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Jennifer Hicks of ‘Capital Fund Law Group’: “I had to just make it work virtually!”

I think that the biggest challenge-turned-opportunity during this pandemic on the business front has been finding new and effective ways of maintaining professional relationships without personal interaction. Much of my day-to-day job is steeped in relationship building, personal connections, and meeting people face-to-face. When the first stay-at-home orders hit and the world essentially shut down, […]

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I think that the biggest challenge-turned-opportunity during this pandemic on the business front has been finding new and effective ways of maintaining professional relationships without personal interaction. Much of my day-to-day job is steeped in relationship building, personal connections, and meeting people face-to-face. When the first stay-at-home orders hit and the world essentially shut down, I made sure that my Zoom account was up and running and I started organizing events — happy hours, vendor meetings, client get-togethers and so forth. I know where my best attributes are and connecting people is key in my success. I had to just make it work virtually!

I also think that many people in the industry and beyond came to realize just how much women have on their plate with work life and home life. We have been put on stage and I think that it is a good thing. The fact that women are doing so many good things for their various job roles and raising the next generation of kids is something for which we are finally gaining recognition. I do not believe that we will go back to a world where work and personal lives are kept parallel, without ever touching. For women in general, this can be turned into a positive going forward, where for many women, they are just as, if not more, productive working from home, and guess what? Morale and loyalty will increase with the women that truly benefit from being able to work from home, especially new moms that may not have the option of three month paid maternity leave. Not only can they continue to be an integral member of their company, but they are given the opportunity to be there with their newborn, as well. New dads, too!


The Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives today. Many of us now have new challenges that come with working from home, homeschooling, and sheltering in place.

As a part of our series about how busy women leaders are addressing these new needs, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jennifer Hicks.

Jennifer Hicks, who joined Capital Fund Law Group in 2018, is the Director of Client Development, a role in which she liaises with the in-house attorneys, assists prospective and current clients with their fund planning and formation process and provides guidance to emerging managers on non-legal fund-related matters. Ms. Hicks, who has been a lifelong student of the legal field, held a career in law enforcement in the state of Utah prior to becoming a part of Capital Fund Law Group. Ms. Hicks holds a degree in Criminal Justice and her Paralegal Certification. She has also earned several advanced certifications in communications and investigations.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

Hello, thanks for spending the time with me today. So, a little bit about me — first and foremost, I am the proud mother of an incredible son. If there is a common denominator for any of my motivation in progressing my career, it stems back to him. I was only 21 years old when I welcomed him to this circus of life, and as a single mother from day one, I wanted him to be able to look up to me with pride and see a strong woman that worked my absolute hardest to not only better his life, but to continuously better myself. Whatever my job, title, or position has been, whether it was when I was bartending and putting myself through college, or as a police officer, or as a director of the law firm. I’m at now, titles and positions mean nothing if you are not dedicated, passionate, and proud of what you do and the quality of work you put forth. Accolades and recognition only hold value if you believe you have earned such esteem through your actions and efforts to be a good leader and role model.

In my early twenties, I knew I had a passion for the legal field and for helping others. I was enrolled in nursing classes and I remember one day so vividly. I was walking to a class and saw some police cadets doing training at the nearby facility. I knew right then, that was where I needed to be; that is what I needed to do. I was accepted into the next academy class. Following graduation, I took a position with a local police department as a law enforcement officer.

My years in law enforcement were some of the most professionally rewarding and challenging times of my life. I went into my police career with the most “Pollyanna” of attitudes, and I truly wanted to help others and make a difference. By the time I exited police work, I was serving as a detective, working in various areas of the criminal justice system, from property crimes to child sex abuse cases. In addition, I duly served as a public information officer, speaking on behalf of the department to the community and media.

I will always say that my experiences and opportunity to serve my community will be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Yet, with any profession, there are the challenges that come with the triumphs. In my case, the challenge presented itself in the form of constant and degrading sexual harassment from a direct supervising officer. It was truly an eye-opening experience to see and experience firsthand the challenges that women in law enforcement face, especially from other officers, primarily from those who were in positions of power.

I knew I needed to make a career change when the PTSD I had developed from the sexual harassment, combined with some particularly heartbreaking police cases I worked, was not just affecting me, but affecting my son. It was time to progress on toward the next chapter. After leaving law enforcement, I set out to switch paths and segue to Corporate America — a change I hoped would be beneficial, not only for myself, but more importantly, for my son.

Engaging with the public as an officer enabled me to gain valuable skills that I have come to realize are transferable to most industries and careers. As a single mother, work-life balance is difficult in any environment, but in law enforcement, it is almost unheard of. I consider myself very fortunate to have partnered with the law firm where I currently work. My role has provided me the opportunity to continue my passion for serving others, while still growing and developing my level of knowledge for a new area of the law.

Today, some of my closest friends and colleagues in the financial industry are not exclusively composed of tenacious and commanding women, but of honorable and respectful men, true allies, and advocates of their female peers, and I would have only done myself a disservice by allowing my previous experiences to define my views of all men in the workplace.

Looking back, I have come to realize my challenges shaped me into the person I am today, and the example I want to set for workplace professionalism and standards. Throughout my career, I have strived to be open about the what I’ve gone through as a woman in a predominantly male-driven line of work, from discrimination to mental health awareness. The only thing worse than going through something negative and mentally difficult is feeling like you must go through it alone. If that means some readers say, ‘Whoa, girl. TMI.”, that’s okay. If just one woman sees this and feels less alone in what they’ve experienced or may currently be struggling through, then it makes my TMI worth it.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started at your company?

