Name: Jami Wintz McKeon, J.D.
Firm Name: Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
Location: San Francisco, CA
Practice Area: Litigation
Nominated By: Martha Fay Africa & Rachelle J. Canter
Best Rainmaking Tip & Career Advice?:
Do excellent work all the time. Make every client
feel he or she is your top priority.
Your success in rainmaking depends on relationships and
making your client look good (rather than focusing on
making yourself look good).
Do things because they are right, not because they'll
advance your career.
Percentage of time devoted to marketing:
A lot, especially if you include the development of relationships,
business development, and participation in activities.
Watching people I've mentored succeed here and elsewhere
Knowing what you know now, if you were starting out as a
lawyer today, what would you do differently
Get involved in building client relationships early - I thought
I needed authority and seniority to build relationships, but
you can and should do it as a young associate.
Tell me about one rainmaking strategy
or tactic that you initially thought would work, but it failed.
Why did it fail?
I never saw one that failed. The question is, how successful
is it and is it worth the investment? I do lots of things that
may or may not be effective rainmaking, but I do them because
I like them: I'm on panels, give speeches, teach trial advocacy,
participate on community boards and in charitable activities,
etc. I don't put a lot of stock in writing articles. Part of
what makes your career enjoyable and successful is doing the
things you like to do. I ran for the Board of Governors of the
Philadelphia Bar as a young lawyer. Did it work as a rainmaking
strategy? I don't know. What I do know is that I enjoyed it
and I think made a contribution, which was important to me.
What has been your greatest frustration about trying to
get new business or new clients?
How to break into an organization when you don't already have
a foothold - it's really hard to do.
If you were mentoring a young woman
lawyer, what advice would you give her regarding rainmaking?
Develop a personal relationship with your clients and be a good
mentor to those around you - you never know where they'll end
up, and along the way, you'll get a lot out of the relationships
and friendships you develop.
Would you say you ever had a mentor
that made a genuine difference in how your career turned out? If
yes, please describe.
I've had several, from inside and outside my firm: very early
on, an outstanding trial lawyer who taught me how to be a good
lawyer; the head of my practice group, who has a fantastic leadership
style and is only a couple of years senior to me, but who gave
me great opportunities and useful feedback and exemplified how
to be an effective leader; and the Chairman of our firm, who
has given me opportunities to grow and supported me along the
way. Each of them is a superior lawyer, but each is very different.
I admire their integrity, intellect, and mentoring skills.
Think about when you started out as
a lawyer. Now think about the new female lawyers just starting out.
What is different now compared to when you started?
When I graduated from law school, women didn't think they had
options other than to practice full-time or not practice at
all. Women graduating from law school today accurately perceive
a wider array of options: full-time or part-time, as well as
different employers, such as firms of different sizes, companies,
However, even though women have more opportunities today than
they ever had at any time, the profession is still overwhelmingly
male-dominated at the leadership levels. The Glass Ceiling is
still a big challenge for women.
Women absolutely can succeed and thrive in the legal profession.
I know it's not fashionable and some may not think it's credible,
but I truly believe you can have it all. You can be yourself
and still be a success, and being in a male-dominated profession
doesn't mean you have to act like a man or deny that you're
a woman, and it doesn't mean that you have to give up your family
or outside interests - I think my career shows that. There is
no one road map to success; you can and should forge your own
path. In my view, apart from the obvious requirement of doing
excellent work, success in the profession requires a high level
of self-confidence, rather than ego, an ability to forge relationships
with other lawyers in the firm, a capacity to learn from tough
feedback without getting paralyzed by it, and a bit of intestinal
fortitude. It also requires energy and commitment, and a passion
to do the best you can do, both in your personal life and in
List words that best describe you:
Lucky, energetic, tenacious, passionate, family-oriented,