Just like many of the “2017 Faces of Newton County” honorees, local attorney Hillary Edgar is a Newton County transplant who has a passion for serving the community she now calls home.
Edgar, originally from Statesboro, attended Agnes Scott College for her undergraduate degree in history before pursuing her law degree at Georgia State University.
“I was a history major in college and when you’re a history major in college you basically get two different questions: ‘Are you going into teaching?’ or ‘Are you going into law?’ and I was headed absolutely into teaching, wanted to be a college professor and my senior year in college I sat in on a lecture talking about human rights of all things – which has nothing to do with what I’m doing now of course, only indirectly – it was sort of the first time that it dawned on me that helping people would suit me more than teaching,” she said.
Out of law school, Edgar worked with firms in Atlanta, but wanted a smaller town setting that was still close to the city to call home. She accepted a job in Covington and moved to the community in 2005. She started in her current position, as a partner with Alexander Royston, LLP at the beginning of 2013.
Edgar loves to watch her clients move forward and be successful, whether it is getting past a difficult situation in their life, or acquiring or starting a business, while she also enjoys being able to continue her education constantly through reading, writing and researching case materials.
“I feel like I’ve had a lot of opportunities, and I’ve worked extremely hard to build up those opportunities and I feel like because I have been given a lot I think that I have an obligation to return that as a member of this community,” she said.
Outside of work, Edgar’s life revolves around family. Married to Chris Edgar, Alcovy High School football coach and another “2017 Faces of Newton County” honoree, she splits her time between cheering on the Tigers on Friday nights and her eight-year-old daughter’s many activities, which include soccer and involvement in the Newton County Arts Association.
Edgar is involved in many civic organizations throughout the county, but said it all started with her experience in Leadership Newton.
“It (Leadership Newton) gave me the opportunity to see the community fully,” she said. “Armed with that experience and knowledge, it was impossible not to get involved. Because I saw the need, I sought opportunities, which came for me in Kiwanis, on the Chamber Board and in the other organizations with which I work and volunteer. And this year, I’m excited to be a part of helping the school system actively tackle literacy and poverty awareness as a Board member of the Newton Education Foundation.
“For me, sitting idly by and not helping, in the ways that I can, is not an option.”
Edgar encourages everyone to get involved in community outreach.
“The more voices the better off we all will be and the more voices in productive ways that’s even better,” she said. “We’ve got a lot of involved people at times, but we need their input in constructive ways.
“There’s a lot of people who volunteer for the same things, and while that’s a good thing and I’m happy to do what I do, more voices are better. There are plenty of opportunities and there’s plenty of need.”
One of the things Edgar noticed when she moved to Newton County in 2005 was how progressive of a small town it was.
“I think since we’ve been here, in the 12 years now, that first impression has been true and has continued,” she said.
“I truly love Covington and I truly love Newton County and I can’t imagine living essentially my entire married life and being a mother and working has all been in Covington. This place is amazing and we are on the outskirts of Atlanta, the way that we are, the economy the way that it is, there are so many changes that are coming, we’ve got to retain our identity but balance that growth. We’re going to need people to help us do that and we’re going to need people to help us lift up everybody in the county through that process.”