Heather Shoemaker Wyoming: Three Au Pairs

Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming practiced law out of her home for about six months after leaving The Law Offices of Vernon Dill in late 2007. By the middle of 2007 she had found a suitable office to rent in downtown Cheyenne, and she hung out her shingle there on August 1.

Her husband Jeremy was working as a software engineer on a contract basis at the time, and he too was working from home. “That was a really good period,” Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming recalls today. “Not very workable, because it’s better for my practice if I have an established commercial office of my own. But it was nice that we were just a shout away from each other for those six months or so.”

Heather Shoemaker Wyoming

Heather Shoemaker Wyoming

Jeremy has since begun working for a startup called Flat Mountain Solutions, where he is the head software engineer. He and his colleagues work long hours trying to keep the struggling company afloat. Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming also works long hours in her law practice, and so the two have had no choice but to take on help in caring for their three young children. They have had three au pairs since their oldest child Celeste was born in early 2006. The first two, Jennifer and Melinda, were both from England, and the third, Rita, is from Germany.

Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming says all three young women became like members of the family. Each has cared for the children and done light housework in exchange for room board, and a small salary. It was hard on the kids when Jennifer and Melinda had to finally return home, Heather says, adding that it will probably be the same when Rita leaves. By then she says she hopes to have another arrangement for the kids. “But maybe not. The au pair program works for us.”


Heather Shoemaker Wyoming: Cheyenne Frontier Days

Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming has lived in Cheyenne for about ten years now. Originally from Midlothian, Texas, she moved to the Cowboy State after enrolling in the University of Wyoming. After graduation she went on to study law at UW’s College of Law, where she received her degree in 2004. Along the way she met and married Jeremy K. Wilson, a software engineer and proud Wyoming native with no intention of living anywhere else.

By then, Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming had fallen in love with the Cowboy State, which as a lawyer specializing in civil rights law, she prefers to call The Equality State, another of its nicknames. Ten years, three children, and many house payments later, Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming is fully acclimated to Wyoming, and like her husband has no desire to be anywhere else.

Heather Shoemaker Wyoming

Heather Shoemaker Wyoming

As residents of Cheyenne, Heather and Jeremy look forward to the annual Cheyenne Frontier Days, held in Cheyenne every year since 1897. The Cheyenne Frontier Days draws some two hundred thousand visitors each summer, who enjoy outdoor rodeos and the celebration of cowboy culture. The Cheyenne Frontier Days spread over ten days each July, and Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming says that it is almost non-stop activity from start to finish.

“One of the things that Jeremy likes about Frontier Days is the fact that there is a Jack Kerouac connection,” says Heather Shoemaker. Jack Kerouac is the celebrated author of On the Road and other novels. “He mentions the Frontier Days about thirty pages into On the Road. That was back in the 1940s that he was here, and he just happened to be passing through when – well, when he was on the road. But he wrote about it in his book. And Jeremy thinks that’s pretty cool.”

Heather Shoemaker Wyoming: All About Saddles

Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming is a veteran attorney who has been in practice in Cheyenne since 2004. She is married and the mother of three children, and whenever she can get away from her practice enjoys horseback riding.

Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming says she is not a particularly skilled at riding, and calls herself an intermediate rider. And yet she has been around horses for most of her life. “I grew up absolutely horse crazy,” she recalls. Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming was born and raised in Midlothian, Texas, a small town about half an hour from Dallas. Midlothian bills itself as the Cement Capital of Northern Texas, but there is a long horse tradition there too.

Heather Shoemaker Wyoming

Heather Shoemaker Wyoming

As a child, Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming preferred riding western style, but as she got older she switched to dressage, which is sometimes referred to as English riding. Both styles of riding, she says, have saddles that were designed for both comfort and security. But the two types of saddle have very little in common other than stirrups and being made of leather.

“The Western saddle, of course, was designed for cowboys,” says Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming. “And cowboys spend long days riding the range, especially the old time cowboys. Western saddles are a lot heavier than English saddles. But they are bigger, too, and the weight of the saddle and rider together is spread over a larger area on the back of the horse. And that makes it less strenuous for the horse.” The most obvious feature of the western saddle, she continues, is the horn, which is used in herding cattle.

English saddles, on the other hand, offer riders a closer contact with the horse’s back. They are a lot lighter than Western saddles, and Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming says now that she has been using one for so long, she thinks they are a lot more comfortable.

Heather Shoemaker Wyoming: Legal Doodling

Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming is a Cheyenne attorney who specializes in civil rights and criminal law. She practices out of an office in the downtown area.

Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming is also a skilled artist. She has had some instruction during her life but for the most part is self-taught. Heather Shoemaker is good enough to have had many of her drawings displayed in a local gallery, including a show that she called “Legal Doodling.”

Heather Shoemaker Wyoming

Heather Shoemaker Wyoming

“It really was just a lot of doodles, but the gallery owner really liked them,” she says. Heather Shoemaker says that she is a compulsive doodler. “When I’m on the phone, when I’m interviewing a client, and especially when I’m in court,” she says with a laugh. And with the help of a curator at the Flat Mountain Gallery on Front Street, she selected fifty sketches for “Legal Doodling.” The framed collection, several of which have already been sold, opened in early 2014.

And sure enough, each of the sketches is on paper from an 8×14 inch yellow legal pad. A few of them were done in black ink, but most of the sketches are in an ordinary #2 pencil. “That’s the same as an HB pencil,” she says, naming a medium hard, common sketch pencil.

The drawings in “Legal Doodling” range from simple sketches to more complex drawings that feature a lot of detail, including extensive shading achieved through a technique called cross-hatching. “Those were slow days in court,” laughs Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming. There are portraits of judges and jurors, opposing counsel, and court officials like bailiffs. There are no sketches of defendants, however. She has sketches numerous defendants – she says she sketches just about everything, and almost always has a pocket sized sketchbook with her – but felt it would be wrong to include them in “Legal Doodling.”

Heather Shoemaker Wyoming: Civil Rights Cases

Heather Shoemaker Wyoming (22)Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming has been practicing law for about ten years now. She attended the University of Wyoming College of Law and received her Juris Doctorate early in 2004. She was admitted to the Wyoming bar that same year, and joined the Law Offices of Vernon Dill as an Associate.


Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming left Vernon Dill at the end of 2006, and after practicing out of her home for about six months opened a small law office in downtown Cheyenne. She specializes in criminal and civil rights law. “I never feel more American than when I have a civil rights case,” she says. “There’s a lot of discrimination in the world ­– there always has been and I guess there always will be. So when I am able to do something about it, well – it’s a good feeling.”

Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming has most often represented civil rights cases involving race discrimination, sexual harassment, and fair housing, but has also had a few cases of discrimination in employment and false arrest. “There are only certain rights protected under civil rights laws, of course,” she says. “Sometimes what might appear to be a violation of your rights turns out to be perfectly legal. Unethical, perhaps, and immoral. But still legal. So they wouldn’t form the basis for a civil rights case.”

One case that came to her office recently involved a wheelchair-bound man who said he was denied housing in a local apartment building because the landlord didn’t want to have a tenant who was in a wheelchair. “It turned out the landlord was afraid he would have to make all sorts of renovations to the place to accommodate my client, like ramps. He wouldn’t have been required to do any of that, but he was required to rent to my client, who was a qualified applicant.” Heather Shoemaker of Wyoming won the case, and her client was allowed to rent the apartment, although as it turned out he had found another place by the time he case was resolved.