Five years after Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) Pastor Omar Oliphant was called to the bar, his wife, Sharette (nee Kirby), has followed in his footsteps, overcoming pandemic hurdles to form a husband-and-wife lawyer couple.
“The truth is, it really does bring excitement; I feel very good, I feel more proud of her being called to the bar than I felt for myself,” Omar told The Gleaner, five years after he himself was featured in the newspaper as the first SDA pastor to become a lawyer.
“I think it’s wonderful in the context of our relationship where we share goals together and grow together as a couple and for me seeing her reach her goal to become an attorney, I’m over the moon.”
For Sharette, who grew up mostly in Old England, Manchester (Jamaica) and attended Bishop Gibson High School in Mandeville, it was the fulfilment of a lifelong goal.
“It’s a surreal feeling, it’s a dream realised,” Sharette said. “I’ve always wanted to be an attorney, I knew this from before high school. If you look in my school yearbook and all of that, my ambition was to be an attorney.”
Growing up in a single-parent home, Sharette’s ambition was shaped by what she saw happening to her mother, and from an early age she vowed to help change the course of events for others experiencing similar challenges.
“I chose to study law because I saw the challenges my mom went through and I had an absent father,” she explained.
“I used to listen Miss Haughton (on RJR) a lot and I used to hear how she used her standing at the time to help families and I always used to say that when I grow older, I want to be an attorney so that I can help families in that regard.
“So, it has always been a dream but the finances were never there. It’s a dream in your heart but the option wasn’t there in reality to pursue law as a 17-year-old leaving high school.”