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A Resourceful Collaborator

 

“I think the most important thing about me is that I care about finding practical solutions for my clients. I am also very resourceful, and a collaborator by nature. I love collaborating with my clients, other lawyers and other professionals. Whenever I have a situation before me, I’m not looking at it in any one-dimensional way. I’m looking at it from every possible angle, from different perspectives and often from outside my own particular area of expertise,” says Shannon C. Lamb, APC.

Lamb handles business and partnership matters, as well as board, association, and property controversies for plaintiffs and defendants. She has successfully negotiated and resolved more than 2,000 cases on behalf of individual persons, boards and companies during the seventeen years she has been in practice. Approximately 50 percent of her cases involve working with other attorneys and law firms.

Ninety-nine percent of her cases settle before trial, a record built significantly on her varied experience and approach to each case. “I’m a broad-based thinker. I’m a person with a lot of exposure and experience, which allows me to apply my abilities. But because I’m a collaborator, pulling in other professionals and really looking at the big picture gives my clients a big advantage. It’s not just me that’s on the team,” Lamb says.

Many of her cases overlap into other cases or other areas of the law. “I may be litigating a business matter, but there could be a bankruptcy, family law, criminal law or some other issue that comes up. I have the ability to move very fluidly through these areas and to understand the implications for my clients.”

Law in the Genes

Through a recent interest in genealogy, Lamb discovered that some of her ancestors took issue with and were involved in both sides of the signing of the Magna Carta. “It seems that the law is in my genes,” she says.

Her far more recent impetus for a career in law occurred during her sophomore year in college, when she was involved in an automobile accident. Her attorney entered into a settlement without her permission. Lamb fired her attorney and represented herself in the case, making two appearances before a judge. Young and intelligent, she found herself facing a barrage of information, rules, formalities and procedures she did not understand. Equally frustrating for her was that no one appeared interested in explaining those matters.

She says, “There wasn’t any sort of advocacy going on. I was a part of a process, part of a big mill. That was not okay. I said, ‘Okay, I’m going to settle this myself.' The person who represents himself has a fool for a client, but in this instance, I felt like I couldn’t do any worse than what was going on.”

She explained the situation to the judge during her first courtroom appearance. He called her former attorney in and took the lawyer back into chambers, returning about half an hour later. The judge dismissed the former attorney and entered into the record that Lamb would continue representing herself and the attorney would not be taking a fee for the case. Lamb was then able to resolve the case on her own.

“From that point on, I decided to turn my attention to the law,” Lamb says.

Collaboration in the Law a Natural Fit

Her current practice areas are a natural fit, she says. “I gravitate toward smart and organized people. I enjoy collaborating with clients and professionals in a variety of fields—all with the goal of getting the job done.”

She finds that most clients are interested in playing a key role in their own case. Her clients are intelligent, capable, organized, and precise, and being involved is important to them. Putting a premium on collaboration helps them understand the law and the process better. Bridging the gap between what words can mean in English and what they can mean in specific legal documents and situations can be challenging, even for attorneys working in other practice areas.

Clients have learning curves, and sometimes an attorney has to help clients “unlearn” what they believe about the legal system. “It’s a good process because when I’m doing that, I realize I also have to relate the same information to a jury or maybe to a mediator who doesn’t have the same level of understanding about the specifics of the case. In unlearning the client, there is a good byproduct. It doesn’t happen too frequently, but it happens often enough because of the Internet,” Lamb says.

As an attorney opening her own firm, Lamb found the prospect at times intimidating. “I certainly made my share of mistakes, but after the first mistakes, things feel a little better because you realize, ‘I’m still standing.’ It makes you a little braver,” she says.

Lamb continues to experience her own learning curve, which she finds is one of the attractions of choosing a career in the law. A benefit of working in her practice areas is the opportunity for nonstop education. “There’s never a boring day. I don’t know where I’m going to be until I get there. Even though I’m looking backward from trial, litigation is so fluid—it’s not so linear. It’s usually an exciting and wild ride,” she says.

