The Toledo Women's Bar Association
As I rushed into Adams Street Cafe – running late – she warmly greeted me and told me not to worry about it, she could answer emails anywhere. Margaret Lockhart is a recognizable name and face in Toledo, practicing in labor and employment litigation for over twenty-five years – the majority of which was spent at the largest women-owned law firm in Northwest Ohio. Not only is she respected as an excellent attorney, but also as an asset to the bar and the community at large. Currently, she actively participates in several community service organizations including the United Way Women’s Initiative, Partners in Education, and the Zonta Club of Toledo. For her work – both in and out of the office – she has earned many awards including the Toledo Bar Association community service award this year and our own TWBA Arabella Babb Mansfield Award in 2009, along with being listed annually in Best Lawyers® in America since 2008 and Ohio Super Lawyers. But even with all of her achievements, she laughed off the idea that anyone would be intimidated by her.
Margaret did not always have aspirations to be a lawyer or live in Toledo. She took the LSAT because her friend was taking it. Even after being admitted to Rutgers School of Law- Newark, she thought she would just try out law school for a year. After her first semester, she found that she loved it – particularly learning about the law from an objective perspective – and, with the assistance of the dean, got funding to finish her degree. Shortly after graduating, she moved to the area to be with her husband and start a clerkship in the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit. Her move to the Midwest was supposed to be temporary; she had every intention of moving home to the East Coast, even studying and taking the New York and New Jersey bars in the first few months of her clerkship. But instead, she and her husband decided to stay and raise their four children here in the Toledo area. Now that her children are grown and her husband is nearing retirement, Margaret is planning on downsizing to a place in the up-and-coming downtown Toledo area.
Drawing from her experience as a member of the bar in Toledo, Margaret had some words of wisdom for both her more experienced colleagues and those of us that are still a little green. To her colleagues, she reminds you that you made the professional connections that allowed you to succeed by going to events, so keep going to things – even networking events – and be that mentor or connection for someone else. To newer attorneys, she encourages you to take the initiate and reach out to the elder members of the bar. Whether that be asking a simple question about procedure or going to lunch to get to know them and their practice area. Do not be afraid to send the email. After all, mentorship and community are integral to the “Toledo way.”