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VOL. 122 | NO. 218 | Thursday, November 15, 2007

Improving Legal Communication Tops List for New AWA Prez Myers

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Name: Shari Myers
Position: Attorney
Firm: The Myers Law Firm
Basics: Myers recently became president of the Association for Women Attorneys.
" ... The AWA has always had a wonderful tradition of giving back to the community as well as being a support system for other attorneys. I hope to continue this tradition, as well as improve communications between the legal community and the greater community at large."

- Shari Myers

Solo practitioner Shari Myers recently was passed the presidential gavel for the Association for Women Attorneys. She is the organization's 28th president, following Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. attorney Laurie L. Christensen in the position.

Myers said one of her goals is to improve communication among lawyers, the legal community and the greater public.

"Networking is one of the most valuable tools that lawyers have available to them," she said. "It is also important that lawyers and the judiciary listen to the general public, thus ensuring that everyone's concerns and needs are better met."

Originally from Concord, Mass., Myers lived and studied in Santa Fe, Argentina, and Madrid, Spain. She also has taught Spanish to junior high and high school students in New York.

She and her husband, Daniel, moved to Memphis in 2000. She established The Myers Law Firm in 2003, where she practices as guardian ad litem representing children in divorce, post-divorce, dependency and neglect, and termination of parental rights cases.

Q: Why did you choose law as a profession?

A: I have always wanted to be an attorney. My father, my uncle and several of my older cousins are attorneys, so I suppose it runs in my blood.

The legal profession appealed to me because it is an opportunity for me to be an advocate for someone who deserves a fair and just result in our judicial system.

Q: What is the best part of your job?

A: The best part of my job is in my capacity as a guardian ad litem, where I represent the best interest of children whose parents are involved in a divorce or custody issue. It is very satisfying to be able to have a positive impact on these young people who have to endure difficult circumstances at such a young age.

Q: What does the honor of being named president of the Association for Women Attorneys mean to you?

A: It is a very special honor to me because
the AWA has always had a wonderful tradition of giving back to the community as well as being a support system for other attorneys. I hope to continue this tradition, as well as improve communications between the legal community and the greater community at large.

I believe the legal community must listen to the public's needs so that we can better ensure that everyone's needs are met.

Q: What obstacles have you faced in your career?

A: The only obstacles that I had to face in the profession were simply getting to know my new environment in the Memphis legal community. From the start, everyone was so friendly and helpful that my transition was very smooth.

Q: Where did you attend undergraduate and law school?

A: I attended Ithaca College in New York and the University of Miami School of Law.

Q: If you had not chosen law as a profession, what do you think you'd be doing now?

A: I would probably be an interpreter in the international field. I was a Spanish major in college, and spent over a year studying in Spain during college, as well as studying for over a year in Argentina during high school.

Q: What are you most proud of, personally and professionally?

A: Personally, I am most proud of the family I have. My husband, son and pet dog are always there to welcome me home and bring a smile to my face.

Professionally, I am most proud of the fact that at age 28 I was able to go out on my own and establish my own legal practice.

Q: Are there any cases that you wish you could have been a part of, cases where you think you could have been able to positively impact someone's life?

A: My practice focuses primarily on my role as a guardian ad litem. In the last few years, there have been some pretty high-profile cases involving the custody of minor children, from Anna Nicole Smith to Britney Spears. I suppose these two would have been interesting, to say the least, to be involved in.

Q: Is there someone in your profession who you respect and would like to emulate in your own practice?

A: The person in my field who I respect and admire the most is my father, who is a patent attorney and partner in the law firm of Burns Levinson in Boston. He taught me the importance of hard work, preparation, attention to detail and believing passionately in what you do and say.

Q: What do you do in your free time?

A: In my free time I enjoy spending time with my husband, Daniel, son, Max, and dog, Benny. I also do love shopping.

Q: Where do you see yourself in five years?

A: In terms of where I see myself in five years, I hope I just continue to grow as an attorney and a person in general. After all, it is not the getting, it is the going. Awards, titles and other such accomplishments are nice, but they're not as important as the journey itself.

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