Bayliss is an Associate Director of K-12 Education at the Center for American Progress where she advocates for state and federal policies that increase access to a high-quality education for all children. She is passionate about educational equity, criminal justice reform, civil rights, and the intersections between them. In her spare time she can be found reading, watching a documentary, cooking, crafting, at a good festival/conference/museum (pre-COVID), traveling, volunteering, or enjoying a great winery!
She currently serves as President-Elect for the Greater Washington Area Chapter, Women Lawyers Division, National Bar Association (GWAC), and as Co-Chair on the Women in Public Service/Politics Committee of the Women’s Bar Association of DC. She is also the Founder of Sepia Soul, a jewelry/accessories and body care business that was recently featured in Schick Intuition’s Mommy Instagram Guide.
She received her B.A. in legal studies from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with Commonwealth Honors College distinction, and her Juris Doctor from Northeastern University School of Law.
Bayliss joined the WBA in May 2018 and has been active with the Women in Public Service/Politics Committee.
Why did you join the Women’s Bar Association?
I joined the Women’s Bar Association of DC soon after moving to the DC area. I graduated from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, and I wanted to connect with a community of lawyers the same way I had during and after law school. My first WBA event was the Stars of the Bar Fall Networking Reception. I felt very welcomed in the space and several co-chairs invited me to join their committee. I also had some great conversations that evening, which cemented my membership with the WBA.
What benefits do you get from being a part of the WBA and why do you think others should join?
As a member of the WBA, I have connected with other women lawyers who have similar career interests, and I have learned from those who have different interests. I have also enjoyed creating programs with the Women in Public Service/Politics committee and thinking through how we can best serve WBA members. WBA membership is a great opportunity to learn about a variety of careers in the legal field, while also expanding connections in your area of specialty.
Do you have a mentor/hero?
Yes, I credit Cecilia Loving with the reason why I am a lawyer today. Amongst other things, she is a lawyer, pastor, and an author. She taught me the importance of sticking to your goals no matter what obstacles life may present. She also taught me the importance of “lifting as you climb.”
What words of advice do you have for women new to the profession?
Be open to new opportunities and new experiences because you never know where they will take you. I currently work in public policy, and I wouldn’t have found such a fulfilling career if I hadn’t been open to trying new experiences.
What is the best advice you have received?
To focus on my own lane, and don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. I think this is really powerful advice because it is hard to follow your guiding light when you are worried about where everyone else is going.
What other organizations are you involved in?
I am the 2021-2022 President-Elect for GWAC (Greater Washington Area Chapter, Women Lawyers Division, National Bar Association). I am also a member of Women in Government Relations, and Thursday Network.