Earlier this week, this news story about Ieshia Champs, a single mom with five kids who will graduate from law school in May degree, went viral. And why not? What could be more inspirational than a determined woman and single mom realizing her dream of becoming a lawyer without letting anything stand in her way?
But Champs’ story isn’t just an inspirational, feel good story. By returning to school and earning a law degree, Champs broke the cycle of poverty that has a hold on too many single mothers. Imagine how many other families would be helped if we could support other single mothers striving to attain a law degree or to better their families’ lives through education.
The ABA purports to want to help women and promote equality in the legal profession. But initiatives that focus on retention of women at biglaw are nothing but a first world problem. The ABA could do much more to help bring diversity to the legal profession and to help women overall by creating programs to help women like Champs – with scholarships and mentorship – to realize their dream of becoming lawyers.
One reason that I created the Mom Owned Law Firms feature at MyShingle was to celebrate their accomplishments to inspire others. Let’s continue to ensure that moms who get law degrees or own their law firms remain in the spotlight so that they can light a path for others to follow.