Jaret Davis stands tall as he oversees one of Miami’s most powerful law firms and steers the Beacon Council toward innovative initiatives.
VITALS 42. Attorney and co-managing shareholder at Greenberg Traurig. Chair of the Beacon Council. Honored with the JM Family Enterprises’ 2016 African-American Achievers Award. First-generation Miamian whose father is from Mobile, Alabama, mother is from New Orleans and great-grandparents have Jewish and Sicilian roots. Grew up in Kendall, the older brother to Kimberly and grandson of former North Miami city manager Clarence Patterson, who instilled in young Jaret L. Davis the importance of community involvement. Davis graduated from Miami Killian Senior High, then went on to the University of Miami, graduating in 1996 with degrees in economics, finance and computer science. He returned to UM for law school and landed a summer gig at Greenberg Traurig that eventually turned into a full-time job. Davis rose to administrative shareholder of the firm’s Miami office by age 35. Today he oversees more than 360 attorneys and staff members. He maintains an active corporate practice focused on tech and venture capital clients. At the Beacon Council, Davis’ ability to turn ideas into results prompted his election to council chair for 2017.
CURRENT JOB Co-Managing Shareholder at Greenberg Traurig in Miami. Chair of the Beacon Council.
BEST DAY AT WORK “When we close a major deal, particularly a local one with immense impact. Several years ago when we sold Terremark, that had a catalytic, transformative effect on Miami’s tech ecosystem.”
A MIAMI LOVE AFFAIR “We live in one of the most dynamic cities in the world. They used to compare Miami to St. Louis and St. Paul, but now we’re compared to San Francisco or New York and, increasingly, mentioned in the ranks with Shanghai and Singapore.”
GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT “Maintaining a corporate practice while managing a community presence. My calendar looks like a Christmas tree, and momentum is the common theme.”
MOMENT YOU KNEW YOU HAD MADE IT “I’m not sure I feel that way. I tend to be focused on what lies ahead rather than what’s been accomplished.”
LOVE WHAT YOU DO “The thing I love about law is that you can’t practice in a vacuum. You have to be out there with people, and I love the diversity of the people I get to meet. My clients are people who have zero limits to dream. I watch how they’re literally changing the world every day.”
UP NEXT AT BEACON “We’ll roll out an initiative called Connect and Grow, which will create a point of connectivity between startup companies and established companies. The startups get industry validation and early adoption of their technology, and the large companies get innovation. Because no matter how big your company is, if you don’t innovate, you will die.”
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE EVER RECEIVED “When I assumed the managing partner role, the chairman of the firm told me, ‘Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. As a lawyer, you have to be 100 percent correct when giving advice. But in management, if you’re correct 50 percent of the time, then you’re doing very well.’ When you’re coming up with strategies and ideas, sometimes they won’t work out, but you have to take those risks.”
GRAPE EXPECTATIONS “I’m a wine connoisseur, and I love to travel to remote places to educate myself more about it. By enjoying wine, you learn a lot about the world.”
DINING OUT “The perfect meal to me is a combination of atmosphere and quality food and service. No one embodies that more in Miami than Zuma. That’s a place I’ll line up for. I’m also loving Luke’s Lobster at Brickell City Centre.”
SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU “I was an executive producer and had a role in a movie called Playin’ for Love. It’s a romantic comedy directed by and starring Robert Townsend. I played the sports commentator on TV.”
SPEAK UP “I get angry when I encounter folks being treated unjustly, especially when they don’t have the ability to fight back. My parents raised me not to like bullies.”