A Hard Look in the Mirror

Thousands of billboards all over the place, TV commercials, “Call Me Alabama” as a well-known catchphrase, and all the verdicts and wins in the last 20 years.

Origin Story photo | About Alexander Shunnarah
A Little History

Growing Up in Alabama

As a kid, I spent most weekends behind a table at a flea market in Birmingham, Alabama, selling stuff. My father was a peddler at these markets, and he’d say, “Son, I want you to sell $20 or $50 of stuff while I go get us some merchandise.” I loved it because I loved people. I’ve always loved people, and I was out there as a kid honing my people skills.

I was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. My dad is from Jerusalem. He came to America through Ellis Island, served in the Navy, then went back to Jerusalem and married my mother. They moved to Birmingham and had me. We’re a Christian family.

Growing up, I was 1000% told by my father that to have a good life, I needed to educate myself. He didn’t go past the sixth grade, so he emphasized education.

In my teens, Dad bought a convenience store, and I went with him into that business. He called them “c-stores,” and one c-store led to a second c-store, and the next thing you know, we had a lot of c-stores. By 20, I was making a couple of hundred grand.

I was rolling, but Dad would say to me, over and over, “You’re never going to do what I do, son. You’re never going to work in a grocery store. Be a doctor or a lawyer.”

He never let up, and so I went to college and then law school — but I never stopped working full-time at the c-stores.

I worked my way through college, and I worked my way through law school. But I have a good work ethic. I’ve been working since I was 13.

At 34, I opened my law firm. I was young, and it wasn’t easy.

A Humble Beginning

“You’re never going to do what I do, son. You’re never going to work in a grocery store. Be a doctor or a lawyer.”

Large image of the Alexander Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama

There was one particular thing I faced in the early years that was extra hard. I’d look in the mirror and ask myself a tough question”

“Am I really the best attorney for this person?”

Many times in my climb, my answer was no.

They don’t teach you this in law school.

For example, say a woman comes in, and she’s tragically lost her husband in a factory explosion. She’s interviewing two or three firms. But she likes what I say, and I get the case.

But when she leaves, it’s just me. I look into this mirror I have in my office and ask myself,

“Am I really the best attorney for this person to have the best chance to monetize and maximize their recovery?”

Many times early in my career, I’d feel the answer was no. I was hard on myself. I was comparing myself to the best law firms in the world.

But I used it to help me identify all the missing pieces to be the best at monetizing and maximizing claims.

A Humble Beggining


I‘d do everything in my power to fill the gaps between where I was and where I wanted my firm to be.

That mirror drove me to get better as an attorney and a business owner.

It drove me to handpick and hire the best trial lawyers in the business. (You can’t take a pack of mules to the horse track, so I didn’t stop till I got thoroughbreds).

It drove me to hire incredible support staff.

That mirror drove me to get the best technology: 3D graphics to show why a tractor-trailer wrecked. Artificial intelligence if it helps to tell our client’s story right so that they have the best opportunity to win their case.

And maybe hardest of all, looking in that mirror drove me to acquire a large financial war chest.

Many people don’t know, but I have $10 million on the street helping people who are hurt pay their bills until their case settles. I have another $10 million covering case expenses. In total, I have more than $50 million working for our clients. Most law firms can’t do that or simply won’t.

Today, my firm is nationwide and consists of 24 offices and 500 of the finest people in the world, all dedicated to our clients winning.

I love what I do, which boils down to putting our clients in the best position to win their cases.

Today I can look in the mirror every time and answer, “Yes, we are,” to that question that used to be so difficult.… But my journey of improvement will never be complete. I still look in the mirror and ask myself how we can get better.

One last story. I’ve been working since I started as a kid at those flea markets, but something happened about ten years into being a lawyer. It stopped being work at all. Law became who I am. I’m not an absentee owner; I’m a leader in the trenches. I was recently asked by a journalist, “What are your work hours, Mr. Shunnarah?” I told him the truth: “Eyes open, eyes closed.”

I am still looking in the mirror.


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