BBA Featured Member: Beth McElroy, Chair, BBA Probate Section
Beth McElroy Baxley, Dillard, McKnight & James
Where did you go to school? Birmingham-Southern (B.A. 1994); University of Alabama (J.D. 1997).
How long have you been practicing law? Fifteen years.
How have you been involved in the Birmingham Bar Association? I joined the Birmingham Bar Association when I first started practicing and have enjoyed many of the Young Lawyer’s social events and other Bar functions over the years, but didn’t actually become heavily involved until I joined the newly-formed Probate Section and served as its Treasurer, Chair-Elect and current Chair.
What do you like most about the Birmingham Bar Association? There are many things I enjoy about the Birmingham Bar. I’m constantly impressed by the support and positive impact that the Bar continues to provide to the Birmingham community as a whole. The Bar also provides tremendous educational and resource support to lawyers of all ages. The aspect of the Bar which I have most enjoyed, however, is the opportunity it provides to its members to meet and get to know other lawyers, those that practice in the same areas, and those that do not. Over the years I’ve found that the relationships I have with other lawyers have been incredibly helpful in both my professional and personal life. Meeting them and working with them through the Bar, rather than as opposing counsel, provides a background and context for those relationships that I believe encourages collegiality and civility amongst our profession.
What is the most rewarding experience in your practice of law? Representing the interests of individuals and companies and providing them with assistance in situations that are frequently new, foreign and unpleasant. Having the ability (and now experience) to help them navigate various legal situations has been extremely rewarding.
What makes you proud to be a lawyer? Alabama lawyers. Throughout my practice, I’ve been given the opportunity to work with lawyers all over the United States and consistently find that Alabama lawyers exhibit the highest standards of ability, skill, intelligence and professionalism in every matter in which they are involved
What advice would you give a new lawyer just beginning practice? Treat every lawyer, judge and party you meet with courtesy and respect. Time has a unique way of bringing people back around and your adversaries in this case may be the people you need a favor from in the next.
Any information you would like to include about your family, hobbies, etc.? I was blessed with the birth of 3 healthy children in the Spring of 2004 who have given me 9 years of joy. Being the mother of triplets and practicing law is not an easy task, but I've also been blessed to work with a great bunch of lawyers and staff who have supported me through every trial and tribulation. As many know, my favorite stress reliever is the lunchtime spin class at the Y, which, apart from Birmingham Bar functions, is the 2nd best place to socialize with other lawyers.