Mayanne Downs


An attorney, mother, and advocate.


Mayanne is Shareholder and General Counsel for GrayRobinson. She served as GrayRobinson's President and Managing Director from 2016-2019, the first woman to hold that position. She has served as president of the Orange County Bar Association, the Legal Aid Society, the Central Florida Association of Women Lawyers, and the 100,000-member Florida Bar. She graduated at the top of her class from the University of Florida, and is a member of the University of Florida Hall of Fame. She is City Attorney for Orlando, the first woman to be appointed, and is also a member of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, which disciplines judges. She is proudest of being the first female managing partner of a major law firm in the Southeastern United States and the single parent of Barry, a Nashville musician, and Savannah, a third generation University of Florida law student. 

Mayanne served as president of The Florida Bar from 2010-2011. As president, she traveled thousands of miles throughout Florida and the country, speaking to legal organizations and newspaper editorial boards and testifying before the Florida Legislature. She implemented the first direct communication between bar leadership and bar members about legislative matters. 

Mayanne received both her bachelor’s and juris doctor from the University of Florida. In law school, Mayanne held two senior editorial positions at the University of Florida Law Review; was chancellor of the Student Honor Court; a member of the University of Florida Hall of Fame; tapped into Florida Blue Key; received numerous book awards and graduated with highest honors. She also was inducted into Order of the Coif.

She is the combination of intelligence, tenacity, and willingness to get things done, unlike anyone I’ve ever known.

-Biff Marshall, Chair of the Board, GrayRobinson

“Mayanne is one of the best negotiators I have ever seen. She's able to put people at ease with her knowledge and expertise and take command of a situation to get things done — and in a responsible and reasonable manner.”

-Buddy Dyer, Mayor, City of Orlando



Commercial Litigation
Municipal & Local Government
Shareholder & Business Dispute
High Stakes Family Law


J.D., University of Florida, High Honors, 1987
B.A., University of Florida, 1979
Emory University, 1974-1976


Florida U.S. Supreme Court
11th Circuit Court of Appeals
U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida


To me, and with all due respect to Sheryl Sandberg, the phrase “Lean in” is pallid and faint. What I tell women is to jump in. The key to overcoming gender bias is to be so good at your job you’re as close to being indispensable as possible.
— Mayanne downs


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