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SEO Head: Jane Hauser, black widow attorney

After a draining divorce and the death of two husbands, attorney Jane Hauser still had
enough drive to overcome social norms and complete her goal of being a lawyer.

Print Head: Overcoming divorce, death with determination


Maryland attorneys drive to overcome obstacles led her to law school
The United States in the 1940s promoted societal gender roles. Women stayed at
home to take care of domestic needs, while men worked to provide for the family
financially. Women maintained the household by cleaning, preparing meals and tending
to the children. Not all women had the mindset to be the perfect
housewife though. Jane Hauser, born in 1947, knew she wanted to
go to college and join the workforce and nothing was going to hold
her back. Janes idea contradicted the role society had for women
back then because women rarely went to college or worked.
Hausers mother was a secretary, so Jane knew the life of a
workingwomen was feasible. However, Hauser did not realize she
would have to overcome social norms, divorce and the death of
two husbands before she became a lawyer and started her own law

Jane Hauser now has her


own law firm in Maryland
after facing several
challenges. Photo credit
Jane Hauser.

firm.
At the age of seventeen, my mother told me I would be a good lawyer, said
Hauser. Hauser knew she could not accomplish becoming a lawyer unless she went to
college. Soon after her 1965 high school graduation, she found a job working for a loan
company helping with second trust mortgage loans. What made this job perfect for
Hauser was not only was she working, but also her employer, Leon F. Mezero, paid for
her tuition.

Changing Roles
After only working for Mezero for a year, Hauser became a full time accountant.
She completed her two-year degree and was accountant for the loan company for over
five years until she got married to her first husband, Bill Cossa and became pregnant. Her
role immediately transformed once she had her daughter Elle. Hauser became the
housewife that stayed at home with her daughter. When her daughter was around five,
Hauser was eager to get back to working again.
Even though she loved spending time with her daughter, her business side made
her impatient to get back into working again. Hauser began working with her husband as
an accountant for their dry cleaner business. The couple owned seven dry cleaners. While
working at the cleaners Jane took classes at community college and got her paralegal
certificate in 1977. Hauser still kept the goal of being a lawyer in mind though she was
still working as an accountant. Hauser remained business partners with Cossa even after
his infidelity led to their divorce in 1979.
Double Death
Shortly after she married a man named Al
Phillips at the end of 1979. At this time she was still
working at the cleaners. In 1986, Phillips died at the age
of 45 from a massive stoke. The divorce was harder
than the death because of the betrayal and lack of trust,
Hauser said. A divorce has fault while death is
unintentional.

Janes Tips for Overcoming


Obstacles:
1. Stay positive- everything
happens for a reason
2. Never lose focus of the
goal
3. Work hard- it pays off

While still recovering from both the divorce and death, in 1990 Hauser went to
her 25th high school reunion and met a man named John Hauser. In 1992, John became
Janes third and current husband.
At the same time, the dry cleaner business was not making money. The more
they made, the more he spent, Jane said about Cossa, her ex-husband and business
partner. The business was in debt. Hauser made the decision in 1994 to sell her interest in
the company to pay off the debt. After ending the business partnership, Jane maintained
paying life insurance on Cossa.
I told Jane that Bill was going to drop into a coma and she would be wasting
money on keeping life insurance on that man, said John Hauser.
In 1997, Hausers first husband Bill Cossa died from a sudden heart attack. At the
time of Cossas death Hauser was working for Falpak Advertising and interning in the
courthouse. Hausers love for law resurfaced while working in the Circuit Court for
Prince George County. Hauser eventually collected the life insurance and saw her dream
of being a lawyer become a possibility.
Road to law school
Hauser now possessed the funds to afford law school. What Hauser did not have
was a four-year degree. Im going to find a way, was Hausers motto. She quit her
courthouse job and attended Strayer College to be on the fast track to graduate in May
1998. Hausers hard work paid off and she was one step closer to becoming a lawyer
when she was accepted to University of Marylands Law School in the fall of 1998.

Three years later in 2001, Hauser graduated UMd law school as the oldest in her
graduating class at 53. Hauser graduated with no loans because of the life insurance she
received after her husband Cossas death. Everything fell into place, said Hauser about
her journey to become a lawyer. Hauser worked in a law firm for six years until she
branched out to the bigger goal, of owning her own practice.
Accomplished life goals
No matter what obstacle came in her way, Jane Hauser had a plan in mind to be a
lawyer and nothing was going to prevent her from completing this goal. Her
determination helped her overcome social norms, a divorce, and the deaths of two
husbands. Now Hauser is a successful businesswoman with her own law firm while being
happily married and traveling the world. Hauser said, My success came from me not
being afraid of defying societal roles or being my own business owner because I knew
these people were no smarter than I was.

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