As a trial attorney whose specialties include wrongful death and product liability, Andrea McNairy often helps her clients receive justice after tragedy. She graduated from Saint Louis University School of Law where she was managing editor of the Public Law Review and received an Academic Excellence Award. Recently, she secured a settlement for the plaintiffs in a class-action suit against a powdered infant formula manufacturer.
What are your proudest career accomplishments?
My proudest moments have involved some of my saddest cases where the clients either lost a child or a child was seriously injured. The resolution of those cases not only meant compensation for the families, it also meant product changes, recalls or changes in procedure. It feels good to know that out of a terrible situation, there can be a positive result and that I may have played a role in preventing another injury or loss.
What inspired you to get involved in the public service or justice system?
Growing up, my family and the people around me did not know any lawyers or even know how to get access to a lawyer. I saw people I cared about become the victims of large corporations or people with more knowledge and means. That definitely inspired me to pursue a career in law. I thought I would be mostly drawn to civil rights work. However, early opportunities in law school (and being lucky enough to be surrounded by some of the best plaintiff’s attorneys in St. Louis) helped me realize that plaintiff’s civil work was a great way to effectuate change and help people who would have no access to justice.
What is the best advice you have given or received?
These are the two best pieces of advice I have received. Think about what you are doing, not how you are doing.
Success is 10 percent experience and 90 percent hard work and preparation. You cannot control the experience level of your opponent, but you can out work them and be better prepared.
What is something that would surprise people about you? My office is decorated in Star Wars and comic book memorabilia.
What is your favorite part of your job? Arguing in court and trial work.
When you were growing up, what did you want to be?
Spiderman or a psychologist.