Back when she was in college, studying to be a biologist, Cindy Crick could never have predicted how widely her career would veer from her own expectations.
“To be honest, it’s kind of insane I ended up with a law degree,” Crick said.
All of it came as a surprise to her — the fact that she went on to law school, for one, and that she later spent eight years as assistant solicitor in Spartanburg.
But the most surprising was the fact that she ended up becoming chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy.
In 2010, Gowdy, who was then the solicitor for South Carolina’s 7th Judicial Circuit, was elected to Congress. “When he won, he basically told me, ‘If I’m going, you’re coming with me,’” Crick said, laughing. “I had no desire to work in politics, but I actually ended up enjoying it a whole lot. But when that wrapped up after eight years, I decided that if I’m ever going to start my own practice, now’s the time to do it.”
“I knew I wanted to prosecute domestic violence cases. I wanted to help.” – Cindy Crick, attorney
At the start of June, Crick officially formed Cindy Crick Law, a firm whose primary practice areas echo what got Crick involved in law in the first place.
“When I was in college still studying biology, I worked for a shelter for battered women,” Crick said. “That’s what led me to law school; I knew I wanted to prosecute domestic violence cases. I wanted to help.”
During her years as assistant solicitor in Spartanburg, Crick ran the violence against women unit, covering sexual assaults, domestic violence and domestic homicide. She said it was only when she left, taking an eight-year sabbatical of sorts in the political world, that she realized how much of her work was impacting her overall outlook.
“When I left it really hit me: This impacts everything you do,” Crick said. “Now if you ask my 11-year-old son, he will say to my husband and I, ‘You guys are way too protective!’”
But as much as she appreciated a reprieve from working closely with women in their darkest moments, she found the desire to help outshone that darkness.
“You can’t change what happened,” Crick said. “But when you’re dealing with someone who’s been traumatized, everything you say and everything you do can be approached in a way that’s less traumatic — to make sure that the process they’re going through isn’t traumatizing them even more.”
Crick focuses her practice on Title IX and student conduct issues, government and internal investigation and criminal matters.