Beyond the Bar Number > Shaunita DeJuanette Felder

Bar Number: 26314

Shaunita is a first-generation college/law school graduate and lawyer from Seattle. She attended Cleveland High School and graduated from Franklin High School in Seattle. She is a graduate of Bethune-Cookman University and Vermont Law School. She loves dancing, music, cooking, watching sports, going to the movies, opera, museum, and theatre.

I would eliminate the bar exam. Being a real lawyer is not about memorizing and regurgitating answers—it’s about critical thinking, innovation, researching, communicating effectively orally and in writing, negotiation, customer service, and advocacy.

I didn’t think there would be such a rigorous hazing culture as a new lawyer, but there is. If you say anything about it, you are labeled unemployable. 

Don’t let other people define who you are. You have to make your own path, no matter if other people do not understand and even if you don’t know for sure how things will turn out. Don’t allow anyone to make you feel discouraged or tell you that can’t succeed because you don’t fit their mold.  

If you had to give a 10-minute presentation on one topic other than the law, what would it be and why? I would do a medley of Latin dancing to music by Lil’ Kim and Big Pun because two of my favorite songs by them are immersed in Latin rhythms—bold and so fun!

What is your favorite podcast? Our Thing with “Sammy the Bull” Gravano.

What is your favorite word? Etiquette. Etiquette refers to the rules of proper and polite behavior that are expected in social or official life. 

What book have you read more than once? The Godfather by Mario Puzo. 

What is the best fictional representation (TV, movie, book) of a lawyer? Joan Clayton on the show Girlfriends, Miranda Hobbs on Sex & the City, and Jack McCoy on Law & Order.