Janessa Shaikun has overseen marketing efforts at Baltimore law firm Franklin & Prokopik since March 2015. She currently serves as the firm’s Director of Marketing and Business Development

Janessa is a longtime Legal Marketing Association volunteer, and has held several leadership roles.

In her spare time, Janessa enjoys skiing, playing Baltimore city social sports, watching the Buffalo Bills and Sabres, traveling and spending time with her friends and family.

Learn more about her in this Women Who Wow profile.

Why did you choose your profession?

When getting my marketing graduate degree, I was required to take a law class. It ended up being one of my favorites, which was a bit surprising given I expected the content to be a one and done with interest level in the field.

I did briefly toy with the idea of going down the attorney route but was too passionate about the creative and BD outlets marketing entails.

My experience was in international business; however, when I saw an opportunity for a legal marketing position, I figured it couldn’t hurt to apply.

After a few rounds of interviews, I was offered the job and my gut told me this was the right move. Nearly seven years later, I am still happy with that choice and thankful my firm took a chance on someone new to the legal world.

What do you love most about what you do?

A lot of things! The combination of getting the opportunity to work with other departments (and of course my own), attorneys, fellow marketers and clients. I am empowered to run with ideas without much red tape.

Our marketing team is well-staffed; manpower is crucial for proactivity, and I know managers often struggle to get the resources they need. My company encourages work/life balance, which helps stay motivated rather than drained. Marketing is constantly evolving and law firms are fast paced environments, so I am never bored!

How has social media helped you build your business/brand?

It provides the opportunity to not only distribute valuable content but connect with your audience on a more intimate level. There are stereotypes about various professions, especially when it comes to law firms. Social media helps people to be viewed as fellow humans rather than just job titles.

Any advice to women about succeeding in the workplace?

There is no accurate universal definition of success. Everyone needs to set their own goals and do the best they can to reach them.

What do you wish you could tell your younger self?

Write down your thoughts, and keep them close. During the pandemic, I spent a lot of time where I grew up and read things ranging from a poem in first grade to my high school diaries. It taught me more about who I was and who I am. I have since just started typing up quotes of the day, saving positive messages, etc. Unfortunately, memory doesn’t typically increase with age for most people, so it is nice to build a personal mental library.

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Ask for what you want and what you feel you deserve. For the most part, the worst outcome is being told no, and that beats the heck out of not trying at all.

What is a surprising/fun fact about you?

I was born in the back of a Datsun (the original name of Nissan) – didn’t make it into the hospital. The joke has always been that I wanted to enter the world as soon as possible regardless of typical protocol, and I never stopped that mindset moving forward.

Connect with Janessa on Linkedin!