Coston-Holloway finds myriad ways to give back

Law Talk profile for The Memphis Daily News

Oct. 3, 2013

Joann Coston-Holloway, an associate with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC, is Shelby County’s district representative for the Tennessee Bar Association.

One of her roles is helping plan the Young Lawyers Division’s upcoming Wills for Heroes event, where attorneys will provide basic wills, living wills, and health care and financial powers of attorney to first responders and their spouses or partners.

Volunteers will be available for assistance on Oct. 12 at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library.

“The volunteers come away with more than, I think, the heroes because you get to hear about their stories, different situations that they’ve been involved in and you just really, really feel good being a part of knowing you’re making a difference for them because they’re out every day putting their life on the line to make a difference for you,” Coston-Holloway said.

Originally from New Orleans, she saw first responders in action during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 while a student at Xavier University of Louisiana studying political science. Coston-Holloway had her heart set on becoming a lawyer but wavered during her third year and dabbled in some other interests.

The pull, however, was too strong.

“I found myself realizing this is exactly what I want to do and I can’t run from it,” she said, “so I changed it back to political science.”

Coston-Holloway was inspired by things she saw as she was growing up that she wanted to speak out about, and it was a law degree that she knew would give her that opportunity. She graduated from Xavier cum laude and entered Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, La., graduating in 2008. While still in law school and looking to “spread her wings,” she interned for Baker Donelson during the summer after her second year . . . (read more)