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Balch & Bingham to Host 10th Annual Susan B. Livingston Boot Camp for Success

For the 10th year, Balch will host the Susan B. Livingston Boot Camp for Success on July 29-30, 2021, to equip incoming law students from underrepresented backgrounds with the necessary tools to succeed in law school and throughout their professional careers. The two-day workshop, dedicated to infusing diversity into the attorney pipeline, is held virtually and its participants include students from groups historically underrepresented in the legal profession and from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds, as well as students facing other significant barriers to entering the legal profession.  

Incoming first-year law students from across the country will participate in the virtual event. The two-day interactive program features sessions offering practical tips and advice from judges, attorneys and law professors, a simulated law school class, as well as tips on how to maximize study skills and summer job placement. Participants will also have an opportunity to network with both peers and practicing attorneys from a variety of backgrounds. 

Speakers include two circuit judges from the 10th Judicial Circuit- Judge Javan J. Patton and Judge Shantá Owens; a district judge from the 10th Judicial Circuit - Judge Shera Grant; Professor Bryan Fair, University of Alabama School of Law; Jonathan Barry-Blocker, Civil Rights Attorney, Southern Poverty Law Center; Stephanie Moore, EVP, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, Vistra Corp.; Millie Ronnlund, VP, General Counsel & Compliance Officer, Southern Company and Balch attorneys. 

“This year’s class includes a group of outstanding incoming law students from different backgrounds who are eager to cultivate the skills and foundation needed to achieve success in law school and beyond. We are thrilled to welcome them to Balch and look forward to providing an educational and meaningful experience,” said Brandi Russell, the firm’s Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer and Director of Talent Management. 

Brandi is also an alumna of the Susan B. Livingston Boot Camp. She credits the program with dispelling first semester anxieties and providing a toolkit to navigate her law school journey. Through this program, she also realized the profound value in cultivating relationships and is grateful for the authentic friendships that began at Balch. Looking back, Brandi views Boot Camp as a pivotal moment in the trajectory of both her professional and personal growth.

Many students who participate in the program go on to credit Boot Camp for Success as a driving factor behind their success during law school and as a young professional.  

The program is named in honor of the late Susan B. Livingston, a partner at Balch & Bingham and former chair of the firm’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. Susan kicked off the program in 2011, with approximately 20 law students. To date more than 500 students are Boot camp alumni. 

“It is a priority for us to help build a more diverse future in the legal industry,” said Stan Blanton, the firm’s managing partner. “Our boot camp program is one of our most important pipeline initiatives to ensure that diverse students are better prepared to transition to the law school environment and have access to the resources they need to be successful.”