In celebration of Women’s History Month, Becker showcases the inspiration, philosophies, and expertise of the women attorneys and lobbyists who help elevate our firm and client service.
LaToya Sheals is an experienced Government Relations Consultant, regularly investigating and analyzing legislation and developing public policy on issues such as healthcare, education, transportation, economic development, taxes and judicial matters within Florida, Michigan, and Washington, D.C. Prior to joining Becker, LaToya served as a Legislative Aide to Florida Senator Victor Torres and as the Chief of Staff for Former State Senator Daphne Campbell. In both positions, she advised on policy-related decisions and was responsible for draft legislation, press releases, speeches, special reports and legislative updates.
What woman inspires you and why?
My mother. You always love for your mother, flaws and all, but there is something to be said about that moment when you can appreciate your mother’s journey as a woman – and she can do the same with you. To see her strength, her sense of calmness, and her unconditional love is always an inspiration to me. I appreciate the long talks and the life lessons that she has instilled in me; she has truly molded me into the woman I am today.
If you could have dinner with anyone alive or dead, who would it be and why?
My older sister passed when she was 15 years old and I was eight. Although she had cerebral palsy and didn’t speak, it would be nice to be in her presence again as adults, as women, as sisters.
What advice (professional or personal) would you give your younger self?
At times, I wish my younger self would give advice to me now as an adult. I was so invincible and fearless. If I had to give my younger self advice, it would be to remain faithful, humble, and grateful. Also, always be kind. There was a period in my life where I didn’t practice any of those attributes; I had an ego out of this world. Thankfully, I matured and realized that everything I have received is a blessing, and I am extremely grateful. Oh and one final thought: Always, always, always BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!
What led you to the practice of law and/or to your specific area of law
When I was younger, I wanted to be a prosecutor. I was fascinated by legal shows, and I knew that I wanted to be of service to others. In college, I interned with the Florida House of Representatives and really appreciated the legislative process. It was exciting to be in the room with those who actually created the law. I went off to law school with the mindset that I was going to be a prosecutor…until I did my first Mock trial. Although a fun experience, it was not for me – it was too dramatic! I switched gears and thought to myself, no one would have to prosecute or defend an individual if the law was written correctly in the first place; why not be an attorney that writes laws. Having that mindset led me to working for the Michigan Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, the Florida Senate, and, now, to Becker. This legal/legislative journey has been amazing thus far, and I am excited for the future.
What has living through a global pandemic taught you?
I always considered myself to be an empathetic and patient person. I believe that the pandemic has allowed me to utilize those skills more. It has definitely shown me to never judge. You have no idea what people are going through, to be rude and negative is unnecessary. As stated earlier, it is important to always be kind. Kindness goes a long way.
To learn more about LaToya, please click here.