New York Personal Injury Attorneys
SPBMCC Women’s History Month Spotlight: Eleni Coffinas
Throughout history, women have fought for progress, freedom and advocacy, uplifting the voices that came before them and taking great risks in order to improve their lives and the lives around them. Today, women continue to redefine their own opportunity and potential, and rewrite the future that lies before us, paving the way for future generations.
While women make limitless contributions to our society and our industry every day, March is a month to formally acknowledge and honor the accomplishments women have made in American history. During the month of March, SPBMCC would like to recognize the strong, successful female partners of the firm and the impact they have made on their practice and their peers.
Women’s History Month was originally a week-long celebration—Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28 in 1981, which declared the annual celebration a week long starting March 7,1982. In 1987, the National Women’s History Project appealed to Congress to extend the holiday to the entire month of March. Pub. L. 100-9 declared March of 1987 Women’s History Month. Over the course of five years, congress continued to acknowledge women’s effects and advances to society. In 1995, they declared Women’s History Month an annual celebration during the month of March.
Eleni Coffinas, Partner at Sullivan Papain Block McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. has been a member of the firm since 1993. An experienced and highly effective trial advocate, Ms. Coffinas has won many seven- and eight-figure verdicts and settlements in medical malpractice cases. Today, SPBMCC would like to recognize Eleni and her incredible contributions to the firm and her commitment to the progression and upholding of law. Below is a brief Q&A with Eleni, who offers a thoughtful recount of the woman in her life that inspired her to pursue a legal career, as well as her words of wisdom for other young women interested in pursuing the practice of law.
Q: Were there any women who inspired you to pursue a legal career?
A: “The woman who inspired me to have a legal career was not a lawyer. She was not a college graduate. She was raised in an old fashioned, Greek household, where the traditional role of a woman was wife and mother. She was however, extremely insightful and forward-thinking and understood there were more options. She understood that a woman can be a great wife, a great mom and have her own career. That woman was my mother and she always encouraged my two sisters and me to pursue our own careers. Since law was already in the family, (my father was a lawyer, then a Judge), it was a natural path for us to follow. My mother, by wanting more opportunities for us than she ever had for herself, inspired us to become lawyers. And one after the other, all three of us did just that.”
Q: What would you tell a younger woman pursuing a legal career?
A: “I tell the young women associates who work for me that in choosing to do what we do (representing patients in medical malpractice lawsuits) they are not choosing a job—they are choosing a career. The work does not end at 5:00. The work, frankly, does not end, ever. We think about our clients all the time—how to fight for them, how to give them a voice, how to develop a winning strategy and more. Their fight is our fight and we live and breathe that fight all day long (and sometimes all night as well).”
Q: What would you tell your younger self?
A: “I may have to write an entire book to answer that question!”
Q: What is a meaningful quote that has inspired you?
A: “Throughout my career, I have represented many women who have been diagnosed with advanced cancer. They are fighting for their lives at the same time that they are fighting for justice. They are strong. They are inspirational. They never give up, no matter what the books say about their prognosis. And every single day that they live, they are winning the battle against cancer. They get up the next day and fight again. One of my favorite quotes is from the Bible—2 Timothy 4:7: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” We fight the good fight together. They finish the race in peace. And they inspire me and everyone around them by always keeping the faith.”