EQUINOX STRATEGY PARTNERS
LMA In Focus: Jonathan Fitzgarrald
Presented by: West Region LMA
Jonathan participating in the 4th of July parade on his mount Lexie
In Focus is a new column that features short Q&As with West Region LMA members.
Equinox Strategy Partners
How did you get started in legal marketing?
Upon graduation, I entered the job market toward the final years of the dot com boom, working in the PR department of a wireless technology company. One morning, I arrived at the office only to be directed to one of the company’s conference rooms with a number of my colleagues.
During the senior staff meeting, we were told that the company had been acquired in a hostile takeover and a new management team would be replacing us. I was officially out of a job!
The founder and president of the company, who was also walked out that day, felt so badly for her team members that she did whatever she could to connect us with new opportunities. She introduced me to the managing partner of the law firm who handled the company’s intellectual property matters and eventually I was hired as the law firm’s first director of marketing. It was my entry into the wonderful world of legal marketing.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Discovering the untapped potential in professionals is what drives me. Many attorneys (and other professionals) are confident when it comes to practicing law but lack confidence around the relationship building process that leads to building a book of business. Identifying (and implementing) a unique strategy that leverages a professional’s preferences, style and talents and then realizing the results is the best!
What is a challenge you have been able to overcome in your career/current job/legal marketing?
I think it can still be challenging for a non-lawyer (marketing, management, operations, recruiting, etc.) to be respected and successful in a law firm environment. Yes, all of those disciplines are necessary for the organization to flourish, but at the end of the day, the legal profession still has a “club” mentality and those without J.D.s have to work overtime to be membership material. Personally, I have always liked the challenge as opposed to it deflating me.
Tell us one thing people do not know about you
At 6:30am on February 9, 2019, I received a call that my son, Blaise, had been born. As a prospective foster-to-adopt parent, I had been on the waiting list for months, not knowing exactly when I would get the call. If you follow my Instagram or Facebook pages, it isn’t hard to figure out that Blaise means the world to me. Although Blaise looks like the hybrid of my husband and me, what most people don’t know is the backstory that he was adopted.
Share something you have found to be interesting or special in the last year
The need to be “human” is one of the major lessons that I learned from the time we were in lockdown. Given the speed of business, it is easy for relationships to be transactional and 100% professional. Balancing the need to conduct business with the ability to relate and connect on a human level has been invaluable.