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In observance of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, LexisNexis is spotlighting law book authors and editors who have set the bar for excellence and leadership among women in legal professions.
Samantha Pryor was admitted to practice law in October 2007. During her years of practice, Pryor developed a diverse civil and commercial litigation practice in both state and federal courts, representing individuals and businesses of all sizes.
Pryor is author of LexisNexis Practice Guide: Colorado Pretrial Civil Litigation and a practicing attorney in Colorado. This latest edition of this title provides step by step guidance to the pre-trial process from initial client interviews through trial exhibits.
Her legal practice focuses on business matters and personal injury, including slip and falls, car accidents, and traumatic brain injury cases. Pryor has experience in arbitrations, mediations, appeals, depositions, jury and bench trials, small claims matters, administrative law matters, and civil protection order cases.
Pryor has extensive motions practice experience and has received many compliments from her colleagues and clients for her legal research, analysis, and writing abilities. Throughout her practice, Pryor has also been highly effective in negotiating amicable settlements between litigants, without the need for hiring mediators or other neutral third parties. Due to her breadth of experience and passion for resolving conflicts, Pryor became a Mediator and formed Resolution Advocates in 2016.
International Women’s Day 2022
LexisNexis: The theme of International Women’s Day 2022 is #BreakTheBias. As a female leader, what has been the most significant biases you’ve faced in your career? How did you break the bias?
Pryor: Implicit and explicit biases are everywhere and have been particularly pervasive in the legal industry. As a young Black woman serving in an industry dominated by older White males, I have overcome significant biases throughout my career. I have experienced blatant sexual harassment by a former judge and offensive language and treatment based on my race, gender and sex from opposing counsel and even a few clients. The unfortunate biases tend to have harmful consequences and often form the basis for unfair decision making and treatment. Although I have acknowledged these biases, I have not allowed them to deter me from achieving my clients’ goals or from continuing to pursue excellence in my legal career. Instead, I have always maintained my professionalism and continued to focus on providing premium legal services to my clients, which has commanded respect throughout my career, even against Rambo litigators.
LexisNexis: In what ways are you working to promote gender equality in your professional life?
Pryor: At The Halliburton Law Firm, LLC, we fight for any and all aggrieved employees, regardless of their membership in any specific protected class. I specifically promote gender equality in my professional life by representing aggrieved employees in matters involving unlawful workplace practices including sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination. I have a special interest in handling cases involving systemic discrimination against Black women in the workplace, especially given the unique intersectionality of the protected classes and associated circumstances. I have spoken to, and represented, countless Black women executives and employees in corporate America who share strikingly similar fact patterns and situations. Although the law is slowly catching up to our changing society, there are still significant challenges in the law that make it difficult to achieve justice. Nevertheless, I will continue fighting for gender and race equality, particularly in the workplace.
LexisNexis: What, or who, influenced you to start writing? To become an author with LexisNexis?
Pryor: I became interested in writing once I became a law student at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. My legal writing professor was the late great, Michael Massey, who was an amazing teacher and an even better person. Professor Massey taught me the critical skills of legal research and writing, and he challenged me to achieve excellence in those areas. Professor Massey greatly influenced my interest in writing and my legal career in general. In 2021, I was honored and humbled to receive a call from a LexisNexis representative, Valri Nesbit, inquiring if I was interested in taking over the authorship of the LexisNexis Colorado Pre-Litigation Practice Manual. I was thrilled about the opportunity and gladly accepted the role.
LexisNexis: Are there any advantages you feel like you have had as woman in your chosen career field?
Pryor: Being a woman in the legal industry can be advantageous in certain instances. For example, having shared some of the same experiences as my female clients allows me to tell their story and advocate in a different and more meaningful way.
LexisNexis: What advice would you give to other women in legal professions or women just beginning their careers?
Pryor: I encourage other women in the legal profession to continue pursuing excellence in their career despite any challenges that may arise. It is natural to be upset, offended, and quite frankly hurt, by offensive behavior and biases against women, specifically in the legal profession. However, it is important to overcome those biases by maintaining a high level of professionalism and developing top notch skills that will demand respect and allow you to thrive in your legal career.
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