Margaret Battersby Black
Partner // Levin & Perconti
Description of Your Practice:
I am a Plaintiff’s personal injury trial lawyer working primarily on medical malpractice and nursing home cases although I handle any type of personal injury case.
Why are you a member of the WBAI?
I like being a part of organizations that support and promote women and I think it is important as a woman lawyer to have comrades to support each other in the practice of law and balancing that with life’s adventures.
What are the qualities you have seen and admired in a senior female attorney you know?
Senior female attorneys that I admire are confident and aggressive while also maintaining an even keeled approach and not getting overly emotional. They take their client’s causes seriously but do not take themselves too seriously. They are strong advocates but also have an ability to work well with others. I think being able to get along with men and women well is also a quality I admire and is necessary to succeed.
I find it advantageous continuously. Although some of the things I’m suggesting sound gender-stereotypical, unfortunately that is the world we still live in. It can be advantageous at trials, sometimes women have better approaches with witnesses and jurors. Sometimes female judges like to see women leading trial teams. It can be advantageous in getting and keeping clients because women can sometimes relate to or communicate with clients to calm or soothe them better. It can work well in depositions, being friendly and engaging rather than attacking. I’ve been able to bond with both clients and opposing counsel or risk managers over being mothers of young children. Of course, all of the qualities I’m discussing can be equally true of men and women can certainly take the opposite position and be successful.
What are you most looking forward to in the following year, personally/professionally?
My firm recently sent three female lawyers on maternity leave, two of them first time moms, and I’m looking forward to mentoring them as they transition back into the firm and helping them cope with their new found status as mommy lawyers. I have some fun cases coming up for trial too. Personally, I’m looking forward to my first full year in my new home in the suburbs with my family and building our backyard into a suburban playground!
Tell us something interesting about you.
I come from a family of judges and lawyers in the Metro Detroit area where entering a court house you are asked whose son, daughter, niece, nephew or cousin you are. I am the only one who chose to practice outside of Michigan so I enjoy being the first “Battersby” in Illinois to be a member of the bar.