New York Personal Injury Attorneys
SPBMCC Women’s History Month Spotlight: Elizabeth Montesano
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.
Elizabeth Montesano, a Partner at the firm, is a vigorous advocate for individuals injured due to medical malpractice. Ms. Montesano joined SPBMCC in 2002. She became a Partner at the firm in 2011. Today, SPBMCC would like to recognize Elizabeth for her dedication and commitment to the firm. Her passion for helping others is profound. Below is a brief Q&A with Elizabeth, who offers insightful advice for other young women interested in pursuing the practice of law, as well as guidance and encouragement in the legal profession.
Q: What would you tell a younger woman pursuing a legal career?
A: “The advice I would give to a younger woman pursuing a legal career is that it is not easy. Saying you need to ‘work hard’ is an understatement. You really have to be focused, devoted and give it your all to be successful. You need to work extremely hard to earn your reputation and to get to the top of your field. It has to become your own personal life goal, for it to be attainable with passion, motivation and dedication. Even when you think you may have ‘made it,’ you have to work even harder. I would also recommend that you develop relationships with women in your field, or within your own firm to learn from, model after, and to go to as a resource for advice and guidance. I was very fortunate to start my career in medical malpractice working under Eleni Coffinas, Esq. who is a great teacher and motivator, and who always encouraged self-development and having your own opinion and voice.
I would also share with a younger woman pursuing a legal career that you are entrusted with a great responsibility by your clients and you have to do the best job for them. Regardless of the specific area of law, there is always a client to report to. My practice area is medical malpractice/personal injury, and as the name suggests, the cases I work on are so incredibly “personal” to my clients. These individuals and families have had a major disruption to their health, livelihoods and overall ability to get through even a day, at times. They are encountering challenges in every aspect of their life. In order to properly represent these individuals, you need to listen to them and understand what they are going through. As a woman, I believe that there is an instinctual empathy and ability to relate to what is being endured, and to be able to help them find solutions during these ordeals. Most often, it is my client’s perseverance through unimaginable struggles and challenges that are inspirational for me to be the best I can, and do the best I can.”
Q: What is a meaningful quote that has inspired you?
A: “These days, more than ever, the world needs more kindness and compassion. I am teaching this to my young children every chance I get, by being an example for them and sharing stories with them that they can learn from. I am teaching them that practicing kindness and compassion is not a weakness. In fact, it is a strength even in the face of the most adversarial legal battles. Because at the end of the day, you are still you, and accountable to yourself. You need to be able to look back, and be proud of what you did and how you did it. A meaningful quote on this theme I would like to share is from Maya Angelou. ‘My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive, and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.’”
Q: What would you tell your younger self?
A: “I would tell a younger self of me to not be afraid of stress. You can’t let it weigh you down. Instead of fearing stress, embrace it, and find solutions to whatever the problem or situation is, right away. Having a focus towards a solution, instead of dwelling on a problem, will make achieving a positive outcome likely. Learning to manage stressful situations will help you become structured and organized so that you can manage your time better.”