By Hillary Hitt, market coordinator at McDermott Will & Emery LLP
Jacquelyn Williams joined Holland & Knight LLP as area development coordinator in December 2019 after a decade-long career in academia. Working in the firm’s D.C. office, Jacquelyn supports regional marketing activities and the International Trade and Israel practice teams, as well as the firm’s women’s initiative, diversity committee, and public and charitable services activities. Her first year in legal marketing has come with its challenges – namely the coronavirus pandemic and working from home while still learning the job and networking with the attorneys she supports. Yet she considers her first year in legal marketing a success.
How did you get started in legal marketing?
Kara Kane is a good friend of mine from college, and she’s been working in the legal marketing industry and involved with LMA for some time. I learned a lot about the industry from her experience, and realized there were some similarities with the work I was doing in academia. In my last position in academia, I organized events and helped secure sponsorships, which involved significant interactions with business development specialists and marketing managers at various firms. When I finally decided it was time for a change from academia, Kara encouraged me to look into legal marketing positions. While most of my first year has been in the midst of this pandemic, I have learned a lot in my position and am grateful to have made this change.
How has LMA positively impacted your first year in the industry?
Given the nature of 2020, LMA has been an incredible resource. As we all have adjusted to a remote work environment and adapted how we approach our work as legal marketers, LMA has provided many learning opportunities to aid this transition. I have been able to participate in webinars with different chapters around the country, which have given me unique perspectives to draw from. I know LMA would have been valuable to me under normal circumstances, but I’m particularly grateful to be part of this legal marketing community now.
What are a few things that you attribute to your career success?
In 8th grade I was voted “Most Versatile” for our graduating class. A pretty generic superlative to be voted on at the time, but in hindsight I think that description is something I have truly embodied throughout my life and career. I enjoy being involved in a variety of activities, and I grew up in an environment that encouraged me to follow different pursuits. From theater, basketball, choir, and other activities, I have been able to draw from many experiences to be flexible in any role and adapt to change. That versatility is particularly important in the marketing industry as there’s no “one size fits all” approach that can cover how marketers operate.
What recommendations do you have for great business reads? How do you stay up to speed on business trends?
Lately my business reads have focused on diversity and inclusion and best practices for incorporating that in your business. There are several resources to draw from on this topic, but my recent reads have been, “Better Allies: Everyday Actions to Create Inclusive Engaging Workplaces,” by Karen Catlin and, “The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table,” by Minda Harts.
What advice would you give to your younger self as it relates to your career?
Wherever your journey takes you, be open minded to different opportunities. They may change the course of your original career goals, but you will have many fulfilling experiences along the way.
When you aren’t working, what do you enjoy doing?
Outside of work, I’m active in theatre, singing, and community service. I’ve performed with different community theatre groups in the D.C. and Baltimore metro areas and currently serve as vice president of production for the Hexagon Theatre Company in D.C. I also sing backup vocals for a funk band called, “On the One.” Finally, I serve as a section chair for Alpha Phi Omega co-ed service fraternity, overseeing undergraduate chapters at universities in the D.C. metro area and Eastern Maryland.