As the owner of AJA Marketing, Amy Adams helps businesses, professionals, associations and nonprofits achieve growth, develop business, increase profitability and improve upon their marketing infrastructure.
A former paralegal and marketing executive at a prominent regional law firm, Amy has worked with several nonprofit associations, businesses, law firms, and executives across the Northeast region. In 2014, Amy launched AJA Marketing to serve the marketing and business strategy needs of her clients through personalized, comprehensive services.
I met Amy through her work with the Association of Corporate Counsel’s New York City Chapter, where she serves as Executive Director. At the time, I was an in-house law firm marketer who worked closely with Amy on sponsorships and events that the law firms at which I worked wanted to pursue with the ACC. We got to know each other through the years and I’m excited for her to share her insights and career path in the Women Who Wow series.
What do you think is the key for success in a role like yours?
As a business owner who often supports clients in the legal industry, having a sense of humor has been my key to success. As George Carlin said, “Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.” The legal field can be quite serious, so I find it imperative to strike a balance, and for me, that’s always been humor.
Aside from humor, love of learning and adaptability are also crucial. It is important to be able to adapt to changing circumstances, and to never stop learning. I thrive on learning new things and strengthening my skills so I can deliver excellent service to my clients.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
The best career advice I received was from a judge I interned for during my senior year at Rutgers University. I was very focused on going to law school, and she suggested that I work for one of the major law firms in the state before I made the leap, to see if it was something I truly wanted. I followed her advice and landed a paralegal position at a regional law firm, and while I was there, a door opened to legal marketing, which I rather enjoyed.
Why did you choose your profession?
When I look back on my career trajectory, I’d honestly have to say that my profession chose me. I worked at a well-known regional law firm as a paralegal with the intention of going to law school. During that time, I was flung headfirst into legal marketing – something I didn’t quite envision for myself. I was glad to have that opportunity. I learned so much in a short amount of time and was lucky to work with an innovative partner who pushed traditional marketing boundaries.
I was able to connect with various teams and vendors to bring innovative projects into fruition, which was rewarding. As I immersed myself into legal marketing, I became involved in the Legal Marketing Association where I met so many amazing colleagues who were happy to share their knowledge. Years of experience in legal marketing helped me evolve and led me to venture out and start my own business, AJA Marketing, where I help clients with marketing and association management. I’m glad I made the leap and enjoy working with lawyers and nonprofits, it’s rewarding to help them build upon their success.
How has the pandemic changed you?
The pandemic changed me in many ways. I’ve learned to be more patient, and to be less of a perfectionist. It’s been a great teacher of resiliency and inner strength. Balancing the many duties of owning my own business, parenting children during a pandemic and more – I have learned to place greater focus on the priorities of life.
During this time, I have also learned the importance of self-care and setting stronger boundaries. This time has allowed me to connect more fully with people I normally would not have had the opportunity to spend time with. I was fortunate to build great friendships with neighbors and colleagues during this complex time. It was wonderful to see new friendships blossom out of the pandemic.
What do you wish you could tell your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to take more risks, worry less and to stretch out of her comfort zone. I would tell her to be kinder to herself and know that every challenge brings an opportunity for growth.