Ashley Pileika joined the FH team in the fall of 2020 and primarily handles our personal injury docket, including advocating for those who have been sexually abused. A graduate of Notre Dame Law School, Ashley is now the face of the firm on the east coast where she resides. Before starting law school, Ashley spent three years teaching fifth grade and high school social sciences at an international school in Honduras. We’ve asked Ashley a few questions about her experience as a lawyer with Forester Haynie. Read her answers below and head to her bio page to learn more about her experience.
Q: What does being an attorney mean to you?
A: For me, I equate being an attorney to being a vehicle for social change. And that can be for an individual client, or a class of clients. My torts professor in law school cautioned our class that for the average person, being part of a lawsuit is very stressful. Working on sexual abuse and catastrophic injury cases, I am mindful of this. In addition to obtaining meaningful relief for our clients, I try to compassionately navigate them through the litigation process, minimizing their stress levels along the journey.
Q: What’s your favorite part about being an attorney?
A: My favorite part about being an attorney is definitely our clients. To step forward as a plaintiff in a lawsuit takes a lot of courage. We don’t give them enough credit. Sharing your story, having your integrity questioned, answering questions from strangers about very personal, painful experiences—it takes a lot of strength. There are parts of the litigation process that are inevitably stressful, that we can’t shield our clients from, unfortunately. But it’s a privilege to be part of their legal team, and work towards holding responsible parties accountable. Although we can’t predict the outcome of every lawsuit, I can say with certainty our clients are empowered in the process, and they will embolden other survivors to step forward too. And that in itself is a victory.
Q: What do you love about FH?
A: I love the way that FH operates as a family, and the diversity and energy of our team. I know we share a collective goal of changing corrupt, industry-wide practices that have hurt a lot of people—and that is very special to me. As Jay says, #workshouldntsuck, and I am thankful for the collaborative family environment Jay and Matthew have cultivated, which is strikingly different than that of most other law firms.