Deborah Foster is a Partner at Edgeworth Economics (one of the WBA’s Vendor Sponsors). She holds a PhD in economics and MA in economics, both from Michigan State University. She earned her BS in business and economics from Trinity University.
Dr. Foster told us: “Most people who go to graduate school in economics want to be a professor, but I was the rare bird who got my PhD to work in litigation consulting. I first learned about the field my senior year in college when a firm came to campus to interview. I was fascinated! I spent three years there and became convinced that I wanted to make that my career, so I went all-in and headed to graduate school. I have been doing labor and employment-related expert work ever since. I love using a wide range of data sources to answer real-world questions, and I enjoy working with attorneys and their clients to help them understand their own data.”
At Edgeworth, Dr. Foster is a labor economist and an expert in applying data analysis to labor and employment issues in legal disputes. She has provided deposition testimony and expert reports in both state and federal court, as well as mediation, arbitration, and trial support. Her practice includes advising clients on matters relating to race and ethnicity, gender, and age discrimination claims as well as a wide range of wage and hour issues including misclassification, off-the-clock work, time-shaving, meal and rest break violations, rounding, and regular rate calculations.
In class action matters—including nationwide FLSA, state-specific, and hybrid actions—Dr. Foster frequently analyzes large data from multiple sources to address issues related to class certification and to quantify claims. She performs variation studies, examines the typicality of the named plaintiff(s), and calculates exposure under alternative scenarios and legal theories. Additionally, Dr. Foster performs critiques of opposing experts’ analyses and aids counsel in understanding the underlying assumptions and their impact on the results. She has worked on these cases in both an expert capacity where she has provided testimony and
When did you join the WBA?
What committees/forums have you been involved in?
Employment Law Forum
Why did you join the Women’s Bar Association?
Several members did a “road show” at my firm, Edgeworth Economics. I was thrilled to hear about an organization working together to encourage women and help provide opportunities for their professional growth. It also felt like a way to support causes that I don’t get to do in my day job.
What benefits do you get from being a part of the WBA and why do you think others should join?
The WBA has inspired me. The Stars of the Bar and Annual Dinner event speakers reminded me that there is so much good in this world. Guest speakers at the monthly co-chair meetings opened my eyes to some of the incredible organizations in the DC area doing great work to make the world a better place. Program speakers empowered me through education on important topics like reproductive rights. Particularly in these COVID times, the WBA has been a bright spot, and I believe it can do the same for others.
What words of advice do you have for women new to the profession?
Remember that developing your management/leadership style is just as important as learning the job, so keep your eyes open for inspiration around you. For example, early in my career, there was an error made on a case. I was impressed with how the senior partner handled the discussion with team and client, and I thought to myself – “that’s the kind of manager I want to be.” Be on the lookout for those examples (good or bad!) as you develop your own style.
What is the best advice you have received?
Ask for help. Don’t feel like you have to do it all on your own, and don’t wait for others to offer assistance.