Who We Are

The Collective is a highly skilled team of hand-selected Black women Lawyers, Experts, Change Agents, and Problem Solvers, all with successful careers in their individual fields of expertise, who were tired of seeing people who looked like them being misrepresented and recognized the need for a better way to serve clients.

What We Do

  • Family Law

  • Business & Intellectual Property

  • Criminal Defense

  • Lawsuits

  • Mental Health

  • Domestic Violence Recovery

  • Anger Management

  • Communication Strategy

  • Community Education

  • Community Service

  • Nonprofits

  • Empowerment

  • Legal Counsel

  • Reputation Management

  • Crisis Management

  • Media Statements


To provide exceptional legal and comprehensive crisis management services to families and individuals in need.

To provide a choice alternative to Black Businessmen, Businesswomen, Artists, Entertainers, Athletes, Celebrities, and others involved in high net worth or high profile cases currently represented by firms who care about your money but don’t care about you.


We believe the traditional practice of solely focusing on a client’s legal matter, while silently watching them struggle in other areas of their lives, does them a great disservice. Instead, here at The Collective, we prioritize overall client well being. Our innovative practices simultaneously guide our clients through the legal process in a way that achieves optimal results in the courtroom, while ensuring they are equipped with tools they need to handle any stresses, anxieties or personal issues exacerbated by their case, thereby safeguarding their interests beyond the courtroom. In doing so, we’ve shifted the legal industry’s narrow view of what legal representation should look like.


At The Collective, we are committed to handing all cases with utmost diligence, integrity, discretion, and confidentiality. However, our commitment extends beyond merely fixing your legal problems. We care about the client, not just the case. Therefore, our team ensures our clients are properly advised and have the tools to not only resolve &/or avoid additional legal problems, but also to face and overcome issues in all aspects of their lives moving forward.



Servicing individuals, families, and small businesses in need of top notch legal counsel, comprehensive expertise and care.


With our unique focus on high profile/high net worth cases, we provide Black Artists, Entertainers, Athletes, Celebrities, and others involved in high net worth or high profile legal matters with comprehensive legal and crisis management services, guaranteed to safeguard their interests both in & out of the courtroom.


Dedicated to our community.

Providing a host of free resources and launching local & nationwide initiatives (like our yearly free expungement tour) geared toward ensuring our community has access to critical knowledge, services and representation.

Practice Areas & Service Offerings

Our attorneys specialize in Family Law, Criminal Defense, Entertainment Law, Business Law, and Litigation.

We provide the following service offerings:


With our unique focus on high profile cases, we provide confidential & comprehensive case strategy and management services to high profile individuals and their teams. By conducting a thorough analysis of existing or potential legal matters, we identify the strengths and weaknesses of each case, create a clear case strategy based on our client’s goals, and assist with the execution of the plan via ongoing consulting, case management, or serving as co-counsel.


Whether you are looking to make an amicable split, resolve a legal dispute or negotiate a new business deal, our dispute resolution team and expert negotiators work to ensure our clients walk away with the best resolution/deal possible.


The Collective is comprised of a Stellar Legal Team to handle your Litigation needs. Whether you are facing Divorce, Child Custody/Support Disputes, Criminal charges, Lawsuits, or other serious legal matters, our team is equipped with Legal Specialists, Strategists, and experienced Trial Lawyers who will advocate on your behalf to protect your interests.

Comprehensive Counsel + Specialized Services


The problem with traditional law firms, is that lawyers don’t care about what happens outside of the billable hour; meaning they care about the case, but not necessarily the client. The Collective, however, understands that legal issues have a tendency to detrimentally effect other areas of your life. Depending on the level of conflict, cases can to lead to anxieties or mental health issues, as well as trigger actions, which may jeopardize your reputation and livelihood. When they do, our team is there with comprehensive services to ensure you have the tools you need to safeguard your interests, not only inside the courtroom, but outside of the courtroom as well. In doing so, we step up where other firms fall short, helping our client’s navigate the collateral damage that often accompanies legal battles.

Our in-house team of highly skilled professionals is experienced in the following:

  • Crisis Management & Strategy
  • Mental Health
  • Personal Development
  • Anger Management
  • Domestic Violence Education and Recovery
  • Reputation Management
  • Communication Strategy and more

Driven by more than just dollars, our team ensures our clients have the tools they need to fix what’s broken, both in and out of the courtroom, thereby positively affecting all aspects of their lives, long after their legal issues are behind them.

