Goldberg Segalla Partner Esther Omoloyin has been elevated to co-chair the firm’s national workers’ compensation practice, overseeing 120 attorneys across 10 states.
She is one of the firm’s youngest co-chairs nationally.
Omoloyin joined Goldberg Segalla as an associate in 2013, tasked with launching and growing the Princeton office’s workers’ compensation practice. It was a far cry from what she had expected to be her next move—after five years at another firm, she was “done with the practice of law” by 2013, planning instead to finish an accounting degree and go on to work in corporate America.
“I was practicing at a very high volume which was not conducive to doing a good job for clients. The co-chairs at Goldberg Segalla at the time told me unprompted that [workers’ compensation at] Goldberg Segalla is not a high-volume practice, but rather is about partnering with the employer, carrier, or third-party administrator to get the respective client what they’re looking for out of the claim,” Omoloyin said. “Everything they told me at the interview was like a dream. Every issue I had at my former firm, it was like they knew somehow and addressed those issues.”
Seven years later, she said, she’s glad she decided not to give up on law. Though her former firm wasn’t the right fit for her (practicing at such a high volume “was miserable,” she said) it was instrumental in guiding her to workers’ compensation work.
The work chose her, she said. In need of a job at the end of law school, she went for an interview at a firm she was told had an opening, and was told during the interview that the firm’s focus was workers’ compensation.
“I like partnering with employers to make sure that claimants who are entitled to benefits get those benefits, and maybe those who are trying to get around the system are prevented from doing so. But it’s more than just enjoying a specific area of law. You have to enjoy the people you work with. The people I work with are a big part of why I do what I do,” she said.
In her new role, Omoloyin said she looks forward to working with partners outside of her tight-knit New Jersey group. Nationally, Goldberg Segalla’s workers’ compensation group works with clients in industries such as retail, hospitality, transportation, construction, professional organizations and staffing agencies. Different offices are located in areas where players in niche markets are represented by the firm. The Los Angeles workers’ compensation team, for example, represents multiple franchises within the National Football League and Major League Baseball. These lawyers would fall under Omoloyin’s purview.
Omoloyin is also a member of the firm’s diversity task force, which she said “has big plans” for 2021, though she would not provide more detail.
“The diversity push is big, even with our clients,” she said. “You hear and see a lot of employers demand that their legal team be diverse. If you take workers’ compensation, someone from a diverse background, whether it’s place of birth, or ethnicity, will bring a different level of understanding to a claimant that others may not understand in terms of perhaps developing a strategy to come to a resolution.”