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A few encouraging words helped change the tune for music teacher

By Brian Cox

Six words changed the course of Terisa Shoremount’s life.

She had just finished being deposed as part of a lawsuit concerning the condition of a house she and her husband had bought, and her attorney was so struck by the way she handled the deposition that he made a suggestion.

“You should really be a lawyer,” he said. “I think you’d be good at it.”

At the time, Shoremount was in her 30s, raising two kids and working at three different stables taking care of other people’s show horses. The thought of being a lawyer had never crossed her mind – until then.

She took a leap of faith and decided to go to law school, around 15 years after earning an undergraduate degree in music education. She chose to attend Widener University Delaware Law School, in part because it was only a 45-minute commute. 

The COVID-19 pandemic hit soon after she started and she was able to attend classes via Zoom from home, which “was great for me.” The transition back to school was not as difficult as she thought it might be. For one, she didn’t have any of the social pressures her younger classmates were under. And two, she had her experience as a musician and music teacher to draw on.

2024 July 09 - Weekly Member Feature - Terisa Shoremount - Gettysburg
Terisa Shoremount with her husband, Michael, and their two children, Maggie and John, on a trip to Gettysburg, Pa. last summer.

“Music set me up well for law school,” she says. “In music, you work on what you don’t know. You have to fix the problem. It’s the same thing in studying law – you have to figure out what you don’t know and then figure out how you’re going to know it.”

Born and raised in eastern Pennsylvania, Shoremount grew up on her family’s horse farm, tending to the thoroughbreds and spending nights at area racetracks. Except for early mornings and late nights, she says it was a world far different from the world of law. But it did prepare her for the necessary resilience and tenacity a career in law demands.

When it came time for college, Shoremount was ready for something different from the equestrian realm.

Having played the alto and bass clarinets in middle school and the euphonium in the high school marching band, she decided to study music education at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. It was there she met her husband, Michael, who was also studying to be a music teacher.

Shoremount taught high school band for a few years after college. She and her husband had the opportunity to teach marching band and indoor drum line together. Michael occasionally sings the National Anthem and “God Bless America” at Philadelphia Phillies games. The couple have two children, Maggie, 13, and John, 11.

It was after having kids that Shoremount felt it was time to stay home. She left teaching and returned to taking care of horses.

“I can’t get away from the horses,” she laughs. “They always find their way back. It’s part of who I am.”

Before and during the summer after her first year of law school, Shoremount worked for the attorney who first suggested she study law. In her third year, she served as a Wolcott Fellow to Justice Gary F. Traynor of the Delaware Supreme Court.

“That was an amazing experience,” she says. “It really helped develop my writing.”

She wasn’t certain what kind of law she wanted to practice, but she had a clear understanding of what areas of law she didn’t want to work in. 

Because of her ties to Delaware, it’s no surprise that corporate and fiduciary litigation drew her attention. Shoremount currently splits her practice between litigating will and trust matters and corporate and fiduciary matters. She enjoys the writing, specifically distilling and weaving facts together to tell her clients’ stories.

Shoremount, who also is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania, joined the Delaware law firm of McCollom D'Emilio Smith Uebler LLC in 2022 and is approaching her third year in the Corporate Litigation Department. The firm’s litigation department represents corporate and individual clients for will and trust contests and corporate and commercial litigation matters.

2024 July 09 - Weel;y Member Feature - Terisa Shoremount - Horses in field
Attorney Terisa Shoremount grew up on a horse farm and now has two horses of her own: Star and a pony named Flower.
2024 July 09 - Weekly Member Feature - Terisa Shoremount - sidesaddle with forest
Terisa riding sidesaddle on a horse named Forest, earning her second place at the Devon Horse Show, the oldest and largest outdoor multi-breed horse competition in the United States.

“When I was looking for the right firm, I always looked to see if there was a woman partner and if the firm hired other women,” says Shoremount. “I also liked that the partners where I am at now have kids.”

While Shoremount no longer has time to care for other people’s horses, the family has their own. Along with horses, Shoremount’s family keeps chickens and gardens on their 11-1/2 acres outside of Oxford, Pa. There is a lot of tending to be done, and Shoremount says it reflects how she was raised and how she lives her life.