Pamela Q.Devata


Pam has extensive knowledge and experience on all things relating to the use of criminal, credit, and other background checks related to hiring.

More About Pam

To protect their companies, most employers conduct some type of screening of potential and current employees. Any employer who conducts background checks needs to be aware of the myriad of laws regarding what they can ask, when they can or cannot ask, what information they can rely upon, and how that information can be used. This includes the hyper-technical federal law, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and many other state and local laws throughout the country. Both employers and background screening companies (consumer reporting agencies) look to Pam for guidance based on her deep knowledge and experience practicing in this area for nearly 20 years. She leads Seyfarth's nationwide Background Screening Compliance and Litigation Defense team, which currently has approximately 40 members nationwide.

Pam has a wide range of experience in this area of law. She has handled hundreds of class action law suits and numerous single-plaintiff cases. Pam has also discussed these topics to key stakeholders at thousands of speaking engagements. She even testified in October 2010 at the Public Meeting of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Washington, DC, about the use of credit checks as a screening tool for job applicants.

Pam is recognized nationwide for her vast knowledge on all things related to background checks. She counsels employers, marketplaces, staffing companies, property management companies, insurance companies, and background screening companies on the intricacies of the FCRA and laws affecting hiring and screening processes. She represents more than 200 background screening companies of all sizes.

Pam is always highly practical and pragmatic. She views herself as a problem-solver and trusted advisor to clients. Many of her clients have been with her for many years. She understands many competing interests between legal and business. Pam identifies risk areas and determines how to eliminate or reduce risks. She utilizes flat fee arrangements on a regular basis and leverages her robust client base and years of experience to provide efficient, cost-effective advice.

Pam's clients want to get it right. Many have an entrepreneurial spirit, and are trying to navigate changing legislation and legal interpretations that are highly technical in nature. She breaks it down for them and gets answers that are centered on her client’s business and risk tolerance.

  • JD, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology

    High honors
    Order of the Coif
    Chicago-Kent Law Review
    Moot Court Honor Society

  • BA, Washington University in St. Louis

    High honors

  • Illinois
  • US Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • US District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • US District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • US District Court, Northern District of Indiana
  • US District Court, Eastern District of Michigan