By Jenny WhalenMay 27, 2014
Be it teaching inner city youth or providing legal representation to female soldiers challenging combat exclusion policies, Kindra Baer has sought to be an advocate in every phase of her career—a practice she plans to continue in her new role as attorney-counselor in the Office of Career Planning (OCP) at the University of Michigan Law School.
"In many ways, I'm just an advocate at heart," said Baer, a 2008 Michigan Law graduate. "Before coming to law school, I did Teach for America and really enjoyed connecting with students and feeling as though I was making a difference in their lives. My work in private practice was very fulfilling, but I missed working with students and helping them in ways that I find truly rewarding."
Baer, who will primarily advise students interested in private sector careers, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that Assistant Dean for Career Planning Jeremy Bloom, '01, regards as essential to OCP's efforts to support the career aspirations of private practice-minded students.
"Kindra knows first-hand the challenges of the post-2008 legal market," he said. "Her perseverance, creativity, and success navigating that extremely challenging market—together with her warmth and her passion for Michigan Law—will resonate with and inspire students."
Baer's hiring also supports the continued evolution of private sector counseling within OCP towards more detailed market-specific intelligence. "In addition to the skills that have led to early raves about Kindra's counseling generally, her deep knowledge of the Atlanta and D.C. markets from her experiences as a summer associate, and practicing in both Atlanta and D.C. will be hugely beneficial to students interested in those markets," Bloom added.
Since graduation, the Georgia native has practiced patent litigation at Covington & Burling LLP in Washington, D.C., and First Amendment and media law at Dow Lohnes (since merged with Cooley LLP) in Atlanta, while maintaining an active pro bono practice focused on civil rights cases—an interest she hopes to continue in Ann Arbor.
"Most recently, I worked with female soldiers to challenge the longstanding policy that precluded women from serving in combat positions," Baer said. "I would like to continue to be involved in pro bono work, either in an advisory role on a board or as a volunteer with an organization. I want to continue to advocate for civil rights."
In her role as counselor, Baer said she plans to bring a "holistic perspective" to the career planning process while sharing her enthusiasm for private sector work with the students and graduates she advises.
"My ultimate goal is to help students identify careers that they are not only going to find professionally rewarding, but also personally satisfying," Baer said. "What interests you, and how can we maximize your opportunities to get the experiences you want?"
Baer can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone at 734-764-5109, or in-person at her office in Career Planning on the first floor of South Hall.
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