“We were just tired of seeing people

who look like us being

consistently misrepresented.”

The Collective

Meet The Team

Merissa V. Grayson, Esq.
Merissa V. Grayson, Esq.Founding Attorney
Attorney Grayson is the Founder and Managing Attorney of The Collective.
Named as one of Black Enterprises “Top Black Female Attorneys you should know”, Merissa prides herself in the successful resolution of High Profile Legal Matters through thoughtful representation and dynamic litigation.
Nicole Updegraff
Nicole UpdegraffChief of Staff
Working alongside Attorney Grayson, Nicole assists in the overall strategic operation of the firm.
Additionally, as
head of the Crisis
Management Division, Nicole works directly with The Collective’s clients on conflict resolution, communication strategy and reputation management.
Jonaee Coffey
Jonaee CoffeyOperations Manager
Working as Attorney Grayson’s right hand, Jonaee closely manages the administrative needs of the firm; including, Prospective client intake, Managing and distributing information, Planning & scheduling, Billing, Client communication and more.
Angela Muse, Esq.
Angela Muse, Esq.Attorney, California
Attorney Muse effectively handles cases in our California Division related to Family Law & Criminal Defense.
Angela’s strong networks, superb people skills, and brilliant investigative techniques are necessary to developing factual histories to ensure proper case preparation and follow through.
Deborah Pino, Esq.
Deborah Pino, Esq.Of Counsel, South Florida
With 20+ years of experience, Attorney Pino expertly supports client needs in our South Florida Division.
She is a Member of the Florida Bar, United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida and Seminole Tribal Court. She also serves as Guardian ad Litem in all Florida and Georgia courts.
Joleena Pickett-Louis, Esq.
Joleena Pickett-Louis, Esq.Of Counsel, New York
A dedicated Attorney, Joleena Pickett-Louis ardently represents clients in our New York Division.
Adept at knowing when to calmly negotiate vs when to aggressively litigate, Joleena is astute and principled, always putting the best interest of The Collective’s clients above all else.
Shannon N. Davis, Esq.
Shannon N. Davis, Esq.Of Counsel, Central Florida
Hand selected for her utmost diligence, Attorney Davis serves clients in our Central Florida Division.
As an attorney, counselor and advocate for the protection of rights, Shannon is a uniquely positioned conduit of change, ever focused on the needs and interests of our clients.
Natalie K. Howard, Esq.
Natalie K. Howard, Esq.Of Counsel, Metro Atlanta
Highly skilled and hard working, Attorney Howard represents clients in our Georgia Division.
With a focus on high quality representation, personable & professional service, and effective results, Natalie utilizes experience, passion, and knowledge to get the job done.
Joycelyn Brown, Esq.
Joycelyn Brown, Esq.Patent Attorney, Florida
Joycelyn Brown works with an array of clients, including entertainers, business owners, and inventors, to protect their intellectual property. In addition to her patent expertise, Joycelyn also assists clients via business consulting and growth strategies, contract drafting and negotiation, compliance matters, data privacy, licensing, copyrights, trademarks, and litigation.⁠
Natalie Gouche
Natalie GoucheSocial Media Strategist
As a social media and digital marketing expert, Natalie works within our Business, Entertainment & Crisis Management Divisions to help our clients increase their reach and control their own narrative by leveraging the power of the internet.
Dr. Cozette M. White
Dr. Cozette M. WhiteChief Financial Executive
A nationally recognized finance and tax
strategist, Dr. White works within all divisions of The Collective to provide comprehensive finance auditing, accounting, tax, wealth management and business management services.
Dr. Glenna Anderson
Dr. Glenna AndersonMental Health Therapist
Offering a myriad of services and qualified to treat issues from mild anxiety to major mental illness, Dr. Glenna supports the crisis management division and works with clients at the recommendation of our Attorneys and/or requirements of the court.
Renesha Traylor
Renesha TraylorPersonal Development Consultant
As The Collective’s in-house Personal Development Instructor, Renesha works directly with our clients to ensure the successful completion of court mandated classes, programs, certifications, and more.
Naja Hall
Naja HallMaster
Step Family Coach
Dedicated to minimizing blended family conflict, Naja supports clients in our Family Law Division through coaching and counsel, to successfully navigate major life transitions such as separation, divorce, and recoupling.