Upon graduating law school, Donna had a goal...to be a formidable trial lawyer. She began her career working with a prominent criminal lawyer Edward Genson. She quickly learned that while she loved the courtroom, being a respected female trial lawyer had its challenges.
Donna decided to focus her career in civil litigation. After becoming the second female partner in a large Chicago firm she decided to start her own firm – Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym – with six other lawyers in 1985. Her vision was to provide outstanding legal service and promote women. She has recruited many women into the firm and takes pride in mentoring.
Donna concentrates her practice in medical malpractice, medical device, pharmaceutical and products liability litigation. Her focus is in defending cases on behalf of the health care industry. She has defended physicians and medical centers in complex cases involving almost every medical specialty including high-profile, multi-million dollar birth injury cases.
Outside of the firm, Donna is recognized as a role model for women; she is described as tenacious, driven, yet compassionate. She is passionate about everything she does.
An example of Donna’s devotion to women involves ABOTA. In 2011, Donna discovered that she was one of only four women in the Illinois chapter. She quickly decided to remedy this situation. She identified talented women attorneys, called them and encouraged them to fill out the lengthy application to hopefully become a member. She recalled two women asking her why she was doing this for her competition. She replied, “because I like to recognize talented women and assist them in their careers.” Presently, there are approximately 40 women in the Illinois chapter.
Donna is a frequent speaker at numerous medical centers. An orthopedic surgeon once commented after listening to one of her talks, that she was thinking about law school. A single example speaks to her prominence. For 13 years she led an interactive session at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ annual clinical meeting. “Tales from the Witness Chair” was the longest running session of any course at ACOG.
Donna is also actively involved in philanthropy. Her devotion to the improvement of maternal and fetal health caused her to take an active role in Friends of Prentice, a board that raises funds to support cutting edge research. Prentice is the Women’s Hospital for Northwestern Medicine. She has been on the board for 20 years and Gala co-chair for nine years. The research grants focus on the arc of a women’s life addressing all aspects of medicine that affect women. The organization has raised more than $20 million dollars. A current study focuses upon the effect of COVID in pregnancy.
Another passion of Donna’s is writing. She has been published in the ABA’s The Woman Advocate journal. Her articles impart her views on topics that are of interest to women and men as well.
Donna’s professional recognition includes Leading Lawyers. An article was published in that magazine in 2011. She is a member of the Society of Trial Lawyers and ABOTA, plus has been recognized as a Super Lawyer and AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell. She is rated as a Top 100 Lawyers in Chicago.
Donna is married to Dr. Michael Socol, a maternal fetal medicine specialist and former vice chair of the Department of OB/GYN at Northwestern. Perhaps, an explanation in part, to her dedication to the medical profession.