Laurel Bellows

A Passion for the Practice

I want to share my story about what Passion Forward means to me.

My passion is about the practice of law. Every day, I am grateful for the ability to speak with clients and help them achieve justice and equitable treatment.

When I was starting out as a lawyer, I never imagined that the law would give me the opportunity to become an advocate — to change the juvenile justice system in Chicago, to speak out about the gender pay gap and to fight human trafficking. I have found my passion in applying my skills as both a lawyer and an advocate.

Whatever size firm you work for, you do not have to abandon your passion for causes that are important to you. If you practice business law, for example, you can also advise your corporate clients on how to eliminate human trafficking — modern-day slavery — from their supply chains.

Passion is key to success, especially maintaining that passion through the ups and downs of your career. As Oprah Winfrey has said, “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”

Through the good times and through today’s challenging economic times, I constantly remind myself and others that lawyers matter. We matter because we understand that rules are more important than outcomes, that ends do not justify means. We matter because we are compelled to speak against injustice and unfairness. We matter because we can change the lives of others in positive ways.

Like you, passion fuels my practice. Never lose sight of how fortunate we are to be lawyers.

Laurel Bellows is a principal in The Bellows Law Group PC and president of the American Bar Association. Bellows posts regularly during her presidency to engage with young women lawyers and law students. 

Ms. JD would like to acknowledge and thank our conference sponsors: Arnold & Porter LLPLatham & Watkins LLP, Munger Tolles & Olson LLP, Sidley Austin LLP, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, and Norton Rose Fulbright.

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