Terra Davenport is an Associate in Tyson & Mendes’ San Diego office. Terra specializes in general liability defense and personal injury with experience representing insurance and public entity defendants in a variety of legal matters. Before her success in the courtroom, Terra was a varsity softball player who helped lead her team to a national championship. She also competed internationally in Olympic qualifying events with the Great Britain National Softball Team. Learn more about this British Columbia native and softball star below.
T&M: How did you get into the insurance defense industry?
TD: I worked at a sports agency in New York during the summer after my first year in law school, and I realized being a sports agent was no longer my dream job. I decided to try being a trial attorney, something I had told everyone I would never become. I got a taste for litigation in the insurance defense industry during the summer after my second year in law school, and have been working in the industry ever since.
T&M: Compared to other firms you have worked for, what makes Tyson & Mendes so unique?
TD: I was drawn to the opportunities and growth the firm presented. The firm continuously gets hired to defend cases against top plaintiff’s lawyers. Tyson & Mendes provides unique training and resources to aggressively handle a variety of challenging cases, day in and day out.
T&M: What has been the biggest challenge of your career thus far?
TD: I would have to say work-life balance is the biggest and most reoccurring challenge. Unlike other obstacles I have overcome and gotten better at over time, time management and work-life balance are constant challenges for me.
T&M: Similarly, tell us about your biggest accomplishment so far at Tyson & Mendes?
TD: My biggest accomplishment was winning a Motion for Summary Judgment in a case where the plaintiff was seeking millions of dollars. The case had been hotly litigated for years.
T&M: What did you want to be when you grew up?
TD: I wanted to be a sports agent. I grew up playing sports and always wanted to work in the sports industry after my athletic career ended. I love the movie Jerry Maguire and decided to go to law school to be more marketable with a legal degree. I aspired to negotiate contracts and endorsement deals (and dreamed of sitting courtside with Jack Nicholson at a Lakers game!) for top athletes. After working in New York at a sports agency during the summer after my first year in law school, I soon realized the profession was more about scouting players rather than contract negotiation.
T&M: What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
TD: “Just because you are older than me does not mean you are wiser.” I think about this advice when I am up against more seasoned attorneys who have been practicing longer than I have. This quote gets me motivated for the challenge and I do not focus on the bar number or the number of years of experience of other attorneys. I have always been a competitor and been able to rise to any challenge. No matter who is on the other side, I will always be ready.
T&M: You completed your undergrad at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia – how does life in California differ from Canada?
TD: Life in California is very similar to Vancouver, British Columbia where I grew up… minus the weather! I miss the seasons but do not miss the rain. It was an easy transition moving to San Diego for law school. I have been calling this city my home for the past 10 years and counting.
T&M: You also competed in qualifying events for the Olympics for softball. Tell us about that journey?
TD: It was an amazing experience that allowed me to travel all over the world, compete against top athletes, and make lifelong friendships.
T&M: Describe your perfect day in San Diego?
TD: Sleeping in, hiking Mt. Woodson in Poway, and having dinner and drinks with my husband at a new restaurant.
T&M: What do you have streaming regularly on your TV?
TD: I regularly watch Suits, For the People, Bull, Proven Innocent, The Good Fight, Billions, The Bachelor/Bachelorette (a little drama does not hurt anyone!), and a variety of sports.
Thanks for reading. Please visit the Careers page to learn more about life at Tyson & Mendes.