Jennifer Baxter was recognized as Diplomat of the Year for 2014. Congratulations Jennifer!

  1. Jennifer BaxterAs an attorney who is building a practice, why is community involvement so important to you?

I think community involvement is important for everyone, regardless of your career.  But when I moved back here to practice law, I did it with the idea that I was “coming home” to build my life here. To me, choosing to build my career here means that I am investing in this community for the long term, so of course I want that community to be the best it can be. One of my favorite teachers, Tim Howard, always said that there are so many good things about our community, and we should be be proud of where we’re from. I think that’s largely because there are so many people who are committed to making it a great place to live and work, and I want to be a part of that commitment.

  1. What doors have the relationships built through Diplomats opened for you?

A substantial portion of my book of business comes from referrals from my fellow Diplomats, so it has had very real impact on my practice and my ability to build a business. But the Diplomat program has also helped me in terms of making the business part of my practice run smoothly.  My IT services come from a fellow diplomat. My E&O insurance is brokered by a fellow diplomat. My accountant is a referral made by a fellow diplomat.  In order to have your own practice, you really must have a good support team, and the Diplomats are the best around.

  1. As a professional take a moment to tell us why Chamber Membership is important to those in your industry.

I think the most important thing to remember is that in many ways, lawyers are just like any other business.  We depend on a thriving economy for a client base just like everyone else.  If a community isn’t growing, that community probably doesn’t need lawyers. We should all be mindful that our business success is dependent on community success, and there’s no greater driving force for the growth of business in our community than the Chamber.

  1. Being named Diplomat of the Year twice in a row is quite a feat, what’s the secret to your success?

I very much believe in the old idea of working hard and playing hard. I think most lawyers do; it’s the Type A personality. Fortunately for me, the Diplomat program allows me to do both. I have made great business contacts, and we have fun doing it.  Plus, I have a fantastic assistant who keeps my schedule running and makes sure I can fit everything I want to do into my day.

  1. What’s one fact that readers would be surprised to know about you?

I am the youngest of eight children, so I have a huge family.  My parents were married for 54 years before my dad passed away in 2010, and now when my mom has her children and grandchildren over for dinner, it’s 27 people.  We all live within about a three mile radius from my mom’s house, and we are all extremely close to each other. I was interviewing for a part time job in college, and the interviewer asked me how I felt about working in a group, so I said, “I grew up in a house with 10 people in it, my entire life has been working in a group.”  I wouldn’t trade my family for anything in the world and they’re the greatest blessing I could ever have been given.

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