10 Questions with Heather Marx

10 Questions with Heather Marx

Heather Marx serves as the vice-chair of the Customs, Imports & Trade Remedies practice at Cozen O’Connor. She was recently named a Top Woman in Law by Minnesota Lawyer. Here, she speaks to THL about her practice, the unique challenges women face in the legal profession, and the advice she never forgets.

1. Congratulations on being named to the "Top Women in Law" list by Minnesota Lawyer Magazine. Can you share what this recognition means to you personally and professionally?

I am humbled and incredibly proud to be in the company of the amazing women who earned this recognition.  It’s invigorating at this stage of my career to be reminded that hard work, professionalism, and consistently striving to improve create a path to success.

2. In your experience, what are some of the key challenges that women in the legal profession may face, and how can these challenges be overcome to empower more women to excel in their careers?

Women still struggle to find that proverbial seat at the table and gain the practical experience you need to become a better litigator.  As mentors, we need to consistently reach out to other women around us and invite them to observe, participate in, and eventually take the lead in hearings, trials, negotiations, and other situations where experience is key.

3. Could you tell us about a challenging or memorable case or client situation, and the lessons you learned from it?

Every day brings new challenges when you litigate, and I have long learned that you have to anticipate the unexpected and view challenges as opportunities rather than obstacles.  If nothing else, I maintain the perspective that life is never dull!

4. You serve as the vice-chair of the Customs, Imports & Trade Remedies practice at Cozen O’Connor, which is one of the few full-service trade practices outside the nation's coastal hubs. What unique challenges and opportunities come with practicing in this area, especially in Minneapolis?

Placing a woman from the Midwest into situations typically served by men stationed on either coast means I need to be the most prepared and organized professional in the room just to level-set expectations.  The opportunity that arises from this is that I am then remembered and stand out positively the next time I encounter that opposing counsel or that court, giving my clients the added benefit from recognition and a proven track record.

5. As an attorney with a diverse range of legal expertise, what emerging trends or changes in the legal landscape do you find particularly interesting or challenging for your practice areas?

The increasing globalization of issues my clients face is definitely both fascinating and challenging!  Thinking through broader strategies and approaches has so many more contours and effects now, but what I really love is getting to partner with my clients throughout their business, rather than just at discrete moments in time.

6. Can you share any personal experiences or mentors who have played a significant role in empowering you throughout your legal career?

I have had an embarrassment of riches when it comes to professional mentors, and the one thing I have consistently learned from them is that the practice of law is best when it’s a team sport.  When you surround yourself with great people who are phenomenal lawyers, even the most challenging situations have solutions.

7. Tell us about a risk you have taken—personal or professional. Did it pay off?

Deciding to go to law school was the biggest risk I have ever taken.  I left everything comfortable, traveled across the country, and financed every cent of my education to get into a profession where I had no contacts or history.  And it absolutely paid off.  I found my passion and ultimately found a team of amazing friends who I will work with until the day I retire.

8. If you could choose a different area of law to experience for a day, what would it be and why?

I would want to see what it is really like to represent someone in the music industry.  I am a music fanatic, and I would be fascinated to see the legal side of that business.

9. If you could have a prop, costume or set piece from any movie or TV show, what would you choose?

That’s so easy—Rocky’s boxing gloves.  I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen those movies.

10. What's a memorable piece of advice you've received that had a significant impact on your personal or professional growth?

Maintain your sense of humor and perspective.  Even life’s most challenging moments are much easier when you can take a moment to find reasons to smile and be grateful. 

Managing Editor
Elsa Cournoyer

Executive Editor

Joseph Satter