Not many firms trace their roots of almost 80 years to a female attorney. Dominick Feld Hyde is proud to carry the name of our founder Sara Dominick Clark who recently was honored in the Alabama Lawyer (the periodical published by the Alabama State Bar) on the occasion of her 100th birthday [Alabama Bar Article (pdf)].
Sara’s brother Frank Dominick, Jr. is usually assumed to be the founder of Dominick Fletcher, the firm that merged with Feld Hyde in 2011 to become Dominick Feld Hyde. But actually both Sara and Frank followed in the footsteps of their father, Frank Dominick, Sr. and became lawyers after Frank Sr. died prematurely of a stroke at age 53. Sara graduated first, one of a handful of women in the University of Alabama School of Law class of 1941. Upon graduation she joined her father’s old firm, Stokely, Scrivener, Dominick and Smith and in 1943 Sara and her father’s former partner James M. Gillespy started the firm that grew to be Dominick Fletcher. When Frank Jr. returned from World War II and joined the firm in 1948, Sara left the practice of law to raise her children. Fortunately for me and many other Cumberland Law students, almost thirty years later she returned to the law as a professor of real property law.
Sara did more than blaze a trail for and inspire other women lawyers, including the eight female lawyers who practice at DFH today. She continues to inspire all of us with her wisdom, kindness, determination and honesty. The Alabama Lawyer article captures her perfectly:
She genuinely cares about people;
She’s invested in others;
She’s a listener;
It’s a legacy we strive to live up to every day. Sara Clark has been and continues to be my hero!
Sammye Oden (Ray) Kok