We had the good fortune of connecting with Demetria Graves and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Demetria, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
At the time I started my practice, I was just six month out of law school and just finished working at a firm that was not the right fit for me. I tried for months to find a job to no avail. One day, a mentor at the time encouraged me to considering opening my own practice. My own practice seemed like a big task at the time, but as time went on, I decided to give it a go. Of course, I did not know ANYTHING about running a business or running a practice, but here I am, 17 years later!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a Certified Family Law Specialist and I own my firm, The Graves Law Firm, started in 2005 when I was 25 years old. At the time I did not know much about business and running a firm and barely knew my area of expertise, Family Law. I was extremely dedicated to learning my craft, and eventually learning how to run a business. As a young attorney, it was challenging, more seasoned attorneys at times attempted to bully me, demean me, or simply ignore me. Often times I was mistaken for the court reports, court clerks, etc., but I really stayed focus and committed to overcoming all obstacles. I have also made it my practice to be as amicable as possible in a very emotionally driven practice, which is also no easy task. What I have learned is resilience is key. Believing that I belong in this field and I can do the work is key. There will be good days and there will be bad days, but NEVER give up.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love the serenity of the ocean, so for sure we would spend at least two days at a Ocean Front hotel, at one of my personal favorites “Surf and Sand,” we would dine at Mastros Ocean Club, make our way to Beverly Hills for dinner at Crustacean and eventually make it to my hometown of Pasadena, and brunch at “The Foothill” on a lovely Sunday afternoon. After brunch, we can take a casual stroll through “Old Town” and maybe even stop in the “Peloton” store to shop for workout clothes.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many people that supported me on my journey and continue to support me! From the start, of course my parents always encouraged me to reach for the stars! My grandmother worked hard in her career in the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department, and came home to care for her children. I didn’t think about what she sacrificed and how hard that really is until I had my son. Fully showing up at work and fully showing up at home is not an easy task. Throughout my college and law school years, I had a host of mentors and other attorneys that inspired me and helped guide me, THANK YOU. Windy Watson and Portasha Moore Stallworth really set the stage for me in my early years and continue to support and encourage me even today. Thanayi Lindsey planted the seed for me to start my law firm when I never believed I could do such a thing. There are so many people that continue to support me on my journey and it means so much to me.
Facebook: The Graves Law Firm
Other: Legally Uncensored Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/legally-uncensored-with-attorney-demetria-l-graves/id1551191643