Since 1991, Jamie Damon has practiced law on Sioux Avenue in Pierre and on Friday, it came to a close.
Damon received her undergraduate from Iowa State University before receiving her Masters in Political Science from University of South Dakota in Vermillion. She served in the Navy for two and half years in a call center prior to college. With that experience under her belt, she worked for the state for a few years before working out of her home as a caterer.
Damon couldn’t see herself as a stay-at-home mother of her two children after working at food catering for several years.
“I’m the type of mother that did better by having a career,” Damon said.
So at the age of 36, she went to law school at USD. While law school usually takes three years, Damon managed to finish in two and a half.
“A friend told me law school takes three years and I thought ‘ those three years pass anyway, but I’ll be a lawyer by the end of it’,” Damon said.
During the time, Damon said there were very few women in private practice at the time. She sent her resumes to multiple lawyers after graduating from law school, only to receive a response from one who said they weren’t hiring.
Damon is not a person timid by nature and took things into her own hands by opening her own practice and practicing general law. At times, she was the only one in the courtroom apart from the clerk. Despite that, Damon hardly ever felt being female was an impediment for her career. The only time she felt threatened was when she received death threats during a murder trial in the 1990s, she said.
As far as why she decided to close her office Damon simply said, “I just thought it was time.”