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Pamela Sakowicz Menaker

Pamela Sakowicz Menaker

Communications Partner
Chicago, Illinois

Pamela Sakowicz Menaker is the Communications Partner at Clifford Law Offices. As an attorney with two degrees in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, Pam combines her experience in these two fields in handling the press in the many high-profile cases handled by the firm. For instance, Pam was involved in the month-long trial of internationally-claimed violinist Rachel Barton who was severely injured by a Metra train. The case drew front-page headlines and daily television coverage in what has been described as the most publicized civil trial in the history of Cook County. It resulted in a $29.6 million verdict that was upheld on appeal. Pam is involved with numerous clients from the initial filing of a case to the final settlement of the matter. She routinely conducts press conferences so that an organized, considered approach to high-profile matters can be presented that ensures the clients' rights are protected. Other cases for which she has handled the press that drew national media attention include the fire at the Cook County Administration Building, the scaffolding collapse at the John Hancock Building, the porch collapse in Chicago that killed 13 and injured dozens of others, the Union Pacific derailment that led to a bridge collapse killing a Chicago suburban couple and most recently an international press conference held in Boston involving seven of the eight circus performers who were injured when a "human chandelier" act collapsed in Rhode Island during a Ringling Brothers performance.

Pam also has been involved in handling the press involving Girl X, a girl left for dead at a Chicago housing project; Michael Chambers, who was killed by off-duty officers at a wedding in south suburban Countryside; Bob Collins, the popular WGN radio personality who was killed in a small plane crash; Nancy Clay, who was killed in a high-rise fire when Chicago firefighters were unable to reach her; and every major commercial airline crash in the United States over the past decade in which Robert Clifford has been involved.

When it comes to the press, Pam is no stranger. Her background includes experience in every type of media outlet. Upon graduating from Northwestern, Pam worked as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune. She then moved to ABC-TV where she worked for the local affiliate in Chicago as a writer/producer for the local news. She also created the column Prelude in N for North Shore Magazine which she wrote for two years for the popular magazine. She has been a Washington correspondent and political speech writer in the nation's capital as well as a producer/writer for Tribune Entertainment and the New York Times Corporation where she worked on a pilot for a news magazine program. Pam has taught as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism where she taught writing to graduate students and assisted in teaching Law of Journalism to undergraduates. Most recently, Pam is an adjunct faculty member in the Integrated Marketing and Communications Department of Medill where she teaches "Law, Policy and Ethics of Marketing."

Pam also has been very involved in legal writing since her graduation from Loyola University School of Law in 1984. Having been the first night-law student selected to compete on the school's Moot Court team, while still a student Pam argued a case before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in her Appellate Practicum class. After being sworn in as an attorney in Illinois, she later appeared before that court as a pro bono attorney representing criminal defendants for the Northern District of Illinois. She also was selected as an extern attorney and worked in the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, Consumer Fraud Division, where she was introduced to issues of consumer fraud.  She served two elected terms on the Illinois State Bar Association Assembly before being elected to its Board of Governors for a three-year term.

In 1991, she continued her brief writing for Clifford Law Offices as well as handling of the press on high-profile cases that grew until her appointment in 2001 as the firm's Communications Partner, which recognizes her journalism as well as her legal experience. She is also involved in various bar associations including the American Bar Association where she is a member of leadership serving on the Task Force for Young Litigators.  She also was Co-Chair of the Section of Litigation's Written Materials Committee, a member of the Human Trafficking Task Force and other positions involving the publication of materials for that 70,000-plus member section. She also served as Co-Chair of the Annual Meeting in Chicago in 2005, helping organize the dozens of programs and written materials accompanying the continuing legal education seminars. She also served as an Editor on the prestigious Litigation Magazine that is distributed quarterly to the section's members and most recently she was appointed to a three-year term on the ABA Standing Committee on Strategic Communications and as an Editor of Litigation News.

