Monday Profile: Timothy J. Donovan


Legal News

Timothy Donovan is one of Sinas Dramis Law Firm’s senior partners, and has been practicing law at the firm since 1976.  He concentrates his practice on personal injury, wrongful death, and auto no-fault claims, and works with organizations and medical providers that provide extensive treatment and rehabilitative services to those individuals. 

Donovan is a 1972 graduate of Michigan State University, and received his J.D. from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 1976.
Donovan has been listed in Best Lawyers in America every year since 2003. His many awards include “Respected Advocate Award,” Michigan Defense Trial Counsel; “Top 100 Trial Lawyers,” National Trial Lawyers Association; and Super Lawyers’ Top 100 Trial Lawyers—personal injury.
Residence:  Haslett.
What is something most people don't know about you? I am an avid runner and have completed 29 marathons, including two Boston Marathons, in the last 30 years.
What is your most treasured material possession? At the tender age of 43, I decided to broaden my horizons and learn to play piano. Starting from musical illiteracy, after 10 years of weekly lessons, I decided my level of proficiency barely justified purchase of a Baby Grand piano, which has now occupied my front room for 11 years.  Although I am not truly worthy of the instrument and not nearly performance worthy, the piano brings joy and meditative pleasure at the end of the day.
What is your happiest childhood memory? My mother walking my three siblings and me to Potter Park (yes, I am a lifelong Lansing resident) at the age of four.
What would surprise people about your job? How much medical knowledge is required to do the job well.
What’s your most typical mood? I am told that I have a calm demeanor.  That seems about right.
Why did you become a lawyer? A decision in my senior year of college that teaching was not my path.  Law school was a serendipitous, fortuitous decision that led to a career that was a far better fit for me.
What’s the most awe-inspiring place you’ve ever been? Trekking in the Himalayas around the Annapurna range in Nepal.  A place as far away and different from anywhere as can be imagined.
What would you say to your 16-year-old self? As Oscar Wilde has said: “Youth is wasted on the young.” An admonition, I believe, to enjoy that moment.
What’s your proudest moment as a lawyer? A jury verdict in Federal Court establishing my severely disabled client’s rights to lifelong No Fault benefits that had been denied by his insurer.
What do you do to relax? Long distance running, travel and playing the piano.
What’s your biggest regret? No regrets.
What advice do you have for someone considering law school? Decide what you want from your life’s work on the worst of days.  Understand that law can be tremendously rewarding, demanding, enriching, and disappointing all at once.
What would you like carved onto your tombstone? Way too early for this, but try this: Worked hard. Played hard. Loved family and friends. Sought balance and diversity in all things.