Christy Tosh Crider is chair of Baker Donelson’s Health Care Litigation Group and the Women’s Initiative, and is a member of the firm’s Board of Directors. Christy concentrates her practice in health care litigation, managing the litigation of numerous health care facilities around the country, as well as serving as outside general counsel.
I was a co-panelist with Christy onwebinar on women in law earlier this year, and was so impressed with everything Baker Donelson has done to promote and advance women lawyers under Christy’s leadership.
For example, during Christy’s tenure as the Women’s Initiative Chair, Baker Donelson has earned numerous recognitions as an exceptional workplace for women, including being named by Seramount (formerly Working Mother Media) to its Best Law Firms for Women list, and being ranked 15th nationally in diversity for women in the 2022 edition of Vault’s “Best Law Firms for Diversity.” Baker Donelson was also recognized by the Chambers Women in Law Awards: USA 2018 as a finalist in the category of Outstanding Firm in Advancing Gender Diversity and Inclusion.
Christy has overseen numerous key initiatives at Baker Donelson, including the adoption of an industry-leading parental leave policy; implementation of a firm-wide mentoring program for women; creating a program that awards business development grants to women attorneys; and a training program designed to help women attorneys achieve equity shareholder status. Christy was named a 2018 recipient of the A Great Place to Work® For All Leadership Award by FORTUNE magazine.
Learn more about her in this Women Who Wow profile.
What do you think is the key for success in a role like yours?
First, there is always a way to reach the goal and to find the solution. It may not be on the timetable you want. It may not be in the way you initially envisioned. Set your sights carefully and then exercise the muscle of persistence. Second, creativity is the most underrated trait in a great leader. Creative leaders find solutions. My favorite challenge is that to which no one else has yet figured out a solution, those are the most satisfying. Finally, it is never necessary to be unkind or unpleasant to get the job done – be relentlessly, persistently kind.
How has the pandemic changed you?
The pandemic was a time of pruning. We pruned from our lives beautiful things out of necessity – parties, dinners out, in-person meetings, travel and many other things we enjoyed. And, by doing so, we redirected the energy to the beautiful things that remained – family, home, hikes, music, books, Netflix!
My career is focused on the health care industry and promoting women, and so the pandemic hit my two client bases very hard and I was exhilarated with the satisfaction of knowing that I was helping those I serve through what was the hardest time in many of their journeys. Work did not slow for me during the pandemic, but I had energy to give it.
As we emerged from the simpler times of quarantine, I was intentional about what I added back. I yearned for live music. I longed for in-person worship. I was giddy about a beautiful piece of fish and hand-crafted cocktail at my favorite restaurants. I wanted to rest in the seats of my favorite independent theatre and let its films spark ideas and emotions. I sought to sit close with my best friends. Those things feed my soul and so I enthusiastically added them back to my routine when it was safe. I found there were other activities, people, obligations that were better left lovingly unattached to my energy source. The pandemic taught me to respect my energy source and what I attach to it.
Do you have a mentor?
Yes, I have had many mentors and continue to. Any leader who concludes she has little left to learn should retire and pass the torch to a leader who recognizes there will always be much more to learn about ourselves and one another.