Sheila Shoemake

I became a criminal defense attorney to defend people’s constitutional rights. My father was an attorney in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. I admired his passion for helping others. His service as an advocate for people facing prosecution from a powerful government inspired me to become a defense attorney.

I’m fluent in Spanish. This is mainly due the extensive time I spent living and working in Mexico. During that time, I was actively involved in the community. That helped me better understand culture and language.

I was a Spanish and French professor prior to law school. Institutions I taught at included Del Mar College, a primarily Hispanic college in south Texas and Langston University, a historically black university in Oklahoma. These experiences opened my eyes to the injustices many people face. Watching my students strive to leap ahead only to be pushed back down by our legal system was a motivator for my leaving teaching and fulfilling my life-long desire to become an attorney.

I started my legal career as a public defender. During that time, I handled hundreds of cases per year. The charges ranged from misdemeanors to violent felonies. Defending the most vulnerable among us further impressed upon me just how important it is for everyone to receive zealous representation. Despite time and budget constraints, I did everything I could as a public defender to advocate for my clients. As a private attorney now, I have an even greater opportunity to maximize the potential for a good outcome in my clients’ cases.