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Baker Donelson Alumni Spotlight: Andrea Barach

Women's Initiative Newsletter

Andrea Barach serves as general counsel for Emerald Shelter Group in Nashville, Tennessee.

Andrea BarachTell us about your career at Baker Donelson. What did you learn from your time here that stuck with you?

I really noticed and enjoyed the sense of teamwork and mutual support offered by Baker attorneys to one another, as well as a sense of enthusiasm about the future being constructed by the firm, for the firm. I also appreciated seeing so many women in leadership positions!

Tell us about your role now.

I am general counsel for a nonprofit owner and operator of nursing homes, assisted living, independent living and affordable housing in four states.

Why is it important to mentor young women attorneys?

Everyone needs a mentor. When I was a young lawyer, there were no female mentors (my firm had only two women attorneys: me and another junior associate), and I certainly had some excellent mentoring from male colleagues and learned a lot. However, the conversations are different when mentor and mentee have a shared background, and certainly I know I would have appreciated having the perspective of a senior female attorney when I was an associate! Thus, I made a point of actively mentoring younger women at my law firms, either as an official or, more often, an unofficial mentor."

What is one piece of advice you have on work-life balance?

You never have it solved – it always is a wobbly process of navigation, and we should not be so hard on ourselves when things do not flow perfectly!

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting the practice of law?

Don't be afraid to toot your own horn – if you don't, why do you expect anyone else to do so?

Is there a misconception you had about going in-house that has now been debunked and, if so, what is it?

Not really a misconception but going from a large firm to a one-person legal department, I really miss all the support systems that I may have taken for granted before (nobody to call if the copier jams!).

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