Pam was elected to a two-year term on the Chicago Bar Association Board of Managers.  Chicago Bar Association's (CBA) Editorial Board for the Chicago Bar Record, serving as its book review editor since 2000. In 2006, she was appointed to serve as Co-Chair of the CBA's Pro Bono Week Committee, which was marked by the Chicago mayor and the Illinois governor proclaiming it a special week in October in recognition of the efforts of the Chicago Bar Association and Chicago Bar Foundation in raising the awareness of lawyers' pro bono efforts in Chicago and around the state.  She also serves on the CBA Judicial Evaluation Committee and its Public Affairs Committee.

Pam was selected in 2006 to serve as the Co-Chair of the Host Committee for the Illinois Bar Foundation's Annual Gala Affair. The annual event, designed to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars which ultimately is used to benefit the dozens of pro bono legal organizations around Chicago, is an event that attracts hundreds of lawyers who also are committed to furthering the philanthropic goals of the charitable arm of the Illinois Bar Association.  Pam was elected to the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) Assembly for a second three-year term.  She also has served a number of years on the Illinois Bar Journal, the publication of the ISBA that goes out monthly to its thousands of members across the state.  She serves as Liaison to the ISBA Marketing and Communications Committee as well as the standing committee on Human Rights and the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.  She also serves on its Marketing and Communications Committee. Currently, Pam spearheads the continuing legal education programs at Clifford Law Office  She also is a member of the Center for Conflict Resolution and the Public Interest Law Initiative.

Areas of Practice

  • Aviation Litigation
  • Commercial Aviation Liability
  • Construction Liability
  • Medical Devices and Pharmaceutical Litigation
  • Medical Malpractice and Hospital Negligence
  • Personal Injury
  • Premises Liability
  • Product Liability
  • Qui Tam / Whistleblower
  • Railroad Accidents
  • Transportation Liability
  • Truck Accidents
  • Wrongful Death

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 1984
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit


  • Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, California
    • Juris Doctor - 1984
    • Honors: National Moot Court Team, 1983-84
  • Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism
    • B.S., Bachelor of Science
    • Honors: Robert R. McCormick Scholar
    • Honors: Tribune Company Dean’s List
  • Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism
    • Masters of Science Degree
    • Honors: Kosciuszko Foundation Fellow, New York

Published Works

  • Forming Alliances to Find Solutions , CBA, November, 2016
  • Prelude in N Column, North Shore Magazine
  • “Insurance Policy’s Litigation Exclusion Bars Coverage for Sealed Litigation,” American Bar Association Litigation News, February 11, 2015
  • “To Blog or Not to Blog. That’s a Question?” American Bar Association Litigation Journal, January, 2015
  • “No Failure-to Warn When Drug Label is FDA Compliant,” American Bar Association Litigation News, October 21, 2014
  • “”Boom Boom Pow,” Chicago Bar Association Record, coverage of Entertainment Law Committee’s speakers on music copyright, September, 2014
  • “Caps on Non-Economic Damages Held Constitutional,” American Bar Association Litigation News, September 1, 2014
  • “Attorney-Client Privilege Passes to Acquiring Company in Merger,” American Bar Association Litigation News, March 11, 2014
  • “Text Message Sender May Face Liability for Driver’s Accident,” American Bar Association Litigation News, November, 2013
  • “Judge Jeffrey Cole’s Tips on Effective Advocacy,” Chicago Bar Association, CBA Record, April/May, 2012
  • Aviation Brochure, Clifford Law Offices, winner of 2010 Burton Award, Legal Writing Award patterned after the Pulitzer Prize; an academic organization working with the Library of Congress
  • “Pro Bono Work for Senior Attorneys,” Chicago Bar Association Record, Jan., 2007
  • “‘Wrongful Adoption’ Gains Acceptance,” National Law Journal, Sept. 28, 1992
  • “Future Loss of Society Damages and Present Cash Value,” Illinois State Bar Association, Trial Briefs Publication. August, 1991
  • Illinois Trial Lawyers Association Handbook on Trial Practice and Civil Procedure, Chapters on Examination of Adverse Witnesses, Impeachment of Witnesses, Competency of Witnesses, Jury Instructions, 1990

