Women's Council Spotlight Series: Katie Stearns
Katie Stearns is an associate in our Detroit office and part of the firm's Commercial Litigation team. She is also an avid reader and was recently sworn in as the President of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan – Wayne Region. Read below to learn more about Katie, her practice, and what she most looks forward to in the coming months.
What is your practice area and how did you get into that area?
I practice commercial litigation. When I entered law school, I thought it would be a good fit because I majored in Economics and Political Science in undergrad. I think the issues that companies face during litigation are interesting and challenging. I also appreciate that the role of a commercial litigator is often one of a business advisor. It is critical to counsel clients regarding the costs and benefits of possible litigation strategies, as well as how to minimize risk.
How do you anticipate your practice changing in the upcoming years?
I was personally excited to join McDonald Hopkins as an associate this spring. I look forward to working on more complex matters on a national level. With robust business and litigation teams at the firm, I look forward to being able to more effectively market to business clients. At the firm, we have seen a growing number of litigation cases stemming from data breaches. I anticipate that the body of case law will continue to grow in the coming years.
How do you spend your free time?
I love to read. Recently, I’ve been reading the Last Kingdom series by Bernard Cornwell and I just finished the Plantagenets by Dan Jones. I also travel as often as possible. I visited Zion and Arches National Park and drove the Pacific Coast Highway earlier this year. Next year, Japan is the plan. Of course, spending time with friends and family is one of my favorite ways to enjoy my free time.
What is one of the biggest professional challenges that you’ve faced in recent years?
Having graduated in 2017, the biggest professional challenge in recent years was simply entering the practice of law. Law school is great for teaching students how to analyze complicated issues, but the day-to-day process of lawyering is often left out.
What are you most looking forward to in the coming months?
I’m excited to continue settling into the firm and I hope to continue working with attorneys in our various offices.
What is a recent success story that you are proud of?
I’m most proud of winning a conversion case on summary disposition. I obtained treble damages for the client as well as attorney’s fees. I saved the transcript from the hearing on attorney’s fees, as opposing counsel’s expert witness testified that he thought an upward adjustment of the fees was appropriate given the high quality of the work. I was thrilled to obtain the best possible outcome for the client.
Do you serve on any firm committees or community organizations?
I was recently sworn in as President of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan – Wayne Region. I have participated in the Detroit Bar Association’s Inn of Court Program since law school and I am also on the Women’s Council at McDonald Hopkins.