Not many minorities go into the title industry—here’s what one Birmingham company is doing to change that

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Evita McClinton, CanopyTitle
Evita McClinton at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

Most people don’t give a lot of thought to the business of closing a home loan. But for people in the title industry, it’s their bread and butter. While the industry historically hasn’t done a great job of attracting and promoting minorities, one Birmingham-based company is working to change that. Birmingham native Evita McClinton has been working at CanopyTitle for a year as a closing attorney. Here is her story. 

Meet Evita McClinton

Evita McClinton at a Bama game
Evita + her partner Felecia watching the Tide Roll! (Evita McClinton)

Born and raised in Birmingham, Evita McClinton definitely did not dream of becoming an attorney when she grew up. In fact, she loves to dance and is a huge Janet Jackson fan, so of course, she wanted to be a background dancer for Janet. 

Seriously, one thing she knew for sure: she was a big Bama fan and wanted to attend The University of Alabama. #RollTide

Go to Alabama she did, and along the way, she became friends with several investors who were buying properties within certain areas to renovate and sell. The idea of restoring communities one home at a time drew her into real estate.

Surprisingly, once she was a Realtor, McClinton discovered that she really enjoyed sitting in on closings with her clients. Curious to learn more about what goes on before everyone gets to the closing table, she talked with her broker.

Her broker encouraged her, saying “if you want to go back to school and get another degree so you can do this work, go for it.”

McClinton decided to do just that.

The importance of relationships in building a career

Amye von Seebach, CanopyTitle
Amye von Seebach is President of CanopyTitle. (Amye von Seebach / LinkedIn)

Before starting at Birmingham School of Law, McClinton reached out to an alum named Amye von Seebach, who was already working in the title industry. 

Von Seebach eagerly followed McClinton’s progress through school. 

“Evita is extremely gifted, and has a unique background in both title insurance—she worked for a title company during law school—and in real estate, from the agent perspective, that is extremely rare to find in the attorney community. 

Since real estate agents are our best customers, Evita’s understanding of their part of the transaction is very special. She also has the kind of presence you need to command a room full of personalities without being combative.”

—Amye von Seebach, President, CanopyTitle

When McClinton went to work at CanopyTitle after graduation, “it was a gift for our entire team,” said von Seebach.

McClinton’s role as a closing attorney

Evita McClinton, CanopyTitle
Before working as a closing attorney, McClinton was a Realtor. (Evita McClinton)

According to McClinton, closing attorneys take care of all the arrangements that go into closing a real estate transaction. 

In real estate, the closing is sort of like childbirth—it’s an exciting moment where a million things need to go just right to ensure that it’s a happy occasion.

Some of what the closing attorney does beforehand includes examining the title and resolving any possible issues. They also review all the documents to make sure all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed. 

Perhaps most importantly, they ensure that all parties fully understand everything that they’re signing. Then, they disperse all the funds so all the people get paid what they’re owed—for example the inspector, the pest service, the surveyor, the Realtor and so on. 

What McClinton loves about her work at Canopy Title

Evita McClinton, CanopyTitle
Evita McClinton at the Botanical Gardens. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

It’s clear from talking with McClinton that she loves what she does. For her, it boils down to three key things: 

  1. No two days or transactions are alike
  2. She loves interacting with all the people
  3. She really enjoys the people she works with. 

Her favorite moments are seeing the first-time homebuyers’ expressions and emotions when they’re handed the keys to their very first home at the end of a closing. 

At Canopy, she says the small staff loves what they do and puts in the time to meet the needs of their clients and produce successful closings.

CanopyTitle is currently looking to hire a first-language Spanish speaker in their post closing department. If you’re interested in a career at Canopy, check out their job board today.

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Sharron Swain
Sharron Swain

Writer, Interviewer + Adventurer | Telling stories to make a difference

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