November 2022Download This Article (.pdf)
Hometown: Huntington, West VirginiaLaw School: University of DaytonLive in: Colorado SpringsWorks at: Burnham LawPractice Areas(s): Family LawCBA Member Since: May 2017
Mikayla Shearer is a senior associate attorney at Burnham Law. She focuses her practice primarily on family law but has been expanding into immigration law on a pro bono basis. She recently began her first term on the Colorado Lawyer Advisory Board and is a co-chair for the Judicial Committee of the Colorado Women’s Bar Association.
Describe yourself in five words.
Introvert, resilient, quirky, thoughtful, helpful.
Why did you become a lawyer?
Becoming an attorney wasn’t a natural choice for me; my perception of a typical attorney was far removed from how I viewed myself. But I’ve always had a strong desire to help others and an interest in justice. I think that interest helped me overcome any doubts I had about myself or my ability. I’m very proud of my contributions within the law so far, and I know I’m able to do more.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
In a professional setting: “You can’t be a great attorney unless you have a great paralegal.” I consider myself fortunate to have the absolute best paralegal. On a personal level: “Believe in yourself.”
What’s the worst advice you’ve ever been given?
“Don’t care so much.”
What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about access to justice, women’s rights, and autism awareness. Both of my sons were diagnosed with autism in 2018, and I’m an active volunteer with Autism Speaks.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Being the first person in my family to graduate from college.
If you weren’t a lawyer, you’d be?
Either a detective (I listen to a lot of murder podcasts) or a librarian (I’d love to be surrounded by books).
Favorite place you’ve traveled to:
I haven’t had the opportunity to travel outside the United States and hope one day to travel to Bolivia, which is where the majority of my father’s family resides. Some of my favorite places I’ve visited are Buena Vista, Canyonlands, and Big Bend.
Who is your favorite writer and why?
I love Haruki Murakami. His writing has such a beauty to it. Much of what he writes references music, which I find really charming.
What sport do you love to play or watch or both?
I love watching hockey. I’m a Penguins and Avalanche fan.
When you aren’t working, how do you like to spend your time?
I enjoy spending time with my husband, two sons, and three dogs. We enjoy camping, hiking, and hanging out at home watching movies.
Who is your hero and why?
Colorado Women’s Bar Association President Kathryn Starnella. She’s an amazing leader and attorney who inspires others and inspired me to be a better person and a better attorney.
What’s one thing you know now that you wish you would have known in your first year of practice?
That it gets easier. It’s tough in the beginning. More experienced attorneys are not always courteous to the newer attorneys. But if you stick with it, you will earn their respect and it will get easier.