BOSS 101: INTERVIEW WITH KIM DAILY

 

I met Kim Daily in middle school. We were always one of five or six black girls in our honors classes from seventh through twelfth grade. I always admired her drive, tenacity, and cross over and jump shot on the basketball court. (She was always on the A-team or Varsity, while I was on the B-team/Junior Varsity basketball teams haha.) The only place, I could attempt to keep up with her, was in the classroom. After high school, we went our separate ways and on to college. She went to Washington University in St. Louis, while I went to the University of Texas at Austin. While we lost touch, it all came full circle when she pursued her law degree at UT. Although I had already left Austin a year and a half prior, we still connected briefly so I could offer her some tips on best places to get a good meal, a good hairstyle, and a good word at church. While we haven't seen each other in person in almost a decade, I've continued to watch her glow and flourish over the past fews years and I am so honored to know this boss woman and be aspired by her from afar. 

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Tell us a little about yourself

My name is Kim Daily. I’m a lawyer from Houston, TX.  I’m a huge New England Patriots fan. I love to sing, even though I know it sounds good to absolutely no one other than myself.  (To me, it sounds like joy. I love the sound of joy.) And I am a graduate of the absolute best university in the cosmos—Washington University in St. Louis.

What inspired you to pursue a career in Law?

Honestly—and I wish I had a more profound story than this—I grew up watching lawyers on TV and thought, “that should be me.” I take great delight in storytelling and in breaking complex ideas down into understandable and relatable pieces. I enjoy doing that in written form and also in the spoken word. Every lawyer is not a courtroom lawyer, but I knew I wanted to be one, and I’ve enjoyed my career so far.

What’s one piece of advice you have for women out there that are looking to pursue a career in Law?

Know what you want and don’t take out massive student loans to get it. Law school is expensive, and far too many people decide to attend without actually stepping foot inside a law firm or courtroom, and without talking to lawyers about what they do on a daily basis and what their quality of life is like. Google is not always your friend when it comes to choosing your career. Talk to yourself, your God, your friends, and your family to evaluate what skills and traits you have that, no matter how hard you try, you can’t mess up. What light radiates within you? Who are you at your core? Know yourself, know the field, and exercise wisdom in deciding how much of a financial sacrifice you should take to make that happen.

What challenges do you face as a woman in your field? Specifically, what challenges do you face as a Black woman?

I’m glad you asked the second question, because the only place where I ever identify solely as a woman is on a basketball court full of men. Otherwise, everywhere I go, in every space I enter, I am a black woman. The biggest challenge I face is people expecting mediocrity. And that’s after they realize, yes, I am a lawyer, and yes, this is my seat at the table. I remember the first time I walked into my Honors-level reading class on the first day of 6th grade, and my teacher automatically assumed I was in the wrong room before even checking my schedule. “I’m sorry sweetheart, your classroom is down the hall.” I was obviously the only black person in the class. She turned me away twice before she realized I was actually supposed to be there. And unfortunately, that scenario still plays out in my career now. But I’m not 11 years old anymore, and I’m certainly not about to walk out of any room or space I know good and well I belong in.   

 How do you deal with being a female in the courtroom and in a male dominated industry?

Ha! I’ve found myself the only woman (and the only black person) in the courtroom and conference room countless times. I deal with it the same way I deal with it on the basketball court: I’m gon’ show y’all what it is and you gon’ learn today.

What inspires you?

History inspire me. One of the greatest truisms in my life is that you cannot know where you are going until you know where you have been. I’ve had the privilege—a deep, immeasurable privilege—of living 28 years under the tutelage of all four of grandparents, each of whom were born and raised in Jim Crow Mississippi. I think often about what they endured and sacrificed so that I can be who I am today. I think about my ancestors and the fact that I, we, are their wildest dreams. “Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise. I rise. I rise.”  

What Quote do you live by?

“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will see it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6.

In addition to being a lawyer, you also run your own brand/webseries called The Closing Argument. Tell us more about that.

Just as Toni Morrison did with her first novel, my partner and I created The Closing Argument because we wanted to watch it. We wanted to put young, well-informed, engaging black and minority voices at the forefront of conversations analyzing our current political and social climate. We wanted to showcase a multifaceted American perspective—one that elevates the conversation so that we’re talking to, not at, each other—and we wanted it to come from faces that are typically type-casted and put into a box. In other words, we wanted to shatter expectations and solidify our seat at the table.

We want The Closing Argument to place manna in the hands of those across the political spectrum who crave authentic conversation, who want to know how to respond when presented with different arguments, and who desire to go beyond tweetable and meme-able quips and clapbacks.

What inspired you to start The Closing Argument?

I’ve always been politically-oriented and have never been one to keep quiet on issues of social justice. I didn’t have an outlet to express my views the way I wanted to, so I created one.

How do you balance a 9-5 and your video channel?

Oh, I don’t. My full-time job has required a lot of time and energy in the past few months and I haven’t been able to do what I’d originally planned with the show. My passion hasn’t wavered, but I believe self-care is a real and important thing, and I couldn’t balance it all. We have the gears shifting to get back in production soon, and I’m really, really excited about that.

How do you redefine the B word? What’s your Boss Word?

My B word is bold. I know who I am and I live out that truth in unapologetic confidence everyday.

Any advice, tips, or additional stories you think could inspire and help a millennial woman aspiring to build her brand, her career, or a side hustle?

Ask yourself: what would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? Then go after it with every fiber of what makes you, you.

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