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Attorney at Law Las Vegas Vol 2 #3 : Page 12

Shemilly Briscoe – Dedicated to Building Her Construction Practice By Haley Freeman hemilly Briscoe grew up in a hard-working Nevada family. Her ambition, love for her community and interest in public policy led Senator Harry Reid to suggest to Briscoe that she attend law school. She followed that advice and continued her education at the William S. Boyd School of Law. As a new lawyer, Briscoe had an interest in construction law, a discipline she was familiar with as the daughter of a carpenter and concrete mixer driver. She appreciated the work ethic of the people she knew in the building trades and wanted to help them to be successful at running their businesses. In an industry and practice area led predominantly by men, Briscoe embraced an opportunity to be mentored by a well-known construction attorney. Briscoe says that this experience helped her to gain confidence in working with construction clients, and in time, those clients recognized Briscoe’s legal ability and adaption to their environment. “I am very comfortable 12 www.AttorneyAtLawMagazine.com S around hard working individuals, male or female. I love working with contractors. I have a great deal of respect for them, and also feel very comfortable working out on project sites side by side to tackle problems that arise.” Briscoe has also learned from the female leadership in both public and private sectors of the construction world, and developed her own style based upon their best practices. The Nevada State Contractors Board “has female board members and the executive director is an amazing woman — incredibly intelligent and organized,” said Briscoe. She also named colleagues who “have made huge strides in construction cases. I’ve had the chance to observe them and emulate them to some extent, but I don’t distinguish between men and women. Because, it is not about gender. It is about good work and effectiveness.” After firmly establishing herself as a construction attorney, and having resolved numerous multi-million dollar pay disputes for Nevada contractors, Briscoe decided she was ready to go out on

Briscoe Law Group

Haley Freeman

<br /> Shemilly Briscoe grew up in a hard-working Nevada family. Her ambition, love for her community and interest in public policy led Senator Harry Reid to suggest to Briscoe that she attend law school. She followed that advice and continued her education at the William S. Boyd School of Law.<br /> <br /> As a new lawyer, Briscoe had an interest in construction law, a discipline she was familiar with as the daughter of a carpenter and concrete mixer driver. She appreciated the work ethic of the people she knew in the building trades and wanted to help them to be successful at running their businesses.<br /> <br /> In an industry and practice area led predominantly by men, Briscoe embraced an opportunity to be mentored by a well-known construction attorney. Briscoe says that this experience helped her to gain confidence in working with construction clients, and in time, those clients recognized Briscoe’s legal ability and adaption to their environment. “I am very comfortable around hard working individuals, male or female. I love working with contractors. I have a great deal of respect for them, and also feel very comfortable working out on project sites side by side to tackle problems that arise.”<br /> <br /> Briscoe has also learned from the female leadership in both public and private sectors of the construction world, and developed her own style based upon their best practices. The Nevada State Contractors Board “has female board members and the executive director is an amazing woman — incredibly intelligent and organized,” said Briscoe. She also named colleagues who “have made huge strides in construction cases. I’ve had the chance to observe them and emulate them to some extent, but I don’t distinguish between men and women. Because, it is not about gender. It is about good work and effectiveness.” After firmly establishing herself as a construction attorney, and having resolved numerous multi-million dollar pay disputes for Nevada contractors, Briscoe decided she was ready to go out on her own. While she still enjoys an excellent relationship with her prior firm, “I had a great desire to create my own type of practice. I wanted to be independent.”<br /> <br /> Briscoe’s results-oriented approach to her practice leads to cost savings for her clients. “If you’re really serving your client, you are resolving issues” and “avoiding big litigation whenever possible.”<br /> <br /> Technology is enhancing Briscoe’s efficiency, as well as creating value for her clients. She is utilizing software equipped with online portals where clients can log in to review up-to-date case information, obtain documents, and confirm hearing dates and licensing deadlines, all without having to contact her directly. She finds that clients often prefer this method of communication, because they are able to obtain answers whenever it is most convenient for them. “People love having access on their timetable. My clients are very busy people.” Such access helps to keep costs down and allows Briscoe to spend her billable time on more specialized tasks.<br /> <br /> Networking her contacts is also a part of her service to her clients. “I frequently connect my business contacts with others who can assist them.” She enjoys the give and take with her clients and often learns from them. Briscoe also maintains good relationships with the lawyers to whom she refers her clients when needed.<br /> <br /> The last few years have been uniquely challenging for construction-related businesses. Regulations have changed with the economic downturn, and clients who had never had financial problems before are finding it hard to remain in business. Briscoe strives to help her clients restructure their companies, review finances and monitor licensing and other legal issues. “Administrative law requires paying attention to the fine print and working with my client’s key employees to create training programs and tips for the company. I have worked hard to maintain those relationships and educate clients on how to protect the public and their business.” Briscoe frequently handles disciplinary matters with the Nevada State Contractors Board in an effort to minimize business disruption and bring her clients into compliance.<br /> <br /> Before becoming an attorney, Briscoe worked as a bookkeeper in a skilled nursing facility. As a result, she developed an interest in the complex legal issues often faced by the elderly and those who care for them. Briscoe is looking forward to expanding her practice to include other areas including personal injury.<br /> <br /> One of the benefits of managing her own practice is that Briscoe is better able to achieve a “work-life balance.” Briscoe and her husband, also a litigation attorney, are also busy parents. With her new practice, she has more time for their sons Mason, 6, and Cooper, 1.<br /> <br /> “My son, Mason, played a pivotal role in my decision to enter solo practice. He was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) when he was 3 years old,” said Briscoe.<br /> <br /> Mason’s diagnosis was difficult for his parents, who were both new associates at the time, working long hours. Briscoe says that coping with this crisis taught her to ask for and accept help from others. “Reach out to other people and allow them to help you with things they are great at doing.” She credits ABA therapists, clients and her family for helping her to adjust and advance Mason’s progress.<br /> <br /> Briscoe explains that having Mason in her life has made her a much better lawyer “because he has taught me many valuable lessons about the kind of person and attorney I want to be.” She has found more compassion for the hardships of others, as well as the decision paralysis that people often feel when facing seemingly insurmountable problems. She recognizes that people in crisis may find it difficult to explain their needs because they “are frustrated, afraid and angry. I have learned to look at things with more patience and more sensitivity.”<br /> <br /> She has also learned to be better organized and self-disciplined. She is quick to complete undesirable tasks so that solutions may be achieved quickly. “That thing that you hate to do…just tackle that and get it done.”<br /> <br /> “I am very conscious of preparing Mason for every step of his day because he fears the unknown.” In like manner, Briscoe has learned to communicate methodically with her clients about their legal process. In this way, they are always prepared for what is coming next and can set realistic expectations about the outcome of their legal issues. “Clients can become overwhelmed by the time and energy required by litigation. Communication about what is happening and how to streamline the process reduces unnecessary stress and headache for everyone. Transparency is a necessity in my practice.”<br /> <br /> “My husband and I feel extremely blessed. I never thought about autism before I had Mason because I never had that type of challenge. Now, I listen to client’s talk about their families with a different sort of attention to the details of [my clients’] lives. While work is of ultimate importance, our personal lives can and do intersect with how our problems are solved.”<br /> <br /> Briscoe’s primary reason for being an attorney is that she loves helping people. In her words, “People need compassion and a strong advocate to protect their rights. I provide cost effective representation and enjoy working with clients to solve challenging issues. My family has taught me that not every issue can be solved quickly or easily, but with hard work and determination, even the toughest problems can be resolved.”

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