Washington, DC, 20001
Lisa Blue Baron
Ms. Blue Baron, a founder of the Dallas firm Baron and Blue, served as AAJ president-elect in 2013-14, vice president in 2012-13, and secretary in 2011-12. She is a member of the Executive, Membership Oversight, Public Affairs, and Public Education committees, and she has chaired the Public Affairs and Affinities committees and the National Finance Council. Ms. Blue Baron has served on the Board of Governors and the Robert L. Habush Endowment Board of Directors, as well as the Justice List and Key Person committees. She has been a member of the Leaders Forum Founder’s Circle and is a diplomate of the National College of Advocacy. She received the Nancy Pelosi Know Your Power Award in 2008.
Ms. Blue Baron received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia in 1973, graduate degrees from the University of Virginia in 1974 and 1975, a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from North Texas State University in 1978, and her J.D. from South Texas College of Law in 1980.
Mindful of Where We Are Going
I joined the American Association for Justice right out of law school in 1980, and I never imagined that I would one day serve as an officer. I am deeply honored to lead AAJ this year as your president.
While Dallas is my current home, my roots lie in Atlanta, where I was born in 1952. It was a time of tremendous prejudice and a place where the Ku Klux Klan terrorized residents. When I was 12, my family’s synagogue was bombed. My father was one of the first doctors in Atlanta to integrate his practice, and as a result, many white patients left. Growing up, all around me I saw acts of hatred and instances of people being isolated because of their religion or race. I knew that I wanted to help people, and I saw the field of psychology as a way to achieve that goal.
My first career was as a psychologist, with a practice revolving around trial lawyers, counseling them on their personal relationships, and helping them navigate their daily stress. Then I started working with lawyers on jury selection. I’ll never forget when Howard Nations asked me to go with him to observe him pick a jury. The defense attorney made comments intended to ridicule me for my role as a psychologist, but what he really did was make it clear to me how interested I was in the interplay between psychology and the law. Not long after that, I went to law school.
My law degree led me to the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, and I left in 1985 to work at my husband, Fred Baron’s, law firm. I feel incredibly lucky to have had such a varied career. Before my husband’s death in 2008, I also became a mom—at age 55—to Caroline (age 7), Alessandra (5), and Nathalie (5).
During my year as AAJ President, I plan to move with my family to Washington, D.C. I will put my practice on hold and be on call for AAJ—which, to me, is also my family.
I will continue Burton LeBlanc’s excellent work to ensure America has a strong civil justice system. I have traveled throughout the country to speak with lawyers and lead education programs, and I look forward to more visits. I will continue AAJ’s effort to build our relationships on both sides of the aisle within the trial bar and work to elect pro-civil-justice candidates, regardless of political party. I also look forward to helping Zachary Wool develop AAJ’s new LGBT Caucus.
My first glimpse at the life of an AAJ president was in 2000, when Fred was president. I am proud that he and I are, so far, the only husband and wife to have served as presidents. Fred’s dedication to growing membership is something I will foster.
I’d like to share something else. In our fast-paced, multitasking, and demanding lives and practices, we need to know where to go for advice, when to ask, and how to listen to ourselves. These skills come from being mindful and present in our daily lives—with our families, friends, colleagues, and clients.
I have been reading psychology-based mindfulness studies, such as those from Massachusetts General Hospital, which reveal that after eight weeks of mindfulness training, participants had “thickening in particular regions of the brain important for learning, memory, executive decision-making and perspective-taking.”
As trial lawyers, we’re always looking for an edge. Imagine improved efficiency, more compassion and better response to clients’ needs, greater ability to rely on intuition, increased clarity and ability to react more appropriately, and positive health effects.