Elizabeth S. Baker
Elizabeth S. Baker, of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, has devoted more than 4,500 hours over her distinguished legal career to delivering pro bono services to underserved families in Florida.
“I am humbled to be chosen for this national recognition, and receiving it in Jean Crowe’s hometown was a singular honor,” said Baker. “As Jean knew, it is rewarding to make a difference in the lives of children and adults embroiled in high-stakes family legal disputes who are often intimidated by the complexities of our nation’s justice system. Representing them pro bono has been among the most gratifying aspects of my career.”
In her private practice at Hinshaw, Baker represents high-profile, high-net-worth individuals in contentious and complicated marital and family disputes. She brings the same level of skill and dedication to her representation of poor women and children. She has a reputation for crafting creative solutions for each of their difficult and often legally challenging circumstances.
Baker also serves as a pro bono guardian ad litem for children in emotionally wrenching custody cases, and was she honored for this important work with the 2007 James H. Pearson Guardian Ad Litem Award from the 11th Judicial Circuit of Miami-Dade County. A year later, she received the prestigious Legal Services of Greater Miami Distinguished Service Award for her volunteer legal assistance to the Monroe County Child Welfare office that helped secure the reversal of a trial court decision to remove custody of a child from an indigent mother.
With a community service record that extends past the courtroom, Baker was instrumental in founding the Safespace Foundation, a domestic violence shelter in Miami, in 1978—well before the pressing need for such community resources was widely recognized elsewhere in the United States. In the forty years since, Baker served as the president of the Foundation’s Board, continued to provide pro bono legal representation to the organization, and continued to represent individual women referred to her by the organization. Baker directed the $1,500 stipend that comes with the award to the Safeplace Foundation.
“I’ve always believed in doing well by doing good,” she said.