I’ve enjoyed exposure to several different practice areas during my short tenure in the law, including criminal prosecution, civil defense, and now, as a plaintiff’s personal injury attorney.
At Beatty Motil, I represent people who are injured in accidents or in work-related incidents, and victims of sexual harassment and discrimination.
Prior to joining my current firm, I worked for a mid-sized defense firm, where I represented companies, large and small, in complex, multi-state tort litigation. I traveled the country to take depositions, from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine, and (nearly) everything in between.
My first job out of law school was as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Madison County, IL, where I prosecuted misdemeanors, DUIs, Domestic Violence and various traffic charges while obtaining a great deal of trial experience.
I’ve found my path to be quite different than the “norm,” but I am grateful to have had such wide exposure to vastly different practice areas.
How has your practice evolved in the last few years?
With three very different jobs and practice areas, one can imagine that my practice has been in a constant state of evolution. At Beatty Motil, I’ve really found my niche and have learned how rewarding it is to help navigate clients through the legal process to help them obtain justice. I’m particularly passionate about sexual harassment and discrimination cases and hope to further expand this area of my practice to help those most vulnerable and who have been historically ignored.
If you could offer one piece of advice for young lawyers, what would it be?
Always be the most prepared person in the room. Put in the time to know your case better than opposing counsel and the judge. This is especially important because, inevitably, some part of your case will not go as planned. It is much easier to be flexible and advance your case theory when you are intimately familiar with the facts of your case.
What are you most hopeful for about the future of the legal profession?
I’m most hopeful that the legal community will continue to embrace diversity.
How has civility made a difference in your practice of law?
To me, the practice of law necessitates civility, as the legal profession is an exciting yet very demanding practice. Personal attacks or vitriol against another attorney does nothing for your client or to advance your case theory; by treating others with respect, attorneys can fully focus on their clients’ issues and interests. I firmly believe that all attorneys can project a favorable image of the profession by treating each other with kindness and respect. I’m frequently scheduled for court dockets at the same time, in different places. I’ve had attorneys offer to let me cut in front of them in line or to bring paperwork to a clerk to ensure I make it to my next docket on time. These small favors do not go unnoticed.
What do you do for fun?
I love hiking and playing with my rescue-pup, Dewey, and traveling! I recently took a trip to Cuba and will soon visit Seattle, Salt Lake City, and Charleston.
Stephanie Black obtained her J.D. degree from Southern Illinois University School of Law in 2012. She joined Beatty Motil in October 2017.