From a reader’s perspective, I think the most entertaining ‘interesting’ stories would come from my previous career as a cop, but there have most certainly been many rewarding moments I’ve had at my current position in the investment funds industry. I love speaking with our clients, investment managers, and hearing their stories, where they’ve come from to where they are now. I love seeing the increasing diversity within fund management continue to expand and to have them trust our firm to be not only a part of their fund formation but continue with them post-launch as their legal counsel is incredibly fulfilling! There are so many brilliant professionals out there that do not come from the typical echelons of society that the conventional Hollywood version of the fund manager of yesteryear did, and you know what? The new-age managers are succeeding, despite the predetermined stereotypes they may face in the industry, and oftentimes it is because nobody has ever handed them anything in life. Ever. They have worked for every accomplishment provided to them, and they have earned these accolades based on merit, ability, and personal willpower.

The emerging investment managers best set to succeed know their strategy and know it well, and they are surrounding themselves with experienced, reputable service providers that assist them in all other areas of their investment management firm that they may not know as well. Managers that hire legal counsel to form their fund properly and compliantly, who respect their fiduciary duty and the responsibility they are taking upon themselves, and who have taken the time to put a full business and investment management plan in place are going to go places. I’m just fortunate enough to be able to go along for the ride!

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

Yes, always! It is my belief that those who remain stagnant or complacent to their ever-changing environment, will eventually succumb to those shortcomings. This has never been truer over the last several months, and it has pushed us even harder to think outside-the-box and reinvent the way we may have previously gone about a certain project or task. We are currently working on several projects, some that will be executed in the next few months, and others that are long term goals.

My true joy comes from helping emerging managers be the most prepared that they can be for their new venture. My background as a cop always creeps into my thought process on business development, not just for our company for our client’s fund launch and continuing operations. There is a common saying in law enforcement and the military, “If you stay prepared, you don’t have to get prepared.” Currently, I am developing some new content that is a preparedness guide, if you will, to assist managers in understanding the often-hidden hurdles that they always planned for and solutions on how to overcome these obstacles.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

When you’ve been through very traumatic incidents in your life and when you’ve been knocked back down to the bottom, sometimes it can feel truly impossible to achieve success again. And, while there are many, many people that have supported and encouraged my successes — and yes, that includes some incredible women who have lifted me up during my struggles — I would not be where I am without my own perseverance and determination.

As women, sometimes we struggle to acknowledge our own qualities and abilities, instead, passing the credit to another. Women don’t always recognize that they can be their own role models, and this is something I am working on recognizing within myself and by also helping others to see that in themselves, as well. That, to me, is empowering!

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives today. Can you articulate to our readers what are the biggest family related challenges you are facing as a woman business leader during this pandemic?

We are living in a true digital age, and with that, this pandemic has proven how critical technology is by allowing many businesses to continue running and keeping Americans employed. And yet we have also realized that human interaction and in-person relationships cannot be replaced by a screen. Mental health is always at the top of my mind, not just for myself, but for my son, a young teenager. We have taken some hard hits throughout the pandemic, with the most emotionally challenging for my family being the loss of my former husband and forever friend in September 2020 — he was an incredible stepfather and role model for my son. He served his country as a police officer and military member for over 20 years before being taken in a deadly accident. It was hard enough to lose someone so close to us; and to lose him during a time when the entire world is in a state of despair and disconnect has made it even harder.

Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?

I’ve struggled with PTSD for several years resulting from some incidents in law enforcement, and so even before the pandemic and loss of my partner, I was checking in with myself on a daily basis. I was fortunate enough to attend an intensive PTSD therapy program in late 2018 which provided me the tools to go into 2020 and now 2021 with a healthier, happier mindset. However, I must remember to continuously check-in on my mental health. As many moms out there know, it is easy to move our needs to the bottom of the list, when demands from professional and personal life keep piling on. But sometimes, you need to just allow yourself to acknowledge that it’s okay to not feel okay, but to also allow yourself to acknowledge your self-worth and that self-care is not selfish, it’s necessary. If you fall apart, nothing else in your world is going to stay intact. Even when my mom-guilt tries to creep into my mind, I make sure to make my needs a priority. Spa day and wine night, anyone??

Can you share the biggest work related challenges you are facing as a woman in business during this pandemic?

I think that the biggest challenge-turned-opportunity during this pandemic on the business front has been finding new and effective ways of maintaining professional relationships without personal interaction. Much of my day-to-day job is steeped in relationship building, personal connections, and meeting people face-to-face. When the first stay-at-home orders hit and the world essentially shut down, I made sure that my Zoom account was up and running and I started organizing events — happy hours, vendor meetings, client get-togethers and so forth. I know where my best attributes are and connecting people is key in my success. I had to just make it work virtually!

I also think that many people in the industry and beyond came to realize just how much women have on their plate with work life and home life. We have been put on stage and I think that it is a good thing. The fact that women are doing so many good things for their various job roles and raising the next generation of kids is something for which we are finally gaining recognition. I do not believe that we will go back to a world where work and personal lives are kept parallel, without ever touching. For women in general, this can be turned into a positive going forward, where for many women, they are just as, if not more, productive working from home, and guess what? Morale and loyalty will increase with the women that truