Foley & Lardner LLP Senior Counsel Lauren Champaign is featured in the Attorney at Law Magazine Q&A, “Lauren Champaign: Righting Wrongs & Giving Back,” discussing how she successfully combines her career in corporate litigation with her passion for social causes.
Champaign traced the origin of her interest in law to her childhood observing the challenges that Black people face across the United States. “I saw how Black people were cut off from the legal system,” Champaign recalled, “and also how it could be used to help them.” She referenced the many mentors she has leaned on for guidance over the years, beginning with her mother, professors from her time at the University of South Carolina, and several Foley attorneys “who have taken [her] under their wings and provided true sponsorship.”
Champaign said that while she thought she “would be a civil rights attorney in the vein of [her] legal heroes,” when she began working at Foley, she learned that corporate litigation “was not only challenging but also interesting.” She also learned “the broad extent to which many corporations support and give back to social causes,” and has since channeled her passion for social justice into pro bono work, nonprofit leadership, and client and firm initiatives committed to the goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
She discussed her role in one of Foley’s such initiatives, the firm’s Racial Justice and Equity Practice Group (RJEPG). Champaign, along with two colleagues, helped found RJEPG in 2020 amid the pandemic and calls for action on police violence and racial discrimination. Since its founding, RJEPG has become Foley’s largest pro bono group.