Meet Blair Harrington: 'A member of a team and part of a community'

Blair Harrington is an attorney at Taft, Stettinius & Hollister LLP. Blair is a member of Taft’s employment law group and represents employers in a broad range of litigated disputes and advising matters. Blair’s practice is focused on finding the most effective solutions for her client’s business needs, whether inside or outside the courtroom.

0320-WEB-COVERWhy did you go to law school?

I ultimately chose to go to law school after a month-long service learning trip I took to South Africa while in college. I volunteered with a non-governmental organization in Khayelitsha, an informal township outside of Cape Town, assisting with various projects, including HIV/AIDS education and awareness. While working in Khayelitsha, I witnessed the difficulties the NGO faced with the HIV/AIDS relief funding it received from the United States. I was struck by the way United States laws and policies restricted the way the NGO was able to utilize the relief funding. After writing a paper tailored to this topic and based on my experiences, I knew I wanted to go to law school. 

I also went to law school because I like to read, write, problem-solve, and—most importantly—argue. I felt this skill set would be best suited to a career in the law, and that I would enjoy it.

How did you come to focus on employment law and business litigation? 

Trial and error! While in law school, I knew I was interested in business litigation but had not considered employment law. The first job I landed, however, was at a personal injury firm. After trying it out for a few months, I knew personal injury was not my ideal practice area. It took me a year after law school to transition to a business litigation firm. During my time there, I worked closely with employers, advising on and litigating employment law cases with increased frequency. I started to enjoy it so much that I decided to shift into a practice group focused on employment law at Taft, Stettinius & Hollister LLP.

If you had not become a lawyer, what do you think you’d be doing for a living?

I would be a professional writer and traveler, sitting on a beach writing my next great novel. 

Even though I chose to become a lawyer, I still hope to achieve two major bucket list items of mine: writing a novel and living abroad again. I love to write and have concentrated on it in the past through classes and journaling. Right now I am focused on building my legal career but one day I want to sit down and write a novel. In college, I studied abroad in Mendoza, Argentina for six months, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I hope to experience the joys and challenges that come with living abroad again in the future. If I can write a novel while living in a foreign country, I will be able to cross two items off my bucket list at once.

You’ve been pretty deeply involved in the bar association, and this year you’re serving as the New Lawyers Section chair as well as a member of the MSBA Council. What are the most valuable things you’ve gained from your volunteer work with the bar?

The most valuable thing I have gained from my experience in the bar association is being connected to, and having a voice in, the legal profession as a whole. In private practice, you are singularly focused on serving the needs of your clients. Being an active member of the bar allows you to focus on the bigger picture and address important issues facing the profession. But the value I get out of the bar association goes beyond that. As the New Lawyers Section chair and an MSBA council member, I have been a member of a team and part of a community. These roles have also given me the opportunity to expand my leadership skills and interact with attorneys at different stages of their legal careers.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I like to spend time with both friends and family outside of work sharing meals, traveling, and staying active. I consider myself a “foodie” and enjoy trying out a new recipe at home just as much as the new hot spot in town. I also have a passion for travel and love exploring new and old destinations both at home and abroad. Food is also a big focus in my travels! Most of all, I like spending time with my husband and our golden retriever, Huxley, taking walks and going to our local coffee shop or brewery.