Shayla graduated from the University of Massachusetts School of Law. She became a lawyer because of the need to reform the criminal justice system. Police brutality and mass incarceration of those who are colored and/or in poverty has become a modern day civil rights crisis. She is driven with an insatiable hunger to be a part of restoring justice by representing those who lack access to legal representation. Our current criminal justice system has had a forceful desperate impact on minorities and the poor, leaving those incarcerated with the lifetime label of “criminal”. Shayla’s passion on criminal justice led her to conduct field research in Switzerland, which served as a comparative analysis of the U.S and Switzerland’s criminal justice systems. The aim of the research was to draw a distinction between an effective and ineffective approach to crime and punishment.
Shayla has clerked for the Orleans District Court and served as a judicial intern for the Bristol County Court. In addition, Shayla is a current member of the Massachusetts Bar Association Leadership Academy. As an academy fellow, she joined a selected group of 20 statewide attorneys who are provided the opportunity to collaborate on ways to create change in the legal system. She is also a member of Phi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society, a recipient of the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Oliver Wendell Holmes Recipient–Public Interest Award, and she was recognized in the Enterprise Local newspaper and the Bridgewater State University Magazine for missionary work in Haiti pre/post the heavily publicized destructive earthquake in 2010.
Shayla’s favorite book is “The New Jim Crow”.