by BOTWC Staff
Civil rights attorney Kisha A. Brown, Esq is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and Wellesley College. Brown was the first woman named Director of the Baltimore City Civil Rights Office, and she worked in the Maryland office of the Attorney General as the Director of Civil Rights and Director of Legislative Affairs. She uses her voice to speak on issues such as diversity, police reform, education, anti-discrimination, ex-offenders and community empowerment.
The entrepreneur decided to launch Justis Connection in 2018 after feeling like the demand for Black lawyers had been far too high for too long. Brown said, “I felt the need for this from the minute I started law school. I had people asking, ‘Hey, do you know somebody who does family law? Do you know somebody that does criminal law?’ And on and on. And then you sort of go through your phone, and you start emailing folks because you want to make that connection. And that’s something most Black people experience because we don’t have Black lawyers in our inner circle.”
The company was designed to establish and maintain the relationship between clients and Black lawyers. Right now you can find about 30 attorneys available in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. This month, Brown plans to expand the services to Atlanta, Chicago and Orlando, and soon start networks in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Texas.
The referral network has been beneficial to clients, such as Cassaundra Brownell who tried the service after becoming frustrated with the lawyer she hired for her architecture firm. Brownell said, “[it’s] like we had to prove something to him, we had to make a change. We were looking for someone where our needs could be met versus feeling like we had to build credibility with the attorney first.” Justis Connection was able to connect Brownell to Kerry J. Davidson, who was phenomenal and got the job done.
Brownell spoke on his experience, saying, “Having a Black attorney is such a bonus because he relates to us. They have gone through some of the same challenges that we go through as a Black entrepreneur,” Brownell said. “With a Black lawyer, you start with credibility; you don’t have to build it with them. They understand you. There’s a greater sense of urgency in responding to your needs.”
“Aligning Black people with Black lawyers is the right thing to do, not only for that person, but also for the system because when we challenge the system and the wrongdoing that occurs to us, the system shifts,” Brown explained.