Today we’d like to introduce you to Maya Simmons Rogers.
Maya, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
It all started when I was in sixth grade. I had an outstanding science teacher named Mr. Joey James at McIntosh Middle School in Albany, Georgia who sparked my interest in the legal profession. After serving as a lawyer for a science project in his class, I was hooked. What I wanted to be when I grew up never changed from that point forward.
In high school, I took a legal class with Professor Sharon Nyota Tucker at Albany State University, which further solidified my interest in law. It also let me know that I had no interest in criminal law. As such, I decided to pursue business in college. I attended Florida A&M University on a full scholarship and enrolled in the School of Business’ 5-year MBA program. A month after graduating, I started law school at The University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor, MI.
After graduation, I started my career at Alston & Bird, LLP in the ERISA Litigation group. I was slated to be in a transactional practice group but the economy tanked and I had to be flexible and switch practice groups. I learned a great deal at Alston & Bird and met some great people, but I wasn’t fulfilled professionally. While I found that I did enjoy litigation, I still had a strong desire to do transactional work. Realizing that wasn’t possible at Alston & Bird, I decided it was time for a change. I started working for myself informally because I found that firms weren’t really interested in training an associate in a new practice area. If I wanted to continue doing ERISA litigation, they were happy to have me but that wasn’t what I wanted to do. I ended up going to work for a small firm that allowed me to do both litigation and transactional work. After that experience, I was ready to branch out on my own officially.
I started Simmons Rogers, LLC, referred to by some as Simmons Rogers Law, in 2013 and I haven’t looked back. Practicing law and being in the business of law is both challenging and rewarding. My clients become friends. Their success becomes our success. I brag on them and talk about their accomplishments and businesses as if they were my own.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Being thrown into an area of law, ERISA Litigation, on my first day of work was a big wrench in the road. I didn’t even take evidence in law school because I never planned to do any type of litigation. However, the experience taught me to be flexible and adapt.
Likewise, after leaving the big firm environment, I have been consistently pushed to do things outside of my comfort zone and sometimes even outside of my core practice areas. These trial by fire experiences have helped me become a better attorney overall.
Please tell us about Simmons Rogers, LLC.
Simmons Rogers, LLC is a small civil law firm providing a wide range of professional legal services to businesses and individuals throughout the State of Georgia and across the country. Although we are a small firm, we take pride in providing the quality of service and the level of representation you would expect from a large law firm.
We specialize in 3 areas: (1) business law, (2) estate planning, and (3) personal injury law. On the business side, we are probably most known for helping businesses protect their trademarks and for serving as outside general counsel to businesses who can’t afford to have a full-time lawyer on staff.
Right now, I am most proud of two of my technology focused entrepreneur clients. Both of them are launching apps later this year and it has been ultra-inspiring watching them bring their dreams to life. They both have full-time professional careers that most would consider the pinnacle of success. Yet, these two guys are striving for more. Being along for the ride has been exhilarating and I can’t wait to see them on the cover of Forbes. While I am not at liberty to disclose one of the apps, you can learn more about the other app at www.ourerrands.com.
I am also proud of our community outreach work this year. We started co-sponsoring free quarterly legal clinics at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia. The clinics cover a variety of topics, including areas in which we don’t practice because I believe that information is power and I want to empower the community. At each clinic, there is a panel discussion featuring lawyers who specialize in the particular area, followed by free one-on-one consultations with lawyer(s).
Simmons Rogers, LLC is different from other law firms because of the level of service we provide and the quality of legal service we provide. Like a lot of other industries, the legal profession has become commoditized, but we don’t compete on price. When clients have not worked with lawyers before, it can sometimes be a challenge, but once our foot is in the door we prove our worth. Having represented clients with big firms on the other side of the table, including my former employer Alston & Bird, my clients have gotten to see first hand that we are prepared to match their expertise and service at a fraction of the costs.
We are also different because we go above and beyond for our clients even when it isn’t billable. From attending meetings and events with clients just so they feel comfortable and get what they need from third-parties, to working grand opening events and trade shows, to going to clients’ homes and even hospitals to make things more convenient for our clients, we do it.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I would have started my own firm earlier. I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit and I knew I wanted to work for myself but I was afraid to take the leap.
- Address: Simmons Rogers, LLC
3350 Riverwood Parkway SE, Suite 1900
Atlanta, GA 30339
- Website: http://www.simmonsrogerslaw.com/
- Phone: 404-445-8146
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/simmonsrogerslaw/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/simmonsrogerslaw/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheSRLawFirm
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/simmons-rogers-atlanta-2?osq=testament
- Other: https://www.linkedin.com/company/simmons-rogers-llc?trk=top_nav_home
All photos shot by Makya Renee of Mareta Creations, LLC.