On the court, Dana Drew Shaw learned about leadership, adversity, teamwork and communication, skills she still draws on heavily today as an attorney.
Before she joined the sports and entertainment practice of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, Shaw was a star basketball player at the University of Toledo, where she helped lead her team to four postseason appearances.
“Teams that are successful have a clear mission and common goals,” Dana said. “When I was in college, we wanted to be in the NCAA tournament and that drive translates to work and business.”
She met her husband, Casey Shaw, at the University of Toledo, where he also played basketball. Both are now in the school’s Hall of Fame. And her family is no stranger to the world of basketball, either. Her father, Homer Drew, was the basketball coach at Valparaiso University for 25 years, where her younger brother, Bryce Drew, is now the head coach. Her older brother, Scott Drew, is the head coach at Baylor University.
“There are so many life lessons and skills you learn from being a college athlete,” Dana said. “It really prepares you for the rest of your life.”
As an undergraduate, Dana studied political science, intrigued by law and the political process. After conversations with her uncle, who was a district attorney and appellate court judge, she decided to go to law school, also at the University of Toledo.
After graduation, Casey played basketball with the Philadelphia 76ers for a year, and then they moved to Europe.
There, Dana and Casey played professionally, living primarily in Italy. During their 11 years overseas, Dana immersed herself in sports law – reviewing contracts for players, working with agents, collaborating with European attorneys and teaching classes for an Italian law school.
“Living in Europe, the legal system was very different,” Dana said. “But it was a great opportunity to use the law in the sports field.”
When her husband retired in 2011, they moved back to the United States. Dana started consulting, particularly for female coaches and administrators.
“There was a lot of need in that area, and I realized I could be a really good resource for women,” Dana said.
Today, Shaw lives in Chicago with Casey and her four children, where she teaches sports law, sports administration and globalization of sports classes at Northwestern University and Elmhurst College.
Dana joined Shumaker in January 2015 and focuses her legal work on serving coaches, administrators and athletes.
“From a sports perspective, there’s a lot of opportunity in Chicago,” Dana said. “It’s been really beneficial for Shumaker to have a presence in this city.”
And when Dana’s clients need help with a legal issue that’s not sports-related, they can turn to other Shumaker attorneys.
“The coaches, administrators and athletes I work with appreciate that Shumaker is a one-stop shop – we can assist in so many ways from career consulting, employment agreements and estate plans, as well as offering general legal counsel,” Dana said. “I feel like there’s a whole team of great players I can put into the game to help me support my clients.”