many live events as she can, but her first sports love is definitely college football. She spends most Saturdays in the fall watching college football and sees her Crimson Tide in person as much as she can. However, Rebecca doesn’t just travel to Tuscaloosa. “One of my best friends is a big Notre Dame fan, so I’ve gone with our law school friends to a lot of games that I otherwise wouldn’t have attended,” noted Rebecca. She’s seen Notre Dame at home in South Bend, away in Ann Arbor, and in Chicago against Miami. While I’m definitely an Alabama fan first and foremost, my friend and I respect the other's team and their long traditions of strong college football,” she said. “I’ve also traveled to Dallas and Atlanta for Alabama games,” she said. “I go to games with one of my friends here in Birmingham whose dad played for Bear Bryant. We have a little group of single girls who travel around to go to Alabama games, which has been a lot of fun,” she added.
In addition to her love of college football, Rebecca also likes to travel. Her two favorite places are Washington, D.C. and Edinburgh, Scotland. “I fell in love with Edinburgh when I studied abroad at St. John’s College at Oxford University. It is gorgeous. I also enjoyed Venice and Italy. My next objective is to travel to the Mediterranean and Greece. While I haven’t traveled internationally in a while, work takes me to some great cities including Seattle, Denver, and, most recently, Los Angeles,” she added. “It only takes four hours to get to the beach from Birmingham, so I also like to go there whenever I can. I like to take a lot of trips over long weekends, which allows me the opportunity to visit a lot of different places instead of taking one long vacation a year,” she said.
Rebecca and her dog Stanley
Rebecca and members of her family
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