chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.
January 27, 2023

One Leader’s Experience with the TIPS Leadership Academy

Shana Graves, Author | Tamara Nash, Editor
Shana Graves

Shana Graves

Attorney at USAble Life and Specialty Ventures

We asked Shana Graves about her experience with the TIPS Leadership Academy. Here is what she had to say!

What do you feel like you got out of the program professionally (or personally)?

My involvement in TIPS has re-emphasized to me the benefit of being a lifelong learner; there’s always something you don’t know or someone who is smarter than you. I have gained so much practical knowledge from the interactions I have had during my tenure in the Section.

When our Leadership Academy class began, I was in a really challenging space, both personally and professionally. The people I met, classmates, TIPS leaders, and speakers, each affected me, taught me something, and gave me some much needed inspiration and encouragement (often unknowingly) that helped me to navigate some tough times and decisions.

How what you learned will serve you professionally (or personally)?

One of the biggest lessons I learned about leadership was to continuously cultivate an appreciation of, as well as the utilization of, diversity in thought, skill, and expertise in every team, organization, or project that I lead or manage. 

We each are responsible for our own leadership journey, but we also have an obligation to reach back to mentor and sponsor others along their journey.

What was some of your most memorable or favorite programming from your experience? 

The speakers are top notch. It’s impossible to narrow it down to one specific speaker or programming. 

“Inside View: Career Advancement, DEI, and Expectations for Outside Counsel” with Miki A. O. Kamijyo and Kimberly Richardson was probably the program that resonated with me the most. 

Janice Brown’s “Strengthening Your Network: The Proper Mindset Coupled With Resilience Are The Key Sources Of Success” was a close second. 

Demetria Liggins offered very timely and practical guidance on how to navigate advancing in your practice and exemplifying professionalism. The major takeaways for me were to always be teachable and to be willing to say no.

How did the dynamics of your leadership academy class contribute to your experience?

The wisdom and encouragement obtained through the vulnerability, openness, honesty, and shared experiences of my class helped to reignite my love for the profession of practicing law. My class helped to restore my confidence in myself as an attorney and my faith in the legal profession and its ability to respond to the world around us and shape the responses to and the outcomes of the political and social issues facing our country currently. 

Although we met each other just over a year ago, I made connections and developed friendships that I am positive will last a lifetime. We share milestones in our careers, with our kids, discuss major events happening in the world (let’s face it, there’s been A LOT going on over the past few years!), or just laugh together via our Whatsapp group (lawyers laugh often enough in my humble opinion!). 

For more information, please visit the TIPS Leadership Academy page.

If you are interested or know someone who is interested in applying for the TIPS Leadership Academy, please contact Theresa Livingston at 312-988-6155 or [email protected]. Nominations can also be made online

The material in all ABA publications is copyrighted and may be reprinted by permission only. Request reprint permission here.