Betsy Baker took an uncommon path to a white-shoe law firm.
She had a son as a junior at Pottsville High School, was emancipated as a teenager and became a newspaper reporter before ever going to law school.
“I loved investigating, digging things up,” said Baker, who worked for the Southwest Times Record in Fort Smith and the now-defunct Stephens news bureau in Little Rock. “If the pay had been better, I’d probably still be doing it.” She counts a journalism professor at the University of Central Arkansas, Donna Stephens, as a key mentor.
But journalism was not a lifestyle fit for a young mother, and she enrolled at the University of Arkansas School of Law. After graduation, she joined the Rose firm in 2010 and has worked nowhere else. She credits a scholarship for single parents as a turning point, and this year she is thrilled to be president of the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund’s board.
“Today I feel like I am the dream that I was dreaming 15 to 20 years ago,” she said. “My wish is to get every single parent to that point.”