B’Ivory LaMarr is a high-profile attorney and civil rights advocate who practices out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Houston, Texas, and Atlanta, Georgia.
Specializing in a wide range of areas including, personal injury, criminal defense, and property damage, LaMarr takes pride in helping individuals navigate the legal landscape.
After graduating from Howard University, LaMarr began his career as a legal intern at Davis Bozeman Law Firm in Atlanta, Georgia. As an active member of his local community, he has played an instrumental role in the fight for equality. Currently serving as a co-chair on the Police Misconduct task force of the National Bar Association, LaMarr is helping to highlight the injustices of police brutality.
Having been involved in several high-stakes litigation cases, he uses his extensive legal experience to represent underserved communities. He often attributes his willingness to confront controversial cases to his spiritual grounding. Leaning on prayer and patience before accepting any case, he fights for the rights of all his clients.
What do you currently do at your company?
As the head of the firm, I am responsible for day-to-day business dealings. This includes everything from managing cases to managing staff. If ever we have a situation where the media is involved, I will take care of that. I am available to counsel my team as well as clients. Anything that falls under the daily functioning of the office, I am a part of it.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
I have always wanted to help underserved populations. Many lawyers tend to refrain from handling more complex cases. They may want to stay out of anything that may be considered controversial. As a result, many individuals do not receive the representation they deserve. To effectuate change, there has to be someone willing to get involved in the difficult issues. We need to bring attention to the injustices many people face. It was a calling for me. I could not sit by and let my local community crumble. I enjoy a challenge and am very strategic. It’s so important to be out there, fully engaged and facing these issues.
What defines your way of doing business?
Morality is a part of how I run the business. It’s about leading with my heart. As I am looking through all the potential cases, I am looking for those that pull at me. My spirituality is important to me, so I will often seek God’s direction and wisdom before I engage myself in a matter. Is there a strong sense of needing to move in this direction? Can I help this cause? After all of that, it’s also very important to consider my skill set for the issue. If I choose to move forward, it needs to be in a way that will add value. I am meticulous in my way of doing business because what I do can have a lasting impact on others.
What keys to being productive can you share?
First and foremost, write down your goals. Create a vision board and include both short-term and long-term objectives. Then, come up with a process to achieve those goals. Many people know where they want to end up but won’t take the time to plan out how exactly they will get there. Somewhere in between, there is a potential to lose your way.
I do this with each case that we work on. We aim to create actionable steps and realistic goals. Being productive is holding yourself accountable for ticking off those goals. Every moment is a learning opportunity. Be hard enough on yourself that you aren’t satisfied until you have completed what you set out to do.
Tell us one long-term goal in your career.
My long-term goal is to look back at my career when I retire with the knowledge that I have made a difference. I think it’s important to leave this world knowing that you’ve made a difference whether, in a small or large capacity. We have to leave the world a little better than what we inherited. It’s not a matter of winning or losing that makes that difference. It could be that we brought much-needed attention to a situation. It could be negligence or conduct that is unconstitutional. Do our contributions make the world a better place?” Have we made the negligent parties involved less likely to engage in the activity again? That is how I will determine if my long term goals are being reached.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through the course of your career?
Stand for what you believe in. Do not shy away from controversy just so you don’t ruffle a few feathers. You aren’t required to maintain the status quo. If you see something that your belief system compels you to engage with, do it. Don’t worry about public opinion, that is not what makes you a change-maker. It is the people who are not afraid to stand on their principles that will make a difference in this world.
What advice would you give to others aspiring to succeed in your field?
The first step in this field is to get in tune with God. Understand what your specific calling is. We all have a different purpose on this earth. In some ways, we might have commonalities, but there are distinctions that we must personally explore for ourselves. Once you know, you will learn what direction to go. As I look back on my career, I am proud that I have been able to tackle issues, from police departments to school systems, from discrimination to medical negligence. I’ve worked with personal injury cases and have been involved in dealing with issues in our criminal justice system. Anyone looking to advance professionally needs to first understand their guiding principles.
What are some of your favorite things to do outside of work?
I enjoy community service. I love to travel and spend time with family and friends. I do like a lot of different law-related shows. I watch a lot of shows on Netflix and movies related to the legal profession. Exercising and shopping are some other things I like to do in my free time.
How would your colleagues describe you?
I would say my colleagues would describe me as being very assertive. They would describe me as passionate and competitive also. Honestly, I love that this would be how I would be described. Being known as someone who leads with integrity and is a go-getter is a compliment.
How do you maintain a solid work-life balance?
I have spent a lot of time with God and my spirituality is very much at the core of who I am. That is how I have been able to stay rooted and keep a clear focus in dealing with the challenges that I have faced. It’s important to take time out for meditation. Allow your mind to think about what the issues are and how to find a resolution. I also enjoy exercising and shopping in my spare time. I would recommend having an escape. For me, it is travel. I love to see new places and expose myself to new cultures. All of this provides a great balance to what can be a very challenging career.
What is one piece of technology that helps you the most in your daily routine?
My calendar has always been one of the most important tools. It’s even more versatile now that it is included on my phone, which is always with me. Every morning, I put together a list of action items for the day and work on completing them. It’s a good way to stay on task by ticking each item off as you go throughout the day. Having this has been instrumental in keeping me focused in ensuring that deadlines are met and that I am achieving the goals I have set for myself.
What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve overcome?
Your mind can be the most challenging part of yourself. We always have to rationalize why we are unable to obtain a certain result. It’s essential to have control and not allow the past to affect our future. You want to stay in the present. Train your mind that way. The most successful people are individuals who believe that they can achieve anything. I want to make my goals a reality, it’s something I continuously strive to do.
Who has been a role model to you and why?
Attorney Willie Gary has probably been the strongest influence in my career. He is an attorney and someone who has worked his way to being one of the most revered attorneys in history. He’s an individual that demonstrates a belief in himself. He also has a genuine passion for his clients and has an innate ability to be a trendsetter. He’s shared many stories where it seemed like there was no way out, but he found a way to make things work. That type of mentality is essential to succeeding in this career. He also leads with spirituality, much like myself. Those are keys in the makeup of being a successful lawyer, especially as a minority in this field. I think that you need that special combination. He’s been very influential in my career and someone I look up to.
What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?
That would probably go back from my biblical upbringing. I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me. It is something that I always remember in all aspects of my life. It is a reminder that I am empowered. I can make a difference, and I can bring positive change. My mother always told me to keep God in the center, and I feel it has been the best advice I’ve received.