Merideth Nagel’s passion for practicing law began when she saw firsthand how her uncle, the late Senator Richard Langley, made a positive and tangible difference in people’s lives through his work as a lawyer. “My mother was a working mom, and growing up my after school care was working in Uncle Dick’s law office. I would empty the trash cans, I would do filing.” says Nagel. “Over those years I saw countless people coming in with a legal problem and Langley could solve it, or an important question that he would be able to answer. I thought to myself, ‘This is what I want to do. I want to be able to really help people as they go through difficult times.’ It all started because I started emptying the trash cans in my uncle’s law office.”
After graduating from law school with honors in 1996, Nagel begin working with Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente, often staying up late into the night to keep up with the workload. “Pariente taught me so much about how to understand the law, and more importantly its impact on people. Law is not just an esoteric force, it impacts every single person over the course of their lives.” says Nagel. “In that way she reiterated why I originally wanted to be a lawyer. She was teaching me that our work is bigger than the law, it’s about how the law can change people’s lives.”
After gaining experience and expertise working with big name clients like Boston Market, Firestone Tires, and McDonalds as an attorney at the international law firm Holland & Knight, Nagel knew she needed to go back to her roots in Clermont. “When I started my own firm in 2005, I knew I wanted to work locally and build up our community. Instead of having Boston Market as a client, I had smaller mom and pop businesses.” says Nagel. “I love it, because I can fight for my clients’ legal needs but also be there for them on a personal level. I can walk alongside them and support them during their difficult time. This is what brings me the most joy and happiness: bringing that human element, being there for the local client.”
In 2010, Ms. Nagel’s passion for law came full circle as her original mentor, Senator Richard Langley, joined her own law firm after he had retired his own practice. “He worked with me until he passed away. There’s several times a week I think about Dick Langley, and what Dick Langley would do.” confides Nagel. Since 2005, Nagel and the staff at Merideth Nagel P.A. have been guided by the famous words of Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world.” Nagel runs her business dedicated to the belief that through hard work and caring for people, she can change the world, one client at a time.