Michael A. DeMayo, CEO DeMayo Law Offices
Michael DeMayo was a sophomore at the Jesuit prep school Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C., when a priest at the school pointed out he had the perfect skillset for a career in law.
“I had never thought about becoming a lawyer until the priest said to me, “Young man, you could argue with a brick wall and win. You should think about a career as a lawyer.”
That was the first time anyone had planted the idea that he could succeed at a vocation in which he’d be paid for helping people “simply by making good arguments and winning,” he says.
After receiving his bachelor’s degree, graduating cum laude from Wake Forest University, DeMayo went on to earn his law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.
He is the owner and CEO of the DeMayo Law Group in Charlotte, where he focuses on catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, workers’ compensation and mass torts.
Personal accomplishment: Raising four kids as a single father and we are all still alive. I am also proud that they will have all either matriculated, graduated, or are in process of their college experiences. I am proud that I have been able to do this while continuing to build a successful client-focused personal injury law practice.
Biggest career challenge: In law school they don’t teach you how be an entrepreneur and grow a successful law firm or how to hire and motivate people, develop core values, and other aspects. They teach you how to be a lawyer, to research and find the law. Continuing to grow the infrastructure of our law firm is something we work on every day.
Work-life balance: Time-management and practice self-love/self-care. Early in my career I made a commitment that I wouldn’t miss an event with my children, so being able to weave that in with commitments in my practice is always challenging. Thus, it was imperative that time management and precise scheduling would be a key part of my survival. It’s also important to make time for yourself – meditate, work out, practice self-love and self-care. When you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anybody else. And of course, at the end of the day if you genuinely enjoy what you do in your professional life, it spills over to your personal life.
Childhood goals: I wanted to be an astronaut or a race-car driver.
Favorite vacation spot: Cabo. It is my happy place.
A month off: Cross some places off my bucket list: Italy, France, Germany, Asia, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore. Go everywhere to try the food and meet the people.
You didn’t know: I attended a Military Catholic Boarding school in Manassas, Va., for my entire elementary school experience. So from third to eighth grade I lived away from home. Growing up, I loved horses and spent a week at a summer camp cleaning stalls and learning about the care and maintenance of horses.