During my recent business meeting with Attorney Shannon N. Davis, she shared why it’s time to turn up your voice and be heard. She’s smart, educated, outspoken and a go-getter. Read more about her purpose to MAXIMIZE your voice.
Share who you are to the readers?
I am Shannon N. Davis, Esq. I wear many hats, as I am an attorney, mediator, real state professional, artist, and educator. Suffice it to say that I consider myself a renaissance woman whose purpose is to Maximize Your Voice! That is, to recognize individual needs and interests, give ear to them, and determine a way to make them heard.
Tell us about our firm and what you do.
I am the founder and managing attorney at The Law Office of Shannon N. Davis, P.A., d/b/a MYV Law Firm. At MYV Law firm, we provide specialized and creative business, real estate, entertainment, and mediation services. By employing the Four E’s (educate, empower, enable, and equip), MYV Law Firm seeks to provide tailored representation that increases the volume of each client’s individual voice, and brings resolution to said client’s specific legal matter.
What advice would you give to female college students about the opportunities for women in the legal profession?
I would tell the women of our future three things: (i) never limit yourself, (ii) take advantage of the resources that will assist you in achieving your own definition of greatness, and (iii) be the greatness that you already know you are.
Never Limit Yourself: Believe it or not, the legal profession is full of traditional (lawyer, paralegal, judge, court reporter) and non-traditional (software developer, coach, author/writer, stylist) opportunities. Women have uncanny skills of flexibility and adaptability, and we don’t have to be pigeonholed into what we are expected to do. We get to choose our own path, be it a suggestion of popular opinion, or the unchartered journey that doesn’t appeal to the masses.
Utilize Your Resources: Beyond the fact that we are not restricted in our career choices, there are resources that provide us with education and empowerment; take advantage of those resources and apply them to life. Find peers, mentors, books, podcasts, seminars, webinars, classes, and retreats that speak to your life’s goals, and utilize them.
Just Be: Though that small phrase seems so simple, it is extremely powerful. It’s not enough that we know how spectacular we are, we’ve got to make moves and actually be spectacular. Don’t get stuck in the fear of failure or success; just be. Don’t be so distracted by the inclination to compare yourself to others; just be.
What would you suggest to legal firms that are interested in retaining and advancing more qualified female staff?
I believe that law firms interested in retaining and advancing more qualified female staff, should make sure they address practices or policies that affect diversity and inclusion. Further, the firms should promote an environment that makes women know and feel that they are invited to the table, to join in the conversation and to make major decisions.
Why did you choose to work in – and stay in – the legal field?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been outspoken, a seeker of education, and an advocate for others. When I submitted my application to law school, intent on becoming a lawyer, the decision was easy; it seemed to fit like a perfectly broken in pair of shoes. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my share of doubt, as to whether the legal field is really for me. One moment that I will never forget happened when I was in my second year of law school. I was mentally exhausted and sitting on the couch at my grandma’s house. She filled up her foot bath and told me to soak my feet. Now, anyone who knows my grandma, knows that this was a treat for me. As I allowed my head and body to sink into the comfort of the couch, and began to feel my stress melt into the foot bath, I asked “Why did I do this?” As I looked to my grandma for comfort, it seemed as if a light switch was immediately turned on in her mind, and she stood up and left the room. When she returned, she handed me a letter. As I read the words “I want to be a doctor, a lawyer, and a baker”, I didn’t realize the letter was my six-year-old prophesy of my own future until I got to the end and saw my name and the year. My grandma proceeded to tell me “you put it in the atmosphere; you’re supposed to do it.” I remember that letter and those words whenever I question the “why”. This is part of what I’m meant to do to fulfill my purpose in this life. I’m outspoken, a seeker of education, and an advocate for others, and I love it.
What book(s), blog(s), and podcast do you recommend?
As I previously stated, I believe we should utilize any and all resources available to us and applicable to our needs and goals. I enjoy and recommend podcasts such as “Woman Evolve with Sarah Jakes Roberts” and “Wealthy Woman Lawyer”.
What changes do you foresee in the legal profession of the near future (3-5 years)?
Besides the fact I believe that there will be an increase in women legal profession, I also believe that there will be an increase in virtual law firms. Further, I believe there will be an influx of young professionals joining the profession and working their way into positions that allow them to make changes in politics.
How do you see yourself participating in shaping the future of the Legal profession?
I intend to participate in shaping the future of the legal profession by (i) encouraging the profession to take on the flexibility and adaptability that I previously mentioned are skills that women instinctively have, (ii) continuing to provide resources, education, and mentorship, and (iii) seeking opportunities for reform and to advocate for the underserved and underrepresented.
Describe how mentorship has helped shape the direction or focus of your professional life.
By definition, a mentor is an experienced or trusted advisor. What’s so beautiful about having mentors is the ability to learn from the successes and failures of others. I’ve been blessed to be mentored by people with far more experience than me; some that I asked to mentor me, and others that became mentors as our relationship and trust level evolved. Having mentors has been my lifeline in practice and in entrepreneurship, as it has helped me to overcome some obstacles without having to faceplant first, lay on the ground until the dramatic emphasis is no longer effective, get up, dust myself off and try again.
Please share a personal rule or principle that you follow.
A personal rule that I follow is: Can’t is not a part of my vocabulary. I can. Just be.
How can the viewers reach you?
Contributing Writer – Dr. Cozette M. White, Advisory Accountant and Tax Expert. Learn more about Dr. Cozette M. White at www.cozettemwhite.com.
All images by Leah Rae Photography