Why I Quit My Job as a Lawyer to Start a PR Agency

Aug 03, 2020

Are you passionate about the work you do every single day? Do you work for clients you love and believe in? If you’re not, you can start a PR agency and build a career that you’ll love, just like I did! 

I started my PR agency 15+ years ago, and I still love what I do and who I work for. My clients value me and the work I do. They know and value the contribution I make to their business and they pay me what I’m worth.

The career transition I made 15 years ago is the best thing I’ve ever done. Everything I did is possible for you, too. 

You can build financial freedom and spend more time with your family and friends. For me, the ultimate goal was to be able to spend more time with my kids. 

What I Do

I’m the founder of Jeneration PR, which is a full-service PR agency in Los Angeles. We represent brands in a few different niches: (1) baby and kids, (2) beauty and cosmetics, and (3) health and wellness. 

I’m also the creator of the Profitable PR Pros Facebook community, where we bring together like-minded entrepreneurs focused on providing exceptional PR services to their clients.

My passion is to bring my community strategies so that they can have a career and a business that lights them up every single day. 

My Career Started As A Lawyer

My career started as a civil litigation attorney. I went to college at UC Santa Barbara and then straight to law school at USC. I finished law school and got an incredible job at a top firm in Los Angeles. I felt like I was living the dream! I got to work on some incredible cases and made great money. I was 25 years old and, to the outside world looking in, I was a success. 

But I didn’t feel successful.

I felt like a fraud. I felt like I was heading down a path that wasn’t appealing to me. The direction I was going in actually terrified me. Not because I was afraid of the challenges that lay ahead, but because I was afraid of what my life would look like years down the road.

The path I was on was to work for a big firm and the goal was to become a partner. But I couldn’t see anyone who did that and had a life that I wanted to model. 

I saw my future by looking at the other women who worked at my law firm. There was nobody there who had the work-life balance I wanted. They worked long days and late hours. They didn’t have enough time with their family or to focus on themselves. 

When women took time off to have children, some of them never came back. And the ones who did come back, only worked part-time. They were eventually phased out and you never saw them again.

Related: How to Get Into Public Relations Right Now

My Goal For When I Had Children

I began to think about all the women who are moms and have an awesome career doing fun creative work. They still had time to see their kids and participate in all their activities.

When I eventually had kids, I wanted to see them whenever I wanted to and to be there for their art shows, recitals, and all their activities at school. 

That’s what I had growing up and I wanted that for my children when I had them. 

I eventually realized that this lifestyle wasn’t possible as a lawyer. 

How I Started Working In The PR Field

Once I knew that I wanted more for myself, I started to do PR work on the side. My first-ever experience with it happened very randomly while I was in Europe. 

After you take the bar exam, you typically go for a little last hurrah. I went to Europe by myself for a month. I was in London at the start of my trip and I discovered a perfume that was packaged really cute and smelled amazing. The fragrance was called “I am rich” and it smelled like white floral Gardenia. 

I loved the fragrance. And everyone I spoke to wanted to know what it was and where I got it.  When I ran out of the perfume, I thought I’d never be able to get it anymore. 

But then I did a little research and found that the brand I discovered in London was based in Santa Rosa, California. 

How I Approached That Brand

Even though I was still a lawyer, I reached out to the company and spoke to the founder. I told her that I thought her perfume was something special and I wanted to help her get her brand out to more people. I told her that I felt like there’s a lot of interesting stories we could tell about this brand. 

There was a range of fragrances called things like: “I am wild,” “I am hot,” “I am naked,” “I am energy.” I felt like they were like affirmations. I thought that, as you smelled your fragrance throughout the day, you’d remember the affirmation. 

I asked if I could help her reach more people and if she could send me a big box of products? So she did. She sent me a huge box of perfumes, shower gels, and soaps.

I had the box shipped to my law firm because I was never home. When it arrived, I ran inside my office, slammed the door shut, and started digging through this box.

Suddenly, I had all kinds of ideas come to me about how I could promote this brand. 

How I Started

Even though I didn’t know what PR was or that this was a service that companies pay people for, I was drawn to it. 

I started doing the work for free and I loved it.

I thought… If I could get paid to do this — promoting brands and products and entrepreneurs I believed in — I would feel like I never worked a day in my life. 

That was the seed that led me to decide to leave my career in law. And pretty soon after that, I left my law firm to start my own PR firm without any training or contacts. 

Believe In Yourself to Start a PR Agency

The scariest part about leaving my law firm was telling my parents. I had to tell my family that I was walking away from this great paying prestigious career at a top law firm. I even had a mortgage payment and I was on my own. 

But I just kept thinking: I believe in myself and I’m betting that I can do this. I gave myself 6 months to make it happen. In that time, I focused on learning how to be the best PR pro possible.

I had to learn how to write pitches that would convert. And how to send winning pitches that would secure the best features for my clients. This helped me to retain clients that never wanted to leave. 

Providing excellent service was what I focused on and, to me, that was what was going to make my business successful. I really honed my craft so that I could be known as the go-to expert in my niches. 

How I’ve Grown In My Business 

Now, 15+ years later, I still love the work I do. My business has changed a lot over the years. I work with bigger clients and our agency has grown to multiple seven figures. It’s become something beyond my wildest dreams.

And now that I’m a mom, I’m able to structure my career around my children’s activities. That to me was an absolute dream come true, because that possibility didn’t exist for me as a lawyer.

It’s Possible to Change Your Career

Maybe you feel like I did when I was a lawyer, where I was grinding away and working 80 hours a week. I also started dating my husband when I was a lawyer and he was working 80 hours a week and feeling burnt out, too. 

That wasn’t what I wanted my future to be. 

So if you feel like I did, and you’re in a career and looking to make a change, just know that it’s possible. 

Maybe you’re already working in PR, possibly freelancing or running your own agency. But you’re not offering services that you love or working with clients that you love and believe in. That’s another way people can get burnt out. 

You don’t have to do work at Facebook ads, copywriting, or email marketing if you don’t enjoy doing that kind of work. 

Think about the work that lights you up and is your zone of genius. Work with clients you believe in and develop a deep expertise in a niche. Specialize in that niche because that’s how you’ll become known for something. This is when premium clients start to seek you out. 

If I Can Do It, So Can You

A lot of people think they need to have experience in a firm before they start a PR agency, or they ask how they can charge for their services when they don’t have a lot of experience. 

Or people feel intimidated about doing this type of work because they think you need to have really expensive media lists, contacts, and a database. And that they need tons of training. 

But I want you to realize that when I started I was a lawyer. I had no contacts and no experience. And if I can do it, so can you.

I’m here to help. One of the best ways I know that we can help you start a PR agency is for you to join our Facebook group called the Profitable PR Pros. It’s totally free! It’s a community of incredible entrepreneurs looking to provide exceptional services for their clients and wanting to learn how to serve their clients in the best way possible. They are offering PR services and looking to launch, grow, and scale profitable businesses.

They connect with each other and offer their support. It’s the first community of its kind where everyone is there to support and lift each other up and make everybody feel empowered.

When I started my career nothing like this existed.

I’d love to have you join us on Facebook. I hope that my career journey helped inspire you in some way. I hope it helped you think about what’s important to you and if your business serves your core values. I hope you can see what is possible for you when you follow your passion and do work that lights you up every single day.