| News | Firm News

Balch & Bingham to Host 11th Annual Susan B. Livingston Boot Camp for Success

For the 11th year, Balch will host the Susan B. Livingston Boot Camp for Success on July 21-22, 2022, to equip incoming law students 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, will be held in the firm’s Birmingham office.  The program is aimed at supporting 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 gather in Birmingham to participate in the 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; Judge John L. Carroll, Retired Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Middle District of Alabama and Former Dean of Cumberland School of Law, Samford University; Professor Bryan Fair, University of Alabama School of Law; Millie Ronnlund, VP, General Counsel & Compliance Officer, Southern Nuclear; Jonathan Barry-Blocker, Visiting Professor, University of Florida Levin College of Law; Tyrell Jordan, Attorney, TFJ Law Firm; Freddy Rubio, Attorney, Rubio Law Firm; Katelyn Caldwell, Environmental Policy & Litigation Counsel for 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 600 students are Boot camp alumni. 

“We are committed to building 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.”