I’ve been profiling “Women Who Wow” all year long – it was supposed to be a series during Women’s History Month but then the world was derailed by the pandemic, and I know so many fantastic women, so I thought why not continue the series all year long? In this installment, learn more about Laura Powers, the Director of Development and Communications at the Philadelphia Bar Association.

I met Laura when we were both elected to serve on the Legal Marketing Association’s inaugural Northeast board, and it was great to work with her – she is collaborative, super smart and fun to work with. Learn more about Laura.

Why did you choose your profession?

As with many professionals, I fell into my work after landing a job and discovering I had a bit of talent. I expanded my skill set throughout the years and now hold a development and communications position, but I didn’t necessarily choose this profession. It is more accurate to say I found a job I could do well and developed it into a rewarding career.

Personally, I’ve been working on authenticity and dealing with perfectionism, and I’ve been trying to own more about this part of my story. We have a tendency to subscribe to a collective ideal that our success is measured on a professional trajectory we establish early in our careers. However, this is almost never true. It is important to realize that we can have ambition but not necessarily know where it will take us. Choosing my profession was not a clear, straight path, but a winding, uncertain journey that has been full of pleasant and constructive surprises.

What do you love most about what you do?

In my current role, I have the unique opportunity to amplify the voices of our civil legal aid agencies in Philadelphia through fundraising and content promotion. These agencies are constantly and consistently underfunded and need more public advocates that understand the need for equal access to justice in our legal system. I find the work meaningful and personally fulfilling, and I’m glad to be able to do it.

We are fortunate to also be working on a special project that has the promise to transform and enhance the delivery of civil legal aid in Philadelphia that can then become a model for new national standards. I enjoy both the traditional institutional work of the Foundation and the start-up environment of the special project which keeps all of us on our toes.

Any advice to young women about succeeding in the workplace?

Worry less about attaining your next position or promotion and focus on your education (formally or informally) and delivering value in your current position. Focus on building relationships and doing your best at work. There are too many things that are out of your control in your career, and you can’t force its construction. What you do have control over are your relationships, your integrity and the results you can deliver. Focus on those key things –  especially your relationships – and you’ll always be going in the right direction.

Contact me if you’d like to nominate someone for the Women Who Wow series!