Shannon O’Connell Egan’s first boss out of the University of Louisville thought it would be a good idea for her to go to law school. At the time, she was working as a counselor at Dismas Charities in Louisville, at a men’s halfway house that allows inmates to become reacquainted with their families and the community before release or parole.
She started there in 1993 as a resident monitor, keeping track of inmates on restricted custody, many of whom had work privileges. She took the job because it was a chance to be a counselor.
Shannon worked at the halfway house for two years. Her boss, Larry Ball, observed that she was good with the population she was working with and thought she could do bigger things. Shannon knew she could do anything she wanted, but it was Larry Ball who put the idea of being a lawyer in her head.
“I had so much respect for him. He was tough but caring. He didn’t let the guys get away with anything, but he understood the predicaments they were in and that people could get better. He believed in redemption.” Like Larry, Shannon also has a heart for people who have not been given much of a chance in life, people born into poverty.
Shannon grew up mostly around Nashville and speaks with a warm Tennessee inflection. O’Connell is her maiden name -- she uses it still because she didn’t want to lose that part of her Irish heritage. Her father earned a Purple Heart in Vietnam. He was a staff sergeant in an infantry unit in the northernmost reaches of the demilitarized zone. Her mother was an artist who Shannon says worried more about others than herself. She has a younger brother who lives in Atlanta. Shannon is the first in her family to have a college degree.
If she hit $50 million in the lottery, she’d pay off her school loans and the mortgage on her Delhi home. She would buy a 1964 Mustang convertible and restore it – the classic red with the white top. She’d travel to Ireland with her daughters, Erin and Eileen. Because Erin has severe food allergies, Shannon would also invest more time increasing awareness and education on the subject and on fundraising to find a cure.
Shannon is an attorney in the Firm’s Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights Practice Group. Her experience as a counselor and, later as an attorney, with the Northern Kentucky Legal Aid Society, helps her understand the other side. When working with people on the verge of losing their homes, Shannon says she would much rather find a way to resolve the matter to the best interests of both sides.
“People make mistakes. That doesn’t necessarily shape them as a person. I would much rather find a way to resolve the default so people can keep their homes. That way, both sides win. To me, that’s the goal."
Shannon’s practice is focused in the areas of lender liability defense litigation, and creditor’s rights litigation.
Shannon is licensed to practice in the state and federal courts of Kentucky. She is a graduate of the University of Louisville, where she earned a B.A. in Psychology. She earned her J.D. at the Paul M. Herbert Law Center of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After graduating from LSU, Shannon moved to Louisville, Kentucky whereshe practiced as an attorney focusing on juvenile and family court work at the Louisville-Jefferson County Public Defender Corporation. Upon moving to Cincinnati, Ohio, Shannon worked as an attorney with the Northern Kentucky Legal Aid Society (now known as Legal Aid of the Bluegrass), where she concentrated on bankruptcy, family, and housing law. Prior to joining Graydon as Of Counsel, Shannon spent several years with another law firm, working in the areas of bankruptcy, lender liability defense and creditors’ rights cases.
Shannon was born and raised in Tennessee, and lived for several years in Louisville, Kentucky, where much of her family is located. She currently resides on the west side of Cincinnati with her two daughters.