The numbers are impressive: Sarah King is only 28. She hasn't even been practicing law for four full years. But in 2013 and 2014, King second-chaired medical malpractice cases that have brought in a total of nearly $31.5 million in positive verdicts for her clients.
In every year from 2012 through 2015, King second-chaired a complicated medical malpractice case. These cases brought in significant verdicts ranging from $1.8 million to more than $15 million for the plaintiffs that she served.
It's little wonder, then, that this medical malpractice and negligence attorney for Chicago's Clifford Law Offices has earned such high praise from her colleagues.
"Sarah has two significant characteristics that make her an exceptional lawyer: creativity and confidence," said William Cirignani of Chicago's Cirignani, Heller & Harman. "Those two skills are, in my opinion, the sine qua non of trial work."
King has relied on no secret formula to achieve this level of success at such a young age. Her peers say that this young attorney outworks opposing counsel.She is a tireless researcher and a quick thinker in the classroom.
It helps, too, that King boasts an in-depth knowledge of the law and is especially creative when it comes to crafting compelling legal arguments. It's because of these skills that King has earned the right to serve as second chair in high-profile medical trials.
Jaime Koziol with Chicago law firm Levin & Perconti says that it is not unusual to call King at 10 p.m. to find that she is still at the office researching a case or preparing an argument for one of her plaintiff clients.
"Sarah is often dealing with clients who have had a catastrophic injury or have tragically lost a loved one. She will never stop fighting for those clients," Koziol said. "Sarah is truly an exceptional young attorney who is wise beyond her years. She comes across as confident and compassionate in the courtroom. When she puts her clients on the stand, you can tell that they feel comfortable with Sarah and trust her. Her clients are in the best hands."
Kristin Barnette, with Chicago's Kralovec, Jambois & Schwartz, said that King is also committed to her industry and community. King has especially made an impact in WOMEN EVERYWHERE: Partners in Service Project. This organization coordinates volunteer activities designed to help women and children in the Chicago area. Barnette remembers that at King's first meeting with this group, she volunteered to help raise funds so that the program could provide transportation and scholarships to students at Chicago's public schools."Not only did Sarah follow through, but she exceeded all expectations and made it one of the most successful years since the program's inception," Barnette said.
Last year, King was asked to co-chair the organization's planning committee for 2014-2016, a committee that arranges court tours for the Educational Day Project held at courthouses across Cook County. She, of course, happily took on the assignment.
King has also dedicated long hours to the Women's Bar Association of Illinois. The year after she graduated from law school, King became an editor for the association's newsletter, spending countless hours preparing stories for multiple publications. This year, King played a key role on the association committee that helped plan the Women's Bar Association of Illinois' most successful Judicial Reception to date. More than 600 people attended the event. "As co-chair of that event, I personally invited Sarah to participate in that committee," Barnette said. "I know how committed she is to giving more than 100 percent to everything she does."