Spotlight on Sara Davis

Please let me introduce you to Sara Davis. You may have seen her recently featured in The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin because her client—who suffered from a certain headache disorder—was awarded a record verdict for that condition in Illinois. Sara wins significant verdicts. She is also a regular on the rising star and emerging lawyer lists, a Forty Under 40 alumnus, and a Top Women Attorney in Illinois. She is also active in the ISBA as an officer in civil practice section, and Women’s Bar Association of Illinois (WBAI) as a regular co-chair and mentor. Beyond this, she frequently publishes papers and presents seminars to trial lawyers.

But what strikes me most about Sara is not the accolades or her results, but her gravitas, grit, and love of the law. These traits distinguish Sara and draw you to her. She’s the attorney seasoned lawyers want to emulate and young lawyers aspire to be.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Sara and delving into the “why” behind it all.

Below is an excerpt from a recent interview I had with Sara, where I had the pleasure of delving into the

“I am proud to be an attorney,” Sara says. “We are in a unique position to help people navigate a complex legal system and arrive at a just outcome. To non-lawyers the process is intimidating. We speak a different language, we have our own culture, and of course the endless rules. To help people through that often-arduous process is incredibly rewarding. I chose to pursue a career in representing personal injury and medical malpractice victims because my clients retain me after their worst nightmare has occurred. They or someone they love has been catastrophically injured in a motor vehicle accident or been the victim of medical malpractice and they don’t know where to turn.  While I cannot undo the harm that has been done to them, I can help them get their measure of justice. This often gives them the financial means to care for themselves and their families, but beyond that it gives them back power, restores self-respect, and offers them some closure.”

Beyond the personal drive to assist her clients, Sara also enjoys the mental rigors that the law provides. “In addition to the ability to help people, I find the practice of law to be rewarding because of the intellectual challenges it presents. Preparing for the deposition of a medical expert, economist, or any individual with specialized knowledge is always challenging. I am constantly learning about new areas. I am also always working to improve my litigation skills.  Trial work is the most fun because no two days are ever alike. You must think quickly on your feet and remain focused.  The hours fly by when on trial.”

And, true to someone heavily involved in the WBAI, Sara has a keen interest in women being promoted in the law. “I am encouraged by the continuing number of female lawyers that are entering our profession. I would like to see more work done to enable women to stay in the profession, stay in litigation, and to advance in their careers.  When I began practicing I had many female contemporaries practicing personal injury litigation.  As my career continues the number of women in the practice continues to decline.  Particularly women trying cases as first chair. There is no simple solution to this issue but we should all be motivated to keep women in the profession.”

Sara Davis is impressive in her credentials, her knowledge, and her passion. My advice to young attorneys is to look to her as an example and know you can do it, too. To those of us more seasoned, she’s got our back.

Margaret Manetti handles civil appeals and complex trial work at Codilis & Associates, P.C.  She is a member of the Standing Committee on Women and the Law.

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May 2018Volume 23Number 5