Even as a child, Teresa Bartosiak showed signs that she would be a successful litigator.
Growing up in Godfrey, Illinois, Bartosiak was known for turning discussions into debates.
“My mom was a single mom,” Bartosiak said. “She would tell you that I gave her a run for her money debating issues. My teachers would often say to me ‘you’ll probably grow up and be a lawyer, the way you want to argue about everything.’ ”
Bartosiak entered the University of Illinois undecided between medicine and law, but soon realized that her love of debate and public speaking suited her well for the legal field. After graduating from Washington University School of Law in 1993, she clerked for an appellate judge and found herself interested in litigation. She soon joined the St. Louis firm of Sandberg Phoenix & Von Gontard, and became the firm’s youngest equity shareholder at 31.
Bartosiak’s contributions to Sandberg Phoenix have earned her recognition in the Missouri Lawyers Awards as a Law Firm Leader. It’s rare for an attorney to stay with the same firm for 22 years, but Bartosiak has remained committed to Sandberg Phoenix and litigation work. She has held nearly every leadership position the firm has to offer.
Bartosiak chairs the medical device section of the Sandberg Phoenix products liability practice group and previously chaired the firm’s health law practice group for four years. In 2014, she took on her biggest leadership role at the firm when she was elected to Sandberg Phoenix’s three-member executive committee. This committee establishes the strategic growth plan for the firm’s seven offices and directs policies, personnel and finances.
“I feel that we are an outstanding law firm and I want to make sure that it stays that way,” Bartosiak said. “I want us to have a great future and I want to be part of creating that future and strategic planning that goes into making a firm successful.”
In addition to her official duties, Bartosiak also mentors younger attorneys and encourages them to build strong practices while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Improving conditions for female attorneys has been a particular focus for Bartosiak.
“Hopefully, I am paving a way for other women at our firm to become not only partners, but also I want them to be in leadership roles,” Bartosiak said. “The opinions of everyone are important, but I believe over the years women have made great strides in improving their positons and once you can improve your position, then you can work to help other women improve theirs.”