Debra I. Crystal
Ever since I was a young girl, I knew I wanted to be a lawyer. At the young age of around seven years old, while watching the TV lawyer show "Perry Mason", I knew I could be a lawyer, just as he was. I thought it would be the best job in the world!
It would be a long wait before I could even enroll in law school. Fast forward to graduating College from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, I enrolled in Law School in 1983. I would be the first lawyer in my family. After graduating law school in 1986, my first job as an attorney was working for a fast paced law firm. All my cases involved personal injury. My days were usually spent in Court in the mornings and my afternoons were filled taking depositions and advocating at arbitrations. I was the lead attorney on hundreds of trials and arbitrations. I stayed at that job for twenty-one years.
Along with my job as an attorney, I am also, a mother of two daughters who are now grown. Early in my career, my life was busy taking care of two young daughters while lawyering. Dressed in my suit while dropping them off for their school day, I headed to the train to downtown Chicago ready for Court to do battle.
After spending twenty-one years at the same law firm, I left and went out on my own and handled my own injury cases along with medical malpractice cases. Many of those cases involved more serious and catastrophic injuries. At that time and up to the present, I have been handling serious and catastrophic injury cases including medical malpractice cases.
What I like best about my job as a lawyer, is fighting for my clients and getting to know them. I know they depend on me and I don't want to let them down. I fight for my clients as if they were family. I am one of a few number of female personal injury lawyers in Chicago that have over thirty years of courtroom experience.
Most of my cases are against male attorneys. I have never been afraid, intimidated or deterred by their reaction to a strong determined female attorney. My clients range in age from young children to seniors. No case is ever the same and no client is ever the same. It is great to meet such diverse people throughout my many years of practice.
I can say that I love my job. Everyday it is a different adventure. Looking back to that young determined girl watching "Perry Mason", she was right! Being a lawyer for me is the best job in the world!
J.D., John Marshall Law School, 1986
Liberal Arts, University of Illinois / Champaign - Urbana , 1983
Illinois Trial Lawyer’s Association
Women’s Caucus / Illinois Trial Lawyer’s Association
Illinois State Bar Association