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Erin Tyreman: Guided by a Lifelong Sense of Justice

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Erin Tyreman: Guided by a Lifelong Sense of Justice

March 15, 2024
Erin M. Tyreman

Erin M. Tyreman knew from a very young age that she wanted to be a lawyer — so much so that during disputes with her siblings, she recalls often taking her case to her parents and defending her side of the story as if she were in a court room.

“I found even in elementary school I really enjoyed arguing,” she said. “In my childhood, I definitely had an inner sense of justice.”

As a Syracuse-based partner in Goldberg Segalla’s Civil Litigation and Trial practice group, that inner sense of justice is what drives her daily in the representation of her clients.

“These are real people with real problems and a case is more than just a piece of paper and more than just a claim for damages,” said Erin, whose practice also includes working in the firm’s Employment and Labor, and Real Estate and Land Use groups. “I try very hard to put myself in the place of a client, and think: ‘how does this litigation impact that individual’s life, business, their reputation in the community, and ability to do business in the future?’ Everybody’s entitled to good representation and certainly entitled to a defense.”

Erin’s unyielding commitment to her work and doing right by her clients earned her a promotion earlier this year to partner. But ask her who’s been the biggest influence on her career, and she doesn’t hesitate to credit the two people who listened to her fledgling ‘court room’ arguments as a young girl —her parents.

“I owe a lot to my childhood and my upbringing and the opportunities my parents gave me,” Erin said. “I really engaged in conversations — even when I was in middle and high school — with my dad about history, political science, law. The conversations I had as a teenager with my dad and just trying to figure out who I was, what I believed in — he really helped me and I attribute a lot of my success to my dad. My mom was very supportive as well, and she still continues to be throughout my career.”

“As an attorney, I think you need to decide who you are, what you stand for, and what you believe in. My parents have given me a really good inner sense of justice. I have a good sense of what’s right and what’s wrong, and I try really hard to apply that, day to day, in how I handle my cases.”

That sense of doing what’s right is reflected in the way Erin works closely with her clients. Many times, the challenges her clients are facing are complex, and the language and terminology that surround litigation is foreign to them. Constant communication, Erin said, is key to building a trust with those she represents and helping them achieve their goals.

“I think regular communication with the client is essential. I like to have a very in-depth conversation with the client at the outset: This is what the law says. This is how we’re looking at it from a defense perspective and this is our plan to represent you as litigation proceeds. And you don’t just do it that one time. You do that regularly throughout the litigation. These cases can last years, and it’s very important that you keep in regular communication with the client.”

Also enabling Erin to provide the quality service her clients deserve is the vast network of support within Goldberg Segalla itself.

“I love the support that I receive here,”  said Erin. “I work in our Syracuse office, but there are over 400 attorneys across the span of all of our offices and we’re in regular communication. I have several attorneys I can go to, and usually do. It’s nice to talk things out and get perspectives from other litigators who have had different experiences and have different approaches on how to handle an issue. And in that sense, the client is not getting just one attorney helping them; they have access to the full wealth of knowledge, resources and experience of all of our attorneys.”

As a female attorney, that support and culture of teamwork at Goldberg Segalla — where more than 50 percent of its elevation class this year was comprised of women being promoted to partner or special counsel — is vital in helping one feel valued, Erin said.

“I was excited to be part of a firm that has an elevation class of over 50 percent that are women,” she said. “I was very proud. As a female partner at Goldberg Segalla, I absolutely think it’s crucial to see that more and more women become engaged and hired in roles of authority.”

But while Goldberg Segalla is a leader in that area, there remains room for improvement across the profession, Erin noted.

“It’s trending upwards, but there are still fewer women in positions of authority in the law compared with our male counterparts. I think it’s critical we get those numbers up. We need to encourage women at a young age to pursue their goals and to strive for whatever it is they set their hearts on,” said Erin, who is the mother of a young daughter.

“I know young female associates who have come out of law school within the last couple of years and I try to reach out to them as a potential mentor. I feel like I’ve had to fight for where I am. You have to stand up for yourself. You have to believe in yourself and you have to push for it. And you’re not going to see a change until that happens.”