Business of the Year
Hall takes a give all philosophy into courtroom
By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook Staff Writer
One of the requests that basketball coaches often make of their players is that they make every effort to win.
Amber Hall certainly took heed when she was a star basketball player at Virginia Tech. She executed, keeping her teammates in mind.
Nowadays Hall is a successful personal injury attorney with a practice in Tallahassee. The philosophy she was beseeched to practice on the hardwood as a Hokie is now part of her professional approach.
“I really truly care about people,” Hall said. “You hear people say that all the time and it sounds like a cliché, but I really do and I think that’s why we are successful with a lot of these cases because I pour it all out.
“Like when I was on the (basketball) court, leave it all in the court; leave it all out there before the judge.”
Hall’s courtroom success means she has recovered millions of dollars for her clients in personal injury cases. However, Hall had to be steadfast to her goal after deciding that a law career was what she wanted.
“It’s amazing how you think about things,” she said. “You manifest it and you pray about it and you work it, too.”
Hall’s success as an attorney made her practice, Amber Hall Law, the Capital Outlook’s choice for Business of the Year.
The honor is one of several that Hall has received since she burst on the scene as a young ambitious attorney eight years ago. Her accolades include being named three times as a Florida Super Lawyers Rising Star. She was also selected twice by the National Trial Lawyers as a Top 40 under 40 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyer in Florida.
“I am truly honored to be recognized for such a prestigious award,” Hall said of the Outlook’s honor. “It was unexpected and I’m just elated. This award inspires me to continue to work hard and continue to give to the community.”
Steve Beasley, president of the MLK Foundation, has seen Hall’s philanthropy in her giving to the organization. He also was one of her clients.
Beasley was referred to Hall by another attorney, who became a judge. Beasley was struck by an automobile while crossing a road on the city’s south side.
Beasley said his first meeting with Hall left him believing that he’d hired a skilled professional.
“I felt very good because the person who referred me had told me she would do a good job so I wasn’t concerned about her being a female,” Beasley said. “I wasn’t prejudice about what kind of job she was going to do because her referral was very high. She lived up to and beyond what I was expecting.
“I don’t think any other lawyer; female, male, White or Black could have been more personable and professional at the same time. She went all the way to assure me that I was in good hands.”
Hall actually had plenty of inspiration to be good at whatever she did, while growing up in the Lake Jackson area as the only child of Al and Pinky Hall. She recalled always getting their attention, even at times when she hinted there was a little entrepreneur in her.
She got her parents to be her customers when she had a pretend restaurant or even a bakery. There were other times when she kept it real and sold frozen cups to other children in the neighborhood.
Hall was influenced by more than the work ethic that she saw in her parents. Her maternal grandfather started Gilliam Brothers Shop in French town and her grandmother opened a convenience store in Sawdust.
Long before law became an option for Hall, she’d heard of the days when her mother was a point guard at FAMU. She couldn’t escape the urge to follow suit and by the time she reached teenage, Hall was already making a name as a forward at Leon High School and an AAU travel team.
She and her teammate Shawn Goff became known as the “twin towers.” Both got the attention of a lot of colleges and Hall settled on Virginia Tech, where she’s still in the record book as a top-10 shot blocker.
College basketball seasons meant a lot of traveling. When they moved by bus, Hall sometimes found herself wondering what would follow her collegiate career.
Traveling through airports, seeing other travelers on cell phones and using laptops made an impression on her.
“That appeared to be what I want to do,” Hall said. “I wanted to travel. I wanted to be on the cell phone and being on the laptop making deals.”
She graduated in 2009 with a degree in business management, but wanted more and decided to attend law school at the University of Florida.
Work didn’t come easily after her graduation in 2012. She was a frequent attendee at job fairs and anywhere else she felt she had a shot at getting hired or just network.
Her search landed her in Miami, where she was offered a job immediately after interviewing. She was all set to move when she received a call from a firm where she’d worked as a clerk.
The call was to assist with a case. Hall proved her ability and a job offer followed. She mulled it over for a day and decided to make the tough call to the firm in Miami to let the owners know she had to renege.
She found herself in Atlanta, working cases for the firm where she was a clerk in Jacksonville. That lasted a little more than a year before Hall decide to go solo.
She started her practice in the living room of her apartment. Her office was any fast-food restaurant or coffee shop where her clients could meet. That lasted until 2015 when she decided to return to Tallahassee and operate in a shared office space.
Hall made one of her boldest moves when she decided to relocate to an office inside a duplex off Park Avenue. She’s since moved into a much bigger office in the same vicinity.
Fighting for her clients sometimes mean Hall has to contend with racial or socioeconomic prejudices. Backing down in those cases isn’t an option, she said.
“I don’t let it stop me. Let’s talk about the law and how this incident has affected my client now and forevermore,” Hall said, insisting that the gratification makes facing the challenge worthwhile.
“Hopefully I inspire other people so that they know that whatever they set their minds to they can do it,” she said. “We hear that all the time, but I’m an example of it.”
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