“I’ve always been interested in the way business works. Before I became a lawyer, I had about 20 different jobs, primarily in corporate work. I really had an opportunity to get my hands-on business experience before I went on my own. Now I get it in spades,” Lamb says.

Backward Thinking to Success

Lamb says she thinks through a case from the trial backward. She works to be proactive based on the needs of the case and looking at it from the courtroom, which she believes is one of the reasons cases settle before going to trial.

“I try to stay as organized as possible and to get as much information as possible from a client at the beginning of a case. I can manage it upfront. Understanding the information early and getting it down is key to moving a case: what is going to happen in the courtroom when the case is tried and what do we need to do to get to that point,” she says.

That broad perspective allows Lamb to approach her firm’s challenges and opportunities with a balanced view of the roles of lawyer and manager. “Dealing with my business certainly helps me understand what my business clients face.”

Her focus is on achieving her clients’ goals, not on billable hours. “That’s not how I work. That’s not why other lawyers refer clients. They send me their clients because they know I’m going to get it done as quickly as it can be done. It’s not about billing the most; it’s about doing the best. Managing that is something I do pretty well. It’s important to me. My job is about adding value,” she says.”

Outside the Office

Lamb has a 6-year-old daughter, Megyn. “She’s lovely, and she gives me great perspective,” she says.

She also enjoys eating good food and baseball. “I’m a Californian, born and raised, and I love the Dodgers,” Lamb says.

Her hobbies also include listening to a mix of music, from rock & roll to classical and symphonic, especially live performances. Travel is another major factor in her family life, an interest she combines with her fascination with history. In addition to her discovery of a connection to the Magna Carta, she recently learned that her fourth great-grandfather had a station on the Underground Railroad.

Lamb is a volunteer and prospective member of the Patience Wright Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. “There's a perspective I’ve gotten recently in studying my genealogy. It’s pretty wild. That’s something I’ve been enjoying, as well as working with the Daughters of the American Revolution. It helps that genealogical research isn’t a lot different from legal research, and being able to learn how to pull those levers really helps to get things done,” she says.

She is a co-founder of a women’s roundtable for lawyers. The group meets monthly to discuss various topics with the purpose of collaboration. “I reach out because I don’t have that resource built into the firm,” she says.

Lamb is also involved in the Constitutional Rights Foundation, Orange County, a non-partisan organization devoted to educating children about government and individual responsibility. Among the reasons she is so devoted to the organization and participating in programs such as the Peer Court is giving kids a look into how things work, which helps them improve their ability to make wise decisions.

Lamb’s success in and out of the office is largely because of her willingness to participate in and her enthusiasm for collaborating with others. “I like the ability to interact with people and get to know how things work. I become an expert in a lot of different things. I have formed many friendships from the experience of working with my clients. And I get to work with some of the top experts. That’s a pretty cool thing,” she says.

» EDUCATION

  • Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
  •    J.D. – 2000
  • University of California, Riverside
  •    B.A. Political Science – 1996
  • Orange County Bar Association, College of Trial Advocacy – 2007

» AWARDS

  • Women Leaders in the Law, American Lawyer Media – 2016
  • Client's Choice, AVVO – 2011, 2015, 2016
  • Top Attorney, AVVO – 2014, 2015
  • Top Women Attorneys in South California, Super Lawyers – 2013-2015
  • Women Leaders in the Law, American Lawyer Media – 2015
  • Rising Star, Super Lawyers – 2009-2010, 2013-2015
  • Top Rated Lawer – Personal Injury, American Lawyer Media/Martindale-Hubbell – 2013
  • Los Angeles' Women Leaders, American Lawyer Media/Martindale-Hubbell – 2013
  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell – 2011

Contact
Shannon Lamb
Shannon C. Lamb, APC
19200 Von Karman AvenueSuite 600
Irvine, CA 92612
949-622-5565
shannon@sclesq.com
www.SCLEsq.com

Brian

Executive Publisher, Attorney Journal      President, Sticky Media, LLC

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About the Author: Executive Publisher, Attorney Journal      President, Sticky Media, LLC

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