Bachelor of Arts Florida, 1911. Bachelor of Laws, Columbia University, 1914.
Private practice, Gainesville, Florida, 1914-1916; associate, E.J. L'Engle, Jacksonville, Florida, 1919-1925; partner, L'Engle and Shands, Jacksonville, 1926-1936; partner, L'Engle, Shands, McCarthy & Lane, Jacksonville, 1936-1942; president, director, Atlantic National Bank, Jacksonville, from 1942. Board directors Pullman Company.
Board of directors Daniel Memorial Home for Children. Board directors, member Executive Committee Florida War Fund, Inc., 1943-1944. State Chairman, Victory Fund Committee, 1942.
Regional manager Florida War Finance Committee, 1943-1945. Past Chairman, Board Of Directors Community War Chest Jacksonville and Duval County, Florida, president, 1943. Board directors, president United Fund, Jackson and Duval County.
Second lieutenant infantry Florida National Guard. Mexico Border Service, 1916-1917. Captain infantry Advertising Educational Foundation, World War I. Member Florida Chamber of Commerce (board directors), Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce (past director), Timuquasna Country Club (Jacksonville), River Club (Jacksonville), Ponte Vedra (Florida) Beach Club, Kappa Alpha.
Married Mary Courtney Harris, November 15, 1924. Children: Susan Courtney Shands Murchison, Mary Ann Shands Bryan, Joseph Walter Junior.