Beverly Proctor-Donald, Attorney at Law | The Black Excellence Issue | About magazine
Beverly Proctor-Donald, the Stark County attorney, believes she is just making her move.
After years of putting her family’s needs before her career, Proctor-Donald now has more time to devote to her law firm in downtown Canton.
A native of Memphis, Tennessee, who moved to Stark County with her husband Daryl in 1991, began her practice in 2001 with her 2-year-old son in tow. She had worked as a claims adjuster at Nationwide Insurance but decided not to return after DJ was born in 1999.
Instead, she teamed up with a friend who was also a lawyer and new mom.
“We decided to start our own company where we can take our babies to work,” she said.
Proctor-Donald, who went solo in 2005, found her niche in family law, helping people navigate the stress of divorce, separation agreements, joint parenting plans, child support, and many other areas related to children.
“I have a heart for children, especially when it comes to child custody cases where they’re in a difficult, unfortunate situation and need a better shake,” said Proctor-Donald, who also handles personal injury, wills, estates and civil litigation Customers in Stark, Summit, Tuscarawas, and Carroll counties. “When someone can take better care of them and love them and be successful with them, my heart goes out for these children.”
Proctor-Donald said another motivational factor driving her business is father’s rights.
“I grew up surrounded by strong men who were great providers and fathers,” said Proctor-Donald, whose father served 20 years in the US Navy and 10 years in the US Army. “In my practice I have met many men who want to be that for their children, and it warms my heart to see the love and devotion that so many fathers have for their children. Fathers are just as important to children as mothers, and when they exercise their right to be a positive influence and actively involved in children’s lives, one of the best rewards of my work is to help them do so. “
Helping people is why Proctor-Donald, who received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Memphis in 1990 and her law degree from the University of Akron in 1996, pursued a legal career.
“The city of Memphis is a majority and minority city. It’s probably 60% African American, ”said Proctor-Donald, one of seven children. “Lots of people seemed to need help and I thought (law) was a way to help people and make a difference.”
When DJ graduated from GlenOak High School in 2017, Proctor-Donald began attracting more clients.
“My focus changed and I took more time in that area,” she said. “I switched to an empty nest.”
Your business received another boost from the coronavirus pandemic. In the beginning, many customers sought help with estate planning. Then she saw more clients seeking help with divorce, dissolutions, and custody disputes.
And now that DJ is ready to graduate from Ohio University this spring, Proctor-Donald has begun to allow himself to think about even bigger career goals.
“I think now I’m really just blooming and growing into a place where I can imagine something bigger and better,” she said.