Women's Leadership InitiativeQ&A with Sara Schiavone

Sara is an associate in the firm’s Litigation group. Her work focuses on complex commercial and tort litigation, including product liability cases and e-discovery.

What is the best advice you’ve received about how to be a successful attorney?

Practice as if you were the one sitting on the opposite side of the desk/conference table. As attorneys, it’s imperative to never lose sight of the fact that our work affects our client’s personal and professional lives. Attorneys need to be cognizant of their clients’ concerns, needs, and goals, and represent them accordingly. My goal is to be the attorney whom I would call if the roles were reversed and I was the client.

What was the single most important thing that made you want to focus on litigation?

It's cliché, but it’s in my blood. My father is an attorney in my hometown of Celina, Ohio. Growing up, my dad would often take me to the courthouse where I would attend various hearings and would interact with courthouse staff and other attorneys. Seeing him litigate at an early age sparked my interest, and I haven’t looked back since!

Tell us about your favorite thing to do outside of work.

If I’m not working, I’m usually outdoors. Whether I’m exploring Columbus with my dog, training for a half marathon, behind a boat water skiing or wake boarding, or snowboarding, I try spend as much time outdoors as possible regardless of the season.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?

I have been fortunate to have had strong mentors ever since middle school. Each has been a vital part of my life at different points and has helped me grow personally and professionally in various ways. From my teachers in middle school and high school, to my college and law school professors, and now, to my colleagues, I would not be at Porter Wright today without each of them.

Complete the sentence: “If I wasn’t an attorney, I would be a…”

College professor – although what course I would teach is still up for debate.