Tahisha Fugate has been in the legal marketing and D&I fields for more than 15 years at some of the most prominent firms in the U.S., including Akin Gump, Paul Hastings and now Orrick.

At Orrick, she has a role that merges her business development background with diversity and inclusion (and if you ask her how she got the job, she’ll tell you a very interesting story about how she used speaking engagements and LinkedIn to help her because it’s all about personal branding to help you pivot in your career).

Our paths have crossed a number of times including a few times during the pandemic when I was a guest on Legal Marketing Coffee Talk.

I’m so happy to have gotten to know her better even during a pandemic. Learn more about her in this Women Who Wow profile.

What is the best career advice you’ve received?

A former CMO encouraged me to be confident and ask for what I want.

Many professional women, especially Black women, are often hesitant to ask for a promotion, raise or more strategic responsibilities that will help them in their career.

When I received this advice I was very frustrated in my current role and the reason I was frustrated was because I was not speaking up and advocating for myself.

I hadn’t given myself permission to use my voice, I was waiting on others to recognize my contributions and ease my frustrations, which doesn’t always happen.

I learned that happiness – in your personal and professional life – is your responsibility.

Why did you choose your profession?

Full transparency, when I was growing up, the kids that made good grades where encouraged to be doctors or lawyers.

I settled on being a lawyer – I was smart, I made good grades, it made sense to go to law school, right? WRONG!!

I didn’t know one lawyer personally and I was so glad that someone gave me the grand idea to get a job at a law firm to explore the environment before committing to law school.

I found my first legal marketing job on Craig’s List – it seemed perfect since I had a business degree with a focus on marketing.

I discovered that lawyers are not the only legal professionals in law firms, and I became more interested in a career in professional services business development.

Do you have a mentor?

I am fortunate to have lots of mentors. I consider them my professional village.

These are women and men who are creating spaces in areas where there needs to be more representation.

They are bold and confident. They are leaders, not just by title but by action. I’m very grateful for them all.

Learn more about Women Who Wow and read the profiles of all of the women featured in the series.