CLM Voices: Getting to Know Claire Rush
Founding a wholly women-owned insurance defense firm is but one of many success stories for this New York native.
By Taylor Smith
Having founded and helmed a wholly women-owned insurance defense firm is but one of many personal and professional success stories for this New York native. See what shaped the life of this mother, wife, and lawyer.
Only in New York
Rush grew up in Stuyvesant Town in Manhattan, a community built after World War II to house returning servicemen. It later became a melting pot of both blue- and white-collar professionals. Rush earned an academic scholarship to Marymount, one of the city’s top private schools, which she says opened up possibilities that did not exist for many women of her generation.
Influence of Family
“Thanks to the G.I. Bill, my father was the first member of his family to attend college and law school. Later, he became an insurance executive, specializing in occupational disease claims.”
Trial by Fire
Rush began her career as an attorney for New York City’s transit system, describing the torts division as a “legal MASH unit.” Over the next 10 years, she tried 75 significant cases to verdict, handling just about every type of personal injury or wrongful death action imaginable. She says the job taught her the importance of preparation, passion, and perseverance.
“The lack of battle-tested trial attorneys poses a tremendous challenge for the insurance industry and the defense bar. A lack of trials begets higher settlement demands,” says Rush.
Power of Pro Se
Rush says her life and career have been shaped by her son, who was diagnosed with autism at two and a half years old. She took a four-year leave of absence to address his needs, setting up her own intensive home-based Applied Behavior Analysis program. Today her son is a 24-year-old college graduate living and working independently, a story she shares so others know they aren’t alone in their struggles.
Smaller and Smarter
“Our firm utilizes highly experienced attorneys who are interested in working in an ‘of counsel’ relationship. Many are mothers or semi-retired attorneys who want to continue practicing part time,” says Rush.