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


Welcome to MyShingle’s series celebrating Woman-Owned and Mom-Owned Regulation Firms.  This profile features Jessica Markham, a family members law attorney in Bethesda, Maryland. 

What is your name? 

Jessica Markham

Law College attended and 12 months of graduation.

University of Miami, 2005

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

Markham Regulation Organization

Bethesda, Maryland

Summarize your perform working experience, if any, prior to opening your agency. The two as a lawyer or prior to turning into a law firm.

I went straight by from university to legislation faculty to becoming an affiliate at a smaller relatives law agency in Bethesda.  I expended 10 decades there just before I made the decision that I desired to be my possess manager, and I was completely ready for the challenge and journey of starting off my personal company.

When did you get started your organization?


 Why did you determine to begin your possess law company?

I felt I essential far more help in my conditions, and felt that I required to handle who I had to enable me, and I wished a lot more handle around procedures.  I desired to be equipped to be inventive about organization, which includes internet marketing.  I required to be ready to grow skillfully and creatively and as a organization human being, and couldn’t do that where I was.

What was the response you acquired from relatives, close friends, colleagues, legislation faculty classmates, judges, etc…when you announced your choice to launch?

Family members was concerned I wouldn’t have sufficient small business.  Not my husband, he was not worried.  Colleagues were being all supportive of me.  A number of persons assumed I was carrying out it to have extra time with my children, which was not a component for me.

What follow areas does your company concentrate on?

Family Legislation

What dimensions is your company?

Generally 8 attorneys, one extra starting off in September.  About 5 supporting employees.

Do you practice total time or element time?

Total time

What would make your regulation company one of a kind and different from any other law firm in the earth?

We emphasize get the job done-existence equilibrium, diversity/equity, and inclusion, volunteering in the legal and local local community, we have a sensible billable requirement, and a staff-primarily based natural environment.

How lots of kids do you have and what ages are they?

2 kids, ages 5 and 8.

Has turning out to be a mom affected your conclusion to get started or proceed to function your own law organization? If so, how?

Sure, it has.  My children suppose that possessing a business is a likely outcome for them in the future.  My daughter in individual is quite proud of me.  I also think when you have your own business, it is incredibly difficult to go again to operating for someone else.

If you are married/living in a dedicated partnership with a associate, what job has your partner performed with respect to your apply and mutual household obligations and conversely, what effect has possessing your company had on your relationship and role as a mom?

I am married and my husband’s aid has been integral in setting up my company. He has helped wire the web, work on the IT (which is his discipline, so that is really valuable).  Even if he was not so palms on, his moral help has been priceless.  I consider owning the company has designed me much more fulfilled in my everyday living which has a optimistic impact on my marriage and job as a mother.

If you are a solitary mother or father, have you faced any special problems in operating your personal apply and elevating a spouse and children and if so, be sure to explain what they are?


What are the execs and negatives of law firm ownership as a mom with regard to attaining function-existence equilibrium?

The professional is that you have control in excess of your time in that you are the manager and can normally retain the services of assist or delegate.  The disadvantages are that generally crap flows up to you, as you are backstopping the business enterprise.  No a single will be extra invested than you in it.

What are the execs and cons of law company ownership from a skilled standpoint?

Having your title on the doorway indicates legitimacy to probable purchasers. And other regulation business house owners will refer to you out of regard for what you are accomplishing.

In your impression, has the pandemic modified your colleagues’ attitudes in direction of mom and dad – specifically moms – in the workforce?

I think there is more of an assumption that we are all functioning and parenting at the very same time.

Be sure to share a parenting mishap or embarrassing child moment that another father or mother who techniques can relate to

I recall I at the time took my breast pump to one more organization for a mediation and had the milk cooler in their freezer. An individual assumed I experienced packed a lunch and I corrected him in front of the complete lunchroom. It was humorous additional than everything.

Please share a story about an opponent or colleague who grossly underestimated you (no matter whether owing to youth, constrained experience or just being a woman or mum or dad) or an wonderful victory that you realized

I think a lot of folks underestimated my business when it began out due to the fact I commenced it by myself, and they have been amazed to see the expansion from 1 to nearly 9 attorneys in 7 decades.  I suppose this was thanks to my age of 34 when I began out.

In your check out, what role does legislation organization ownership by mom lawyers play in advancing gender equality in the authorized profession?

Ladies require to see other ladies in positions of management and to design what they can do. Also, women of all ages I think are inclined to request out mentors and advice from other women of all ages.

Let us shell out it forward – share your best assistance or most powerful lesson acquired with other girl mom legal professionals who may well be imagining about starting off a business or have began a organization but are going by a tough patch.

Look for tips from other ladies who have done it.  Pose your troubles to them and see what they suggest.  Corporations all expertise the similar challenges, from receiving consumers, retention of workforce to management.  Someone has skilled this before you, do not reinvent the wheel.


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