Occupation: Managing and Founding Partner, Martin & Martin, LLP
CEO, The Areva Martin Company
Title: President/Founder Special Needs Network, Inc.
Attorney, Author, On Air Legal Expert & Host
Education: Honors graduate from University of Chicago and Harvard Law School
Previous Job experience: Associate Attorney Hughes Hubbard & Reed
Briefly describe your day to day activities and responsibilities as an attorney and partner of your own law firm.
Areva: My day to day activities include identifying and developing clients (I am a rain maker), counseling clients, writing short legal opinions and content for social media about breaking legal stories, responding to reporters and editors on legal cases, reviewing strategies for cases with associate attorneys, and attending business and professional events on behalf of the firm.
What prompted your interest in law?
Areva: I became interested in the law as a young girl because I saw it as a way to help people. I grew up in a housing project in north St. Louis and in my community I witnessed a great deal of injustice. For me, the law was a way to level the playing field for folks who were locked out and disenfranchised.
What suggestions regarding networking would you give to those seeking to work in this particular field?
Areva: Get in the game and learn to toot your own horn! Women are often taught that talking about your accomplishments is bragging and inappropriate. Although it can be distasteful if it’s about making someone else feel small, but if you have worked hard and accomplished success it’s okay to talk about it and to share it with others. Men do it all the time and its expected and accepted. So get comfortable meeting new folks and opening up. This is the way connections are made. Also make your follow up as intense as your first connection. Most folks meet and never follow up. These are missed opportunities.
What are the major challenges in your role as an attorney, specifically as a disability rights advocate, and what solutions have you deemed best to handle these challenges?
Areva: My biggest challenges are making sure that I am balancing work, family and self care. It’s easy to get so emerged in your work that you lose yourself. I can literally work 16 hour days without blinking! Two years ago I started to run 4 times a week with a friend. Sometimes I run five days. This is not only great for my heart and waistline, it’s also time for me that allows me to unwind.
What would you contribute your level of success to?
Areva: Lots of prayer, hard work and having an incredibly supportive family and a dedicated team of professionals that work with me on my firm, my TV career and nonprofit.
Any advice for younger colleagues?
Areva: Don’t be afraid to pursue your dreams. Women can have it all. You just can’t do it all. Women don’t have to choose between careers and families. You have to be strategic, have a plan and some realistic time frames. Work on building a strong team of supporters who can help you achieve success. You can use this team to help you with everything from staying focused on your goals to child care.
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