Jamie Baker: The Power Within The Pen

Posted on 04-07-2016 by
Tags: Tell us your story , AALL , Be Unprecedented , LIT , rainmakers , Top Stories

For Jamie Baker a passion ignites when she writes. Whether on her blog or in the classroom, Jamie educates through personal stories, beliefs and lessons learned. Jamie prefers personal examples to illustrate the type of situation that an attorney might face in practice. She believes personal stories are more-relatable to her students and will help them not only learn, but grow in the profession.

“When I was clerking for a local attorney’s office while in law school, the attorney approached me and dumped what was seemingly a pile of trash from a mailing envelope on the desk in front of me,"Jamie said."He then told me that he needed a brief in support of conservatorship within two hours to file in court using these documents as proof that an elderly client needed a conservator. The trash pile ended up being bank statements and late bill notices, etc… that helped show the need for a conservator.”

Jamie cites this as her most memorable experience as it illustrates the type of situation that an attorney might face in practice.

“It’s the example that I use with my students in legal research sessions to ask them about their research strategies and highlight the importance of efficiency and knowledge of sources because two hours isn’t much time to research and write a brief. But it might be the exact type of time pressure that they face in practice.”

Throughout her career Jamie has developed a repertoire of valuable skills that have expanded her career. As an attorney, blogger, law librarian, and legal research and writing instructor, Jamie’s advice to law students is to “get as much varied practical experience in law school as possible, as well as find something that you enjoy and then strategize to get there.”

“While I was in law school, I worked for solo practitioners, courts, and the law library to get a flavor for each. After working in these varied environments, I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in law librarianship. I then created a strategy to get there by enrolling in a master’s of library science program during my last year of law school and continuing to work in the law library. I was lucky enough to secure a position right out of law school and worked as a law librarian while getting my master’s degree.”

Jamie’s diverse background doesn’t stop with her career. In her spare time, she escapes the hustle and bustle by “hiking for days while camping along the way – with no cell reception!” She also likes to ride motorcycles, and is currently learning how to play the ukulele.

“All of these things help me maintain a life outside of work, which I think is important for mental stamina and agility. After all, part of being a legal professional is constantly learning and growing in the profession.”

Jamie J. Baker is an Associate Law Librarian and Executive Director of Scribes – The American Society of Legal Writers at Texas Tech University School of Law. She teaches Legal Research & Writing for LL.M. Students, Legal Practice research workshops to first-year students, and she teaches in the Law Library’s Excellence in Legal Research Program.


Rachel Poritz
Rachel Poritz
Posted on : 12 Apr 2016 8:06 PM

I think that's great advice to have varied experiences to figure out where and how you want to steer your career.  I worked in several different types of settings as I started my career and they were valuable experiences, sometimes to illustrate what I didn't want!

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