Esq. Partner, Litigation Department • Kaye Scholer LLP • New York City • Age: 39
A partner in the litigation department of Kaye Scholer LLP., Sheila S. Boston Esq., focuses on product liability and class-action issues. Her proudest professional accomplishment is her role as trial counsel for Sodexho Inc., a leading foodservice operator, in a class action on behalf of more than 2,400 African-American plaintiffs, which ended in an $80 million settlement for the plaintiffs. Boston takes exceptional pleasure in her pro bono work, which includes orders of protection, child custody and gender-discrimination cases. “My favorite mantra is ‘To whom much is given, much is required,’” she says. “The pro bono cases are a chance to really have an impact and change lives for the better.”
The daughter of a Baptist minister, Boston’s life is firmly rooted in Christian values. However, she credits Robert Van Ranken, a Princeton University representative, with setting the path for her professional success. During a visit to Boston’s high school, Van Ranken encouraged her to apply. “Princeton opened a lot of doors for me that I may not otherwise have been able to enter,” says Boston.
Boston has a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and a law degree from Columbia University School of Law. At Kaye Scholer, she serves on the recruitment committee and as chairperson of the firm’s diversity committee. She is also engaged in a host of activities outside of the firm, including service as a mentor and mock-trial coach at Bronx High School for Law, Government and Justice, assistant clerk and chairperson of the Women’s Ministry at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem and member of several bar organizations.
How does Boston manage her many responsibilities? “It’s important to stay connected to the creator and your family,” she says. “It helps you stay focused and balanced and helps you to endure.”