Plan. Protect. Pass It On.

Rizza Palmares O’Connor

Rizza Palmares O'Connor
  • Partner

Practice Areas:

  • Real Estate
  • Estate Planning
  • Small Business Law
  • Probate & Trust Administration


Rizza Palmares O'Connor loves people and seeks to help them live their best lives. Rizza focuses her practice in real estate, estate planning, and small business law. As an avid community volunteer and leader, Rizza believes that strong families create a strong community. Her desire is to help families and business owners create plans and solutions that advance their interests while also protecting their assets. A primary asset many families own is their home or real estate, and Rizza walks clients through the home-buying process and handling cash and loan real estate closings. Beyond the purchase or financing of a family home or business property, Rizza personally engages with her clients to ensure that their homes, families, and businesses are in legal order. Rizza served as the Chief Magistrate Judge of Toombs County for eight years, and during that time she witnessed the pain and suffering of many people who lack order in their lives. As a lawyer, Rizza's goal is to identify ways that her clients can plan to avoid conflict, loss of wealth, and lost peace of mind. People who prioritize implementing solutions like those offered by Rizza are able to more easily live without the fear of what would happen to them or their loved ones if they died or became disabled.

"For many people, getting their legal house in order is intimidating because they don't know where to start," Rizza says, "but it doesn't have to be that way." At our law firm we coach clients to avoid pitfalls that will hurt their family. Failing to plan with a caring legal professional is frequently a plan to make your life and your family's life more difficult in the future."

Rizza recently joined the firm after ten years in public service, having served as the Toombs County Chief Magistrate Court Judge for eight years after more than two years as an Assistant District Attorney. She also has extensive experience in leadership positions with the State Bar of Georgia, including being a past president of the Young Lawyers Division. Rizza has worked with lawyers all over the State of Georgia to improve the delivery of legal services to various communities.

A native of Savannah, Rizza was born to Filipino immigrants who built a life in the United States from scratch. Her parents made significant sacrifices to enable Rizza to get the best education. She attended Calvary Day School through the twelfth grade. To this day, she maintains a great love for Savannah and visits often. After high school, Rizza attended Mercer University for her undergraduate studies and then Mercer University's Walter F. George School of Law. While at Mercer, Rizza served as the Student Bar Association President. She remains connected and serves on Mercer Law School's Board of Alumni. One of her favorite experiences at Mercer was studying abroad at Oxford, England, for a year, which experience has resulted in her passion for travel and exploration today.

Rizza has resided in Vidalia since 2011 where she now lives with her husband, Daniel, and children, Judson and Evie. Rizza enjoys bringing people together, particularly through events and parties. Rizza and Daniel take seriously their responsibility to raise children who will remember where they came from and who will be curious and proactive about ways they can positively affect their world in the future. On the light side, Rizza also likes everything Disney, feel good movies and TV shows, and playing practical jokes on her friends.


  • Mercer University, Walter F. George School of Law, Macon, Georgia
    • Juris Doctor - 2007
    • Honors: Student Bar Association, President
    • Honors: Wall Street Journal Student Achievement Award
  • Mercer University, Macon, Georgia
    • Honors: cum laude
    • Honors: Tift College Scholar
    • Honors: Spright Dowell Leadership Award
    • Major: Business Administration

Bar Admissions

  • Georgia (all state courts)


  • Best Under 40, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
  • Inaugural Young Alumni Council Volunteer of the Year Award, Mercer University School of Law
  • On the Rise 14 Under 40, Georgia Legal Awards by the Daily Report of ALM Media
  • 25 Most Influential Asian Americans in Georgia, Georgia Asian Times
  • The Thomas Sewell Plunkeet Young Alumna Award, The National Alumni Association of Mercer University

Professional Associations

  • Greater Vidalia Leadership Program, Co-Chair
  • Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University, Board of Alumni
  • Administrative Office of the Courts, Strategic Planning Committee
  • Leadership Georgia - Class of 2020 - 2021
  • State Bar of Georgia, Young Lawyers Division, Past President
  • Cornerstone Children's Center Board of Directors, Past Chair
  • Kiwanis Club of Vidalia, Member

Professional Experience

  • Toombs County, Chief Magistrate Judge, 2013 to 2021
  • Middle Judicial Circuit, Assistant District Attorney, 2011 to 2013