Representative Cases

  • Continental Casualty Company v. Great American Insurance Company, 711 F.Supp. 1475, 432 F.Supp. 929, 438 F.Supp. 1170 (N.D.Ill.1990)
  • Ranger Insurance Company v. Home Indemnity Insurance Company, 714 F.Supp. 956 (N.D.Ill.1989)
  • Machline vs. National Helicopters, et al.,Case Number: 96 Civ. 5999 (LBS), U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • Levenberg v. McDonnell Douglas,, 93 L 4325 (1989)
  • Weber v. Israel, 730 F.2d 499 (7th Cir.1984)
  • Ainsworth Corporation v. Cenco Inc., 158 Ill.App.3d 639, 511 N.E.2d 1149 (1st Dist.1987)
  • Knapp v. Palos Community Hospital, 176 Ill.App.3d 1012, 531 N.E.2d 989 (1st Dist.1988)
  • Kaput v. Hoey, 124 Ill.2d 370, 530 N.E.2d 230 (Ill.1988)
  • Bautista v. Verson Allsteel Press Co., 152 Ill.App.3d 524, 504 N.E.2d 772 (1st Dist.1987)
  • Graphic Sales v. Sperry Univac, 824 F.2d 576 (7th Cir.1987)
  • Lee v. Grand Trunk Western Railroad, 143 Ill.App.3d 500, 492 NE.2d 1364 (1st Dist.1986)


  • Adjunct Professor, Law of Journalism, Northwestern University, Medill School of Journalism, Graduate School of Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC Program)
  • “Law, Policy and Ethics,” Adjunct Professor, Winter, 2014; Fall, 2015
  • Attorneys Registration and Disciplinary Board (ARDC), Annual Meeting, “Marketing and Legal Ethics,” Chicago, 2010
  • Northwestern University, Medill School of Journalism, Legal Reporting class, 2008
  • Public Relations Society of America, “Litigation Communications: Winning in the Court of Public Opinion,” Chicago, 2007
  • “Marketing and Communications Ethics in an Integrated World,” Evanston, IL,, Northwestern University, Medill School of Journalism, IMC, 2005
  • Adjunct Professor, Ethics of Marketing, Fall, 2005
  • Northwestern University, Medill School of Journalism, Graduate Program, Reporting and Writing, Law of Journalism, Adjunct Professor, 1987,1986, 1984
  • Columbia College, Chicago, Reporting and Writing, 1980

Honors and Awards

  • Winner of prestigious Burton Award, 2010 - Present
  • Best Law Firm Profile Award
  • Martindale-Hubbell, AV rated
  • Northwestern University School of Law, Arlyn Miner Moot Court Judge, 2006 - Present

