Amanda is the grateful spouse to her wife Kay whom she has shared her life with for the last 23 years. They have lived in Beverly Hills, Michigan for 17 years where they are actively involved in their neighborhood and swim club. They have two children who attend Birmingham public schools. Their children are avid swimmers and Amanda and Kay love cheering them on from the stands as they complete with various swim teams. Amanda enjoys puttering around the garden and lounging in the gazebo Kay built during the pandemic, zooming around on her e-bike, baking elaborate cakes for family and friends and “glamping” in the family’s R.V. Kay and Amanda are fortunate to have friends and neighbors who are their “framily” whom they love to travel and hangout with. Their rescued beagle, blind cat and bearded Dragon complete their family.
Amanda is passionate about fairness in the law
Amanda attended Wayne State University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts graduating magna cum laude with honors in Political Science. While earning her undergraduate degree she was an active participant in peace and conflict studies which included participating in an international conference on civic literacy and responsibility in London, England. After graduation, Amanda assisted at-risk youth with obtaining employment skills as a youth programs coordinator through Michigan Works! in Oak Park, Michigan. Amanda entered Wayne State Law School in 2001 and earned her law degree in 2004. During law school Amanda founded the LGBTQ Law Caucus to provide a safe and affirming space for LGBTQ+ law students as there was no LGBTQ+ organizational presence at Wayne law at that time. Later, she became president of the Student Board of Governors at Wayne Law, the first woman and openly gay person to do so. As president she represented Wayne Law at national conventions, attended faculty meetings to represent students’ interests and served on the law school Dean Search Committee. Amanda was awarded the Ford Motor Leadership Scholarship as a result of her leadership.
Amanda is an advocate for the voiceless
Amanda began her professional practice in 2004 in the commercial litigation department at Pepper Hamilton LLP (“Pepper”) a national law firm with attorneys throughout the United States. As an associate attorney, she litigated at the state and federal level for large and small corporate clients. Her areas of practice included general commercial litigation, employment, bankruptcy preference litigation, white collar crime defense and construction litigation. Shortly after graduating from law school Amanda helped found the Stonewall Bar Association, an informal bar association for LGBTQ+ attorneys, as there was no formal bar association for LGBTQ+ attorneys at the time. She is now the Chair-Elect of LGBTQA Section, the formal successor to the Stonewall Bar Association and recently elected to the Family Law Council of the State Bar of Michigan.
Together with Mary K. Deon, another Pepper associate attorney, Amanda started the Shelton & Deon Law Group (“SDLG”) in 2011. SDLG is a litigation boutique serving individuals and business. Amanda’s commercial practice focuses on general business counseling, commercial transactions and litigation, non-profit management, real-estate disputes and employment matters. In her commercial practice, Amanda frequently appears in state and federal courts (both trial and appellate), regulatory and other administrative proceedings and various private arbitration and alternative resolution forums. Amanda is a frequent speaker on LGBTQ+ issues including training judges and their staff on access to justice issues for the LGBTQ+ community at the Michigan Judicial Institute Conference, Michigan Midsummer Family Law Conference, and the State Bar Joint Annual Program. She is also featured as a Spotlight Speaker for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education presenting a webinar on “Same-Sex Divorce in Michigan.”
Amanda has received various professional honors and awards during her career including:
- Top Women Attorneys in Michigan, 2021
- Detroit Free Press “2020 Best of the Best Recipient – Best Divorce Attorney,” 2020
- Super Lawyers® Rising Star (Michigan), 2012 to 2014
- Top Attorneys in Michigan Rising Star, New York Times 2012
- Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur Award, Artistic Women’s Entertainment, 2014
- Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce Business Women’s Network Athena Award Nominee, 2015
- AV Preeminent Lawyer, Martindale-Hubbell (peer review rating of 5.0 out of 5.0)
Amanda gives back to Oakland County
Amanda has been committed to community service throughout her life. As a teen she volunteered at nursing homes providing companionship to residents; as a college and law student she volunteered with the Ruth Ellis Center helping to prepare housing for homeless LGBTQ+ youth and worked to educate the public about the plight of racing Greyhounds and their suitability as companion animals through the non-profit REGAP (retired greyhounds as pets).
In 2006 Amanda joined the Board of Directors at the Ruth Ellis Center where she served on the Executive, Development and Program Committees. Amanda served on the board of directors for over nine years and is still involved with the Center. During her tenure on the board, she oversaw the transition of executive director leadership and raised much needed capital for the new drop-in and medical center that serves LGBTQ+ youth in and around Detroit who are experiencing homelessness and in need of trauma informed care. Amanda is the Vice-President of the Cranbrook Swim Club in Southfield, a non-profit community swim club, where she helps to ensure the sustainability of the facility and provides pro bono legal services.