2018 Forty Under 40: Jessica Benson Cox

Faegre Baker Daniels

Age: 37

Birthplace/hometown: Indianapolis 

Family: husband, Jake; children, Alex, 4; and Adam, 2

Education: bachelor’s in psychology from Vanderbilt University, law degree from Case Western Reserve University Law School

Years with firm:  7

Getting here: “Both parents were physicians, and I thought I would be a doctor,” Cox said. Her plans changed when she passed out while having blood drawn. “Now I get to be in health care without having to pass out.” During college summers, she worked as a research assistant for her father, “doing everything from organizing patient files to actually reviewing medical records to pull out bits and pieces of information to use in their research.” She went straight to law school after college, and “my first real job was when I graduated and started my legal career.”

Transitional moment: Shortly after his birth, her son was diagnosed with a serious genetic disorder. “Before leaving the hospital, I was told that I should quit my job, or at least take a year leave of absence, because my son would require around-the-clock monitoring and medical care.” At first, she assumed that taking time off would halt her career, but instead she experienced a supportive “work-family,” allowing her to work a very flexible schedule for that first year. “My colleagues and clients found ways to keep me involved in my cases, but with the flexibility to duck out for a week or two at a time … Surprisingly, this flexibility did not come at the expense of my career advancement.”

Major achievements: “Winning the first trial for Cook over its IVC filters … while part of an amazing team of lawyers from several different offices of our firm.”

Givebacks: Cox has been involved with Dress for Success, and just rolled off the board of Indiana’s chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Recently, she has focused on helping the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research, which works toward a cure for her son’s disorder.•

Check out more 2018 Forty Under 40 honorees.

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