JUN 25, 2024 | PRACTUS LLP


Authored by Jill Zimmerman Holub

1. How do you define your practice and areas of experience: 

I enjoy representing life science companies at the inflection point after FDA approval and when they are commercializing their approved drug. Additionally, during my 30 years of practice, I have represented diverse corporations in the full array of commercial agreements and business operations. For half of my career, I also practiced in complex litigation (IP, multi-party, national trial strategy for thousands of cases) so I apply that background to help clients avoid litigation or assess the best path forward when faced with the threat or reality of litigation. 

2. Tell us about your legal career journey.  How did you get here? 

I graduated as a philosophy major from the University of Michigan (“Go Blue!”) and I was weighing two options. Option 1 – Pursue a Ph.D. in Philosophy or Primatology, but I was told it is difficult to land a tenure track teaching position. Option 2 – Obtain a Juris Doctor. Practicing law seemed like the more practical path.  I have been a happy lawyer ever since, albeit, with some necessary pivots.  My path to being a corporate lawyer is a product of my two delightful children who were born 16 months apart. At that time, I practiced complex and intellectual property litigation, which I loved. However, high stakes litigation runs on its own timeline that seemed incompatible with having two babies under two years old. So, I pivoted to serving as a General Counsel of a healthcare services company to work a more predictable schedule.  Since that time 23 years ago, I have relished my time as a corporate attorney in healthcare and life science. Now, those “babies” are both college graduates. Like many female lawyers, and workers in general, I faced the hard assessment about how and whether to continue to work after my job title expanded to include “Mom.” 

3. What about the Practus model serves you as a legal professional, and as a person?

Remote and flexible legal work, balanced with some onsite work with my clients, is the perfect mix for me. I have been working remotely for over 10 years (before the pandemic made it the new norm.) I have savored the flexibility. I have been fortunate to travel quite a bit, often to remote destinations in Africa and Asia. Favorite travel memories include swimming with 20-foot-long whale sharks (sounds scarier than it was) and climbing with trackers to hang out with the breathtaking troupe of mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. The Practus model allows me to support my clients whether I am up the street from them or on the other side of the world. Lawyers can now achieve a greater work life balance than ever before thanks to models like Practus. 

4. What is your professional secret sauce? The secret of your success? 

I enjoy engaging with my clients to understand their business operations and objectives, delivering efficient, intelligent, and actionable legal solutions. My easy-going manner defies the lawyer stereotype. I have a wonderful time with colleagues and clients, actively listening and establishing a deep understanding of my clients’ needs and helping to accomplish them. We collaborate to achieve ambitious short-term and long-term goals. I am fortunate to build lasting and trusted relationships with my clients. I have worked with some of my clients for years. This is success to me, engaging all my abilities to measurably improve or solve a challenge for a client or community while we all enjoy our time together. 

5. What is one thing you wish people about to hire a lawyer with your expertise knew?

I wish people would approach hiring a lawyer the same way they choose a doctor. You wouldn’t go to a dermatologist to treat a heart problem. The dermatologist could offer general advice, but you need someone with deep knowledge and experience in cardiology. That is no different from choosing your lawyer. A great corporate attorney has the expertise to identify the corporation or individual’s true legal needs properly and quickly within the client’s timetable and budget. Just like a doctor, bedside manner matters. You should work with a seasoned lawyer with whom you feel comfortable. Low friction, low drama rules the day. The alternative legal services models benefit both clients and lawyers. 

6. What would you do if you weren’t an attorney? 

In my dream job, I would host a travel show where friends travel together around the world, immerse themselves in local culture, and occasionally act silly, and of course, eat amazing food.  Nothing is better than cooking, eating a great meal, and laughing as much as possible with friends and family.  

The Authors
Jill Zimmerman Holub
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Practus, LLP provides this information as a service to clients and others for educational purposes only. It should not be construed or relied on as legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking advice from professional advisers.

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