Hillary Hunt’s hands were still shaking and stained red from the blood when she walked into the Morehead State University counselor’s office. It had been a long day, to say the least. Rewind just a few hours back, though, and life was just peachy for Hillary. She was a happy college student on track to be a veterinarian, her dream job, and her hands were clean. But there she stood in that office, angry and a little confused, with soiled hands, about to make a decision that would change her life forever.
When God wants us to change direction, He’s rarely subtle. Since we so often wander and stray from His will, the events in life that divert our path back to Him have to get our attention. For Hillary, God got her attention on a farm, and it was an animal science class that diverted her path.
“They don’t feel pain,” the instructor assured Hilary about the piglet in front of her. Hillary didn’t believe him, but failing to perform the reproductive health procedure meant that she would fail the class, and Hilary does not like to fail. This is the same girl who would finish all her undergraduate courses in three years. Failure was not an option.
So, Hillary’s partner held the pig upside down and Hillary made the incision. Without getting too graphic, let’s just say there were some anomalies in the pig’s biology that made the barn look like a scene out of Charlotte’s Web starring Carrie. It wasn’t good. And for someone who loves animals, like Hillary, it was traumatizing. Enough so that she wasted no time barging into that counselor’s office to change her career path.
They say everything happens for a reason. Now, there are many things in Hillary’s life that flowed downstream from the pig incident, but two of the biggest are her career change and her marriage, and they both go hand in hand. After Hillary’s dreams of being a veterinarian washed away, she switched to political science. From there, she went into law.
Hillary and her husband Nick met the same way Hillary and Bill Clinton did — in a law school library — and the similarities of their first encounters would have continued if the first thing Hillary Rodham did to Bill was snap at him. The truth is that Nick did interrupt an important conversation Hillary was having with a friend, leaving her no choice but to quickly dismiss him.
Dejected, but not defeated, Nick was still determined to get to know Hillary. The joke today is that Nick stalked Hillary after the library incident, but many would argue that Nick just got a little creative. Some may better describe his efforts as romantically strategic.
Through a mutual friend, Nick learned that Hillary was a Cincinnati Reds fan who, after a recent break-up, joked that she’d only date professional baseball players from that point on. Nick, having played baseball in college, thought maybe that was close enough.
So, Nick had their mutual friend invite Hillary to Nick’s birthday party. He picked a night the Reds were playing, betting that Hillary would gravitate toward a TV that happened to be tuned into the game. Sure enough, when Hillary arrived, she went right to the game and sat down on the couch. And that’s when Nick sat down next to her, introduced himself, and they talked about baseball until they got married.
The baseball angle was clever because of how important sports are to Hillary. She ran track in high school and college, but will be the first to admit her athletic dominance equalized at the college level among Division One competition. In high school, however, she had quite the heyday. Her 4×4 team was almost unbeatable, and she won the state championship with a high jump of five feet, four inches.
The sports fanatic in Hillary almost earned her a career as a sports agent, until her inner advocate got the best of her during her last year of law school.
“I thought it would be fun being a sports agent going to games and meeting different people, but in the end, I wanted to do something more meaningful.”
It was during a family law class that something clicked in Hillary. The feeling was reminiscent of when she was on track to be a veterinarian. Her desire to make a difference and help others had reemerged, only this time instead of being a voice for animals, it would be children and families.
“Family court is in the trenches of law. You’re dealing with people’s lives during some of their hardest times. I really like being able to think that my help in the system positively influenced somebody’s life.”
Today, you’ll most likely find Hillary re-reading a Harry Potter book next to Nick and their dog, Piper. Nick is probably writing his next law review article, and will occasionally recruit Hillary to help him with research. It’s funny to think of the three of them sitting there together, knowing that if it weren’t for a pig and his cosmic anomaly, they’d be total strangers.
Hillary is a member of the Family Law Group, where her practice focuses on a wide range of family law problems, including contested and uncontested divorces, complex child custody arrangements, and family law appeals.
She is a 2016 graduate of NKU Chase College of Law and earned her BA in Political Science from NKU in three years. In college, she was a member of the Track and Field Team, a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority, and Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society. During law school, she was a member of the Negotiation Team, Mentor/Mentee Program, and participated in the Children’s Law Clinic based in Covington, KY.
Prior to joining Graydon, Hillary worked as a Staff Attorney to family law Judge Lisa Hart Morgan in Scott, Bourbon, and Woodford Counties. During her time with Judge Morgan, she drafted orders, researched cases, and reviewed cases for Judge Morgan’s daily docket. After working with Judge Morgan, she was offered a position with Judge Glenn Acree at the Kentucky Court of Appeals. It was there she developed a love for appellate work. Working for Judge Acree allowed Hillary to work on a wide variety of complex cases that challenged her intellectually and gave her a love of the law. During that time, she read appellate briefs, drafted opinions, and researched. Those experiences working side-by-side with judges is invaluable and allows her to effectively represent clients today.