Buffalo Law Journal sits down with Jamie Batt

Buffalo Law Journal spoke with Jamie Batt about her work with the United Way.

What’s your role on the United Way board of directors?
I have been a board member since May 2014. I’m also a member of the Women’s Leadership Council, which is made up of many local businesswomen with a common interest in our community. Being part of the United Way has given me a chance to be involved in a lot of different activities benefiting the Buffalo and Erie County community and reaching all areas of it. There are a lot of very cool fundraising and community activities that anyone who is interested can be part of.

Why is this effort important to you?
I was approached by a client who’s on the board and he asked me if I would be interested in joining. I had always known about the United Way and always liked the organization, but I didn’t know the extent of the United Way’s reach. When he approached me, I figured, ‘Oh, this would be a good way for me to get more involved with the Buffalo community.’ But the more I have been involved, I’ve found out just how much the organization does for so many communities in Erie County and Buffalo that I had no idea about initially. It’s really amazing the amount of people the United Way touches in all demographics.

Does your employer support your community work?
The firm has been amazing. We started a volunteer group consisting of 20 to 30 people who get together every few months on a Saturday morning and volunteer their time with a local community organization. The United Way has been a great resource to find projects for us to do. The staff has worked with us to see what we want to do and has helped coordinate the right projects for our group. It wasn’t so much me being on the United Way board that started the volunteer group; my colleagues are very generous with their time. When I spoke with a number of them about this idea, each one was really excited to work together as a team and do something good. Working with the United Way was a good fit because I was on the board and was able to tap into some connections.

What is your practice area at the law firm?
I am a transactional attorney and a lot of my practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, business succession planning including drafting of shareholders’ agreements and operating agreements, contract drafting, finance transactions, commercial leasing and business formations. The great majority of my practice focuses on local businesses.

Does your job lend itself to taking part in community initiatives?
It definitely does, and because much of our law firm’s clientele is local, it’s an awesome way to get more involved in the community. It has helped me meet a lot more people. … It has given us an opportunity at the firm to volunteer in areas that we wouldn’t have ever thought about or known about before this.