Sometimes our families and mentors know us better than we know ourselves, and admitting that can be a challenge. But for Paige Navarro, finally taking the advice of mentors and her father in particular, it led to a career path that she truly enjoys and is using to give back to the community she’s always called home.
Navarro, 32, the daughter of Mike and Jill Boykin, is a graduate of Statesboro High School and a Double Dawg, with an undergraduate degree in Family and Consumer Sciences earned in 2011 and a law degree completed in 2014, both from the University of Georgia.
Navarro’s plan when she headed off to college was to become a teacher — something she had always wanted to do.
“In my teenage years, I had many mentors tell me I should be a lawyer, but I had never truly considered it. I always focused on my great desire to be a teacher, but I started student teaching in Athens and realized very quickly I needed to choose another path. I remember calling my Daddy after a particularly rough day at the middle school and he reiterated I really needed to go to law school,” she said.
Class registration for the next semester was that very day — so she didn’t have long to weigh her options.
“I immediately changed my major, and the rest is history. It turns out my Daddy’s intuition was right!” she said.
Upon graduation from law school in 2014, Navarro returned to Statesboro and was working full-time for what was then Hall Law Group P.C. She also worked as a waitress at Loco’s on the weekends — which is where she “re-met” her husband, Daniel.
“Daniel and I actually went to high school together — he ended up going to Bible Baptist his senior year, but before that we attended Statesboro High at the same time,” she said.
Daniel was playing music at local spots like Locos, Eagle Creek Brewery, Gnats and was the host of open-mic night on Tuesdays at Locos.
“I must not have made much of an impression in school, because when I spoke to him at a gig, he didn’t even know who I was! We bonded over our love of music and Braves baseball and eventually began dating. We got married in 2017,” she said, smiling.
Daniel is working as a machinist at Automation Systems & Controls Inc. in Ellabell and plays music on the side. He plays at some of his favorite local spots but concentrates on private parties and corporate events.
The couple enjoys outdoor activities like boating and camping together and they love spending time with their fur baby, a mini Australian Shepard named Annie.
Navarro also enjoys listening to religious and leadership podcasts/audiobooks.
“I consistently follow the sermons of Northpoint Community Church, as well as the podcasts ‘entreleadership’ and “The Game Changing Attorney,’” she said.
She likes to listen to audiobooks while working out or cooking and currently is listening to “The Aspiring Leader’s Guide to the Future,” by Clay Scroggins.
During her time at University of Georgia, Navarro was a member of the Kappa Delta Sorority and was a “sweetheart” for Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity.
“I managed a clothing boutique and also worked at my Daddy’s local business to put myself through college and law school. During my time in Athens, I was also certified as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and regularly volunteered at NASCAR events for the infamous ‘Speedway Children’s Charities,’” she added.
While still in law school, Navarro was an intern at the Jackson County Public Defender’s Office and was a summer associate at a private firm here in Bulloch County.
“I interviewed with Mike and Marth Hall in Effingham in December 2013. At the time, they only had a satellite office in Statesboro, but they had their eyes on growth,” she said.
Two weeks out of law school, she began working for the Halls.
In February 2015, they acquired an established bankruptcy practice in Statesboro.
“That’s when I began working primarily out of the Statesboro office and quickly began managing our consumer bankruptcy practice and growing my family law caseload,” she said.
In June 2018, Navarro became a partner in the firm, now officially named Hall & Navarro.
“Through my partnership with Mike and Martha, this firm has seen (and hopefully will continue to see) enormous growth. In 2020, we became very passionate about expanding into the middle judicial circuit (Emanuel, Candler, Toombs, Jefferson and Washington counties). We chose a historical storefront in downtown Swainsboro and opened our doors there in May 2021,” she said.
The firm has three offices: Springfield, Statesboro and Swainsboro. While Martha Hall primarily practices in Springfield, Navarro practices in both Statesboro and Swainsboro.
Because of Daniel’s musical talent and ambition, Navarro is also licensed to practice law in the state of Tennessee. At the time she chose to take the Tennessee Bar Exam, he was living in Nashville pursuing a music career. After they got married and she became partner at Hall & Navarro, Daniel decided to move back home.
But Navarro’s focus isn’t only about practicing law — it’s about changing things for her clients and community. She is currently the chairwoman for Leadership Bulloch, a division of the Statesboro-Bulloch County Chamber of Commerce and has served for six years as the president of the Bulloch County Bar Association.
“Professionally, my office has a strong relationship with the domestic violence shelters in Bulloch and Effingham counties. We are able to seek emergency protective orders for victims, as well as represent them during their divorce or custody cases. Typically, those services are offered ‘pro bono’ or at a significantly reduced rate,” she said.
Since the firm has three offices and five experience attorneys, they are “uniquely equipped to help these victims during these urgent situations.”
As Christians, Navarro and her business partners feel that because of their blessings, they should in turn, bless others.
“God has blessed our growing business in so many ways. Because we’ve been so blessed, we feel it’s our responsibility to also give back to our community financially,” Navarro said. “We’ve regularly sponsors mission trips, sneaker donation programs, and many events hosted by local nonprofit organizations. We also host an annual event (usually around Christmas) where our team members and their family can all fellowship and participate in a community service project.”
Despite a natural tendency to shy away from social interactions like small talk, Navarro’s favorite part of her job and volunteer work is the people.
“Not in the traditional sense… I absolutely love in-depth conversations with people I can learn from. I’ve represented farmers, business owners, bankers, teachers, political figures…you name it. And I love diving into conversations with them about their jobs, their families, and their aspirations,” she said.
Returning home to practice law has given Navarro the opportunity to remain close to her family, “re-meet” her husband but also to make an impact on the community in which she grew up.
“It really is a dream to be able to practice law in my hometown. I always say nobody ever wants to be in my office,” she said. “With the exception of adoptions, my clients are in the darkest times of their lives. I know that the services we’re providing will bring them peace and stability during a time when it may be tough to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Family law cases can be extremely difficult to be a part of for both clients and attorneys.
“The way we handle our clients’ cases has long-lasting positive impacts on their families, especially their children. It’s been rewarding to help so many friends, neighbors, and even family members get through their tough family law issue and come out so much better on the other side,” she said.
Navarro also says that a really cool part of the job is leading their team members.
“When I started, we employed three attorneys (including myself), and a handful of support staff,” she said. Now the firm employs 22 talented people.
“We spend a lot of time with each other outside of the office, and we all have strong connections even to our team’s spouses and children,” she added.
Hall & Navarro is focused on growing the company so that they can provide even better service to their clients.
“We’re focusing on better utilizing technology and becoming more efficient. We’ve been able to attract several talented team members this year, including two great associate attorneys,” Navarro said. It’s their hope that having more new talent will allow more expansion and the ability to help more people.
For a woman whose original plan was to become a teacher, Navarro has definitely started making a mark on Statesboro and Bulloch County through the career path that others pushed her towards. At only 32, her impact has already become evident to many in the community and it’s certain that she’ll continue to help clients in their time of need. In a way, Navarro’s original plan to become a teacher still came true — she’s just teaching fellow community members and employees how to make an impact on your community.