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Bar Association, Co-Chair, Section of Litigation's Unpublished Reference Committee
  • American Bar Association, Host Committee, Member, Annual Meeting, 2015 - Present
  • American Bar Association, Standing Committee on Strategic Communications, member, 2012 - 2015
  • American Bar Association, Task Force on Human Trafficking, member, 2012 - 2013
  • American Bar Association, Host Committee, Member, Annual Meeting, 2012 - Present
  • American Bar Association, Host Committee, Member, Annual Meeting, 2009 - Present
  • American Bar Association, Advisory Committee, Member, Annual Meeting, Chicago, 2004 - 2005
  • American Bar Association, Chair, Media Relations, 2001 - 2002
  • American Bar Association, Section of Litigation
  • American Bar Association, Chair, Unpublished References Committee, 2002 - 2003
  • American Bar Association, Chair, Printed Materials Committee, 2003 - 2004
  • American Bar Association, Litigation Magazine, Editorial Board, 2002 - Present
  • American Bar Association, Ethics and Professionalism, Committee Member, 2006 - Present
  • American Bar Association, Chair, Written Materials/Annual Meeting, 2004 - 2005
  • Chicago Bar Association's Editorial Board for the Chicago Bar Record, Member
  • Chicago Bar Association's Editorial Board for the Chicago Bar Record, Book Review Editor
  • Chicago Bar Association, Public Affairs Committee, 2013 - Present
  • Chicago Bar Association, Judicial Evaluation Committee Investigative Unit, 2007 - 2010
  • Chicago Bar Association, Hearings Unit, 2010 - Present
  • Chicago Bar Association, Pro Bono Week Committee, Co-Chair, 2006 - Present
  • Chicago Bar Association, Chicago Bar Record Editorial Board Book Review Editor, 1997 - Present
  • Chicago Bar Foundation, Investing in Justice campaign for legal aid and pro bono organizations, Organizational Committee, 2009 - Present
  • Chicago Bar Foundation, Marketing Committee, member, 2010 - Present
  • Chicago Bar Foundation, Fall Benefit, Steering Committee, 2006 - Present
  • Catholic Lawyers Guild of Chicago, Board of Governors, 2012-18
  • Illinois State Bar Association, Assembly Member, 2010 - Present
  • Illinois State Bar Association, Illinois Bar Journal, Editorial Board member, 2009 - Present
  • Illinois State Bar Association, Marketing and Communications Committee, 2013 - Present
  • Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, Board of Managers, 2005 - 2006
  • Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, Medical Malpractice Committee, 2001 - Present
  • Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission, Executive Committee Member, 2012 - Present
  • The Advocates Society of Polish Lawyers in Chicago, Marketing Committee Chair, 2010 - Present
  • ABA, Young Litigators Task Force, 2016-2017
  • CBA, Board of Managers, 2016-2018
  • ISBA , Board of Governors, 2016-2019

Past Employment Positions

  • Contributing Columnist, North Shore Magazine, Winnetka, Illinois, 1986 - 1988
  • Tribune Entertainment/New York Times Corp., Producer/Writer, 1986
  • Cook County State’s Attorney, Consumer Fraud Division, winter, Extern Attorney, 1984
  • ABC/WLS-TV, Chicago, Producer/ News Writer, 1978 - 1984
  • Washington Correspondent, Southern Illinoisan and Alton Evening Telegraph, 1976
  • The Chicago Tribune, Reporter, 1976 - 1978
  • Political Speech Writer, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., 1975 - Present
  • Rinella & Rinella, Chicago, Illinois, Law Clerk, 1974 - 1976
  • Brinton & Fedota; Bollinger & Ruberry, Attorney, part-time
  • Bollinger & Ruberry, Attorney, part-time
  • William Harte, Ltd., Attorney, part-time
  • Abramson & Fox, Attorney, part-time
  • Burke Bosselman & Weaver, Attorney, part-time

Pro Bono Activities

  • Participated in Illinois State Bar Association Ask-A-Lawyer Day, 2014 - 2015
  • Northwestern University Reunion Committee, Co-Chair, 2010, 2015
  • Loyola University School of Law, Dean’s Circle member, 2012
  • Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth, 9th Annual Barristers Big Band Benefit Ball, Planning Committee, 2010
  • St. James Christmas Brunch, Feeding the Homeless Christmas Day and gift giving, 2007-present
  • Pro Bono Week Committee, Chicago Bar Association Chair, 2006-2007
  • Illinois Bar Foundation, Benefit Co-Chair, Host Committee, 2006 - Present
  • Pro Bono Week Committee, Chicago Bar Association, Committee Member, 2005 - 2006
  • Executive Board and Marketing Committee Chair, Chicago Pro Bono Center for Disability and Elder Law, 2002-2006
  • Center for Conflict Resolution
  • Public Interest Law Initiative

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