Jessica Markham, Bethesda, MD Family Law Attorney – My Shingle


Welcome to MyShingle’s series celebrating Girl-Owned and Mother-Owned Law Firms.  This profile features Jessica Markham, a family members law lawyer in Bethesda, Maryland. 

What is your name? 

Jessica Markham

Regulation College attended and calendar year of graduation.

University of Miami, 2005

Title, location(s) and URL of Regulation Firm.

Markham Regulation Firm

Bethesda, Maryland

Summarize your do the job knowledge, if any, prior to opening your company. Equally as a law firm or prior to turning into a law firm.

I went straight by from university to legislation faculty to remaining an affiliate at a little relatives legislation company in Bethesda.  I spent 10 years there in advance of I resolved that I required to be my have manager, and I was ready for the challenge and adventure of starting off my possess company.

When did you start off your agency?


 Why did you determine to get started your have legislation firm?

I felt I desired more assist in my instances, and felt that I desired to control who I experienced to assistance me, and I required more management over techniques.  I wanted to be in a position to be inventive about business, such as marketing.  I desired to be ready to mature skillfully and creatively and as a business person, and couldn’t do that exactly where I was.

What was the response you received from household, good friends, colleagues, regulation university classmates, judges, etc…when you introduced your selection to start?

Relatives was worried I would not have sufficient business.  Not my husband, he was not worried.  Colleagues had been all supportive of me.  Several men and women assumed I was performing it to have much more time with my youngsters, which was not a variable for me.

What exercise spots does your firm focus on?

Family members Legislation

What size is your company?

Commonly 8 attorneys, a single extra beginning in September.  About 5 supporting employees.

Do you practice full time or element time?

Full time

What tends to make your law organization exclusive and distinctive from any other law company in the world?

We emphasize get the job done-everyday living balance, range/equity, and inclusion, volunteering in the lawful and neighborhood neighborhood, we have a affordable billable requirement, and a team-primarily based environment.

How quite a few young children do you have and what ages are they?

2 little ones, ages 5 and 8.

Has getting to be a mom affected your final decision to commence or proceed to work your personal regulation firm? If so, how?

Indeed, it has.  My small children presume that proudly owning a business is a probable final result for them in the upcoming.  My daughter in distinct is pretty proud of me.  I also believe once you personal your personal business, it is quite really hard to go back again to performing for someone else.

If you are married/residing in a fully commited romantic relationship with a lover, what job has your wife or husband played with regard to your practice and mutual family members obligations and conversely, what impact has possessing your business had on your marriage and part as a mom?

I am married and my husband’s assistance has been integral in starting off my company. He has assisted wire the world-wide-web, perform on the IT (which is his discipline, so that is incredibly useful).  Even if he was not so palms on, his moral assistance has been invaluable.  I feel possessing the business has designed me extra fulfilled in my daily life which has a favourable impact on my relationship and position as a mom.

If you are a solitary father or mother, have you faced any one of a kind troubles in jogging your individual observe and increasing a loved ones and if so, you should explain what they are?


What are the pros and drawbacks of regulation agency ownership as a mother with respect to attaining perform-existence balance?

The professional is that you have command about your time in that you’re the boss and can always employ the service of aid or delegate.  The drawbacks are that often crap flows up to you, as you are backstopping the business.  No just one will be extra invested than you in it.

What are the execs and disadvantages of law company possession from a qualified standpoint?

Having your identify on the doorway indicates legitimacy to probable consumers. And other law business proprietors will refer to you out of respect for what you are doing.

In your opinion, has the pandemic improved your colleagues’ attitudes toward mothers and fathers – specifically moms – in the workforce?

I imagine there is more of an assumption that we are all functioning and parenting at the similar time.

Remember to share a parenting mishap or uncomfortable kid second that yet another dad or mum who methods can relate to

I recall I after took my breast pump to one more agency for a mediation and experienced the milk cooler in their freezer. An individual assumed I had packed a lunch and I corrected him in entrance of the complete lunchroom. It was funny far more than just about anything.

Remember to share a tale about an opponent or colleague who grossly underestimated you (no matter whether because of to youth, limited working experience or just staying a lady or parent) or an wonderful victory that you realized

I consider a lot of persons underestimated my company when it started out because I began it by myself, and they have been surprised to see the expansion from 1 to just about 9 attorneys in 7 yrs.  I suppose this was thanks to my age of 34 when I begun out.

In your perspective, what position does regulation company possession by mother attorneys engage in in advancing gender equality in the legal profession?

Ladies need to see other women of all ages in positions of management and to product what they can do. Also, girls I assume are likely to request out mentors and suggestions from other women of all ages.

Let’s pay it ahead – share your ideal advice or most impressive lesson uncovered with other female mother legal professionals who could be imagining about beginning a firm or have began a agency but are going by means of a rough patch.

Search for guidance from other females who have completed it.  Pose your problems to them and see what they recommend.  Organizations all knowledge the exact challenges, from acquiring clientele, retention of workforce to administration.  Someone has seasoned this prior to you, never reinvent the wheel.


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