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LaKeysha Greer Isaac
Cosmich Simmons & Brown P.L.L.C.
LaKeysha Greer Isaac decided at age 12 to become an attorney, although she knew the journey from tiny Magnolia, Mississippi, wouldn’t be easy.
“I was inspired by Constance Baker Motley, the first African-American woman to become a federal court judge,” Ms. Isaac said. “We learned about her in school, and I decided I wanted to be her.”
The oldest of six children, Ms. Isaac said options were limited for an African-American girl from a poor family in rural Mississippi, so she worked hard and made the most of every opportunity and relationship, graduating with honors from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, and Emory University School of Law in Atlanta.
Today, she is an owner and equity partner at Cosmich Simmons & Brown P.L.L.C., a Jackson-based firm she joined soon after it formed in 2002. The firm now has 132 lawyers in eight offices in seven states.
Her legal experience includes defense of complex toxic torts, product and lender liability, employment, and general and commercial matters. She also chairs the firm’s professional development and diversity committee.
Some clients prefer to work exclusively with her, said owner and equity partner John Cosmich.
“LaKeysha has a tremendous work ethic and strong trial capability,” he said. “She never gets flustered and has a calming effect in a crisis.”
Among her significant cases, Ms. Isaac was a defense team member in a New Jersey jury trial that found a talcum powder supplier wasn’t liable for a woman’s mesothelioma in one of the first cases of its kind to go to trial. Her team also was successful in persuading the Mississippi Supreme Court to reverse two multimillion-dollar verdicts against a silica sand company.
When not working, Ms. Isaac does extensive charity work for Goodwill Industries of Mississippi, the Junior League of Jackson and the Ebony Pearls Foundation Inc., which awards scholarships to minority students.
“I’m most proud of not letting my background hold me back, to simply make the decision that I could do what I set my mind to and then accomplish it,” Ms. Isaac said. “I’ve tried to help others achieve that, too.”
The Women to Watch awards program has been significantly expanded this year.