Adrianna Shannon: A Holistic Approach to the Practice of Law

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Adrianna Shannon is a legal innovator – a litigator, a transactional attorney and general legal counselor whose integrated approach to the practice of law sets her apart from her peers. Her modern style combines technology with individually crafted client strategies to deliver superior outcomes while allowing her and her colleagues to live balanced and rewarding lives. Shannon is a certified labor and employment law specialist who also represents clients in business and corporate matters.

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School, Shannon began her legal career by learning the art of employment litigation at Nichols Kaster, PLLP, a boutique employment firm in Minneapolis. Shannon distinguished herself early on when as a junior associate, she took the first lawsuit she filed to the United States Supreme Court – and won.

“It was a retaliation case under the Fair Labor Standards Act,” she recalled. “I hadn’t even been practicing long enough to sign my own brief. You have to be licensed for three years, and I was just a couple of months shy when I filed my first brief.”

Since then, she has continued to be a champion of social justice and an advocate for employment and civil rights.

While employment counseling and litigation comprises the majority of her practice, Shannon also has a passion for working with entrepreneurs and growing businesses. She uses her background as a litigator to advise and counsel businesses, and is adept at helping them avoid costly litigation whenever possible. She enjoys working with businesses to prevent litigation and develop internal systems and practices that take a simple, commonsense approach.

Shannon has a comprehensive view of representation, drawing on her prior experience operating businesses in the health and human services industry.

“People call a lawyer because there is a conflict or because they are worried about something. I think the counseling element is an important piece. There is a holistic approach to law that goes beyond the cold, technical legal analysis. The legal issues frame the limits of what we can and can’t do, but there are a lot of options between those boundaries. Because of that, I think there is a need to look at the client’s motivation and ultimate goals. The most positive outcome is not always the most financially lucrative or involves the most vicious legal teeth. What makes our practice unique is our sensitivity to the interface between the multifaceted nature of our clients’ legal needs and the global long-term impact on other areas of their lives.”

Three years ago, prompted by the challenge of balancing her profession with parenting, Shannon took a closer look at the technology that was available and began transforming her law practice.

“I realized that you can practice from wherever you are, and practice effectively. But the profession overall has been slow to catch up. I wanted to practice in a way that is organic, that fits with real life. The law can frequently be demanding at odd hours, but on the flip side, it can be slow and laid back during normal business hours.”

Out of that realization came a practice model that conforms to the needs of both clients and colleagues. As a result, “if a client needs me to be available earlier in the morning, in the evening or on weekends, I’m there for them, and I flex my time durOut of that realization came a practice model that conforms to the needs of both clients and colleagues. As a result, “if a client needs me to be available earlier in the morning, in the evening or on weekends, I’m there for them, and I flex my time during the week. Everybody who works with me flexes their time also.”

Since the inception of her practice, Shannon has employed associate and contract attorneys. “This is a practice I intend to grow by finding other like-minded people who want to produce the absolute best results for clients but want flexibility for themselves and their families. The flex work environment isn’t for everybody. But for people like me who have an internal drive for quality and creativity, and want to practice law and also have a family, this is a place to thrive.”

The progressive legal model that Adrianna Shannon has put into play allows her to serve others at the height of her capacity while still making time for her “supportive and wonderful husband and two little boys.”

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