If you’re an active member of the Hennepin County Bar Association, there’s a good chance you’ve run into Scholastica Baker. She is usually the only attorney with a camera around her neck at HCBA events, where she is shooting event photos for the Hennepin Lawyer magazine. She is also the CLE committee co-chair for the New Lawyers Section and is co-chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
Lawyers are constantly balancing their billable hours with other professional obligations, like involvement with the HCBA. Baker is no exception. As a lawyer who practices in product liability, she has a busy work schedule. She also has two kids with a third on the way. But Baker said, even with its challenges, her association involvement has been beneficial to her career.
Baker, an associate at Bowman & Brooke, became involved with the HCBA after speaking with her B&B colleague Roshan Rajkumar. Rajkumar recommended she get involved with the HCBA because it provided the most “bang for your buck” with regards to career development and networking opportunities.
“I knew that I needed to get my name out there,” said Baker.
She started getting involved with the Diversity and Inclusion committee first. “I literally just started showing up to meetings,” she said.
Baker chose the committee because she wanted to support organizations that focused on diversifying the legal profession. She herself gained career experience by taking part in a program through the Twin Cities Diversity in Practice organization.
“I am so passionate about paying it forward,” she said.
Soon HCBA President Kim Lowe noticed her at the meetings and asked her to co-chair the committee.“When the president asks you to do something, you say ‘yes’,” she said.
She also became involved with the Hennepin Lawyer magazine committee because she enjoyed her experience on the law review committee in law school. “I valued the people that I met; I enjoy the interaction,” she said.
While Baker admits that she sometimes stretches herself too thin with her professional commitments, a variety of things prevent her from becoming burnt out.
Being married to a lawyer helps her navigate the work-life balance. “I have to give praise to my amazing husband,” said Baker with a smile.
Being proactive about time management is another helpful skill. Baker admitted that she does some work at least every day of the week, but she completes tasks in the mornings so she can spend time with her family in the evenings.
Baker, who served in the Army National Guard, credited her military service for helping keep her organized as well. “I need to give it way more credit,” she said.
As a busy person in all aspects of her life, Baker has some words of wisdom for young attorneys.
“My advice is two things: your billable work always comes first. You also must get involved, but bite less and chew more,” she said. Baker also said that keeping your family priorities on top is important as well.
Baker has set ambitious goals for herself, one of which includes making partner at her firm. She knows that being active and involved in the local legal community is crucial to her professional success.
“I know that I cannot make those goals without the help of others. You don’t forget where you came from and who helped you get there,” she said.
Scholastica Baker is the co-chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She is also co-chair of the CLE committee for the New Lawyers Section and sits on the Hennepin Lawyer Committee.