Nikita Lamar is a tenacious managing attorney at The Lamar Legal Group in Houston. seeing so many recurring cases of HIV, infant mortality and breast cancer in the African American community, she began her journey to justice. Her grit and no-nonsense attitude have attracted a wide array of clients navigating through difficult times involving divorce, child custody matters, and the loss of a loved one.
Rolling out recently spoke with Lamar, who reflected on her career and the wisdom she’s gained through her trials and triumphs.
As a Black woman, what do you consider your superpowers to be?
Resilience and determination. As a Black woman, it is imperative that you have or develop the ability to recover quickly from difficulties. That is resilience. Likewise, we have a firmness of purpose and even if we don’t realize it, that purpose is embedded in us all.
What thoughtful or encouraging piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
You are enough. I can’t tell you how many minutes, hours and days I spent in my earlier years concerned about being enough for others. It is not worth the stress. Understanding one’s worth can sometimes be a journey, and depending on your support system, family etcetera, the journey can take a long time. I would tell myself that my intelligence was enough, that my beauty was enough and that, despite my insecurities, things would be OK.
What are your thoughts on taking risks?
Life is to be lived. I am such a proponent of risks and change; the two go hand and hand. The path that I took to law school was so unorthodox. I actually think that my family thought that I would never become an attorney. They lost hope. I was a massage therapist, [an] insurance adjuster and worked in the [nonprofit] field for 10 years before finally enrolling at Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston. Stepping outside one’s comfort zone is never easy, but I find it necessary for growth.
As a successful woman in business, what is your greatest or proudest achievement?
Honestly, it is a toss-up between graduating from law school and passing the Texas Bar Exam. In full transparency, I was technically homeless the day I walked across the stage to receive my J.D. [Juris Doctor]. My grandparents passing during my matriculation took a toll both financially and emotionally. I fought the feeling of pride and shame as I accepted [my doctorate in law] from our dean.
How do you feel about the hashtag #CollaborationOverCompetition? What qualities or values do you deem indispensable in your business partners and collaborators?
It’s vital in our community. There is room for us all to achieve, flourish and grow. Too often the “crabs in a barrel” mentality [becomes] a detriment to many of us. [Thankfully], I’ve found a circle of professional women whose mission is to lend a hand and help other women up. These wonderful women possess faith, strength and an undying willingness to educate and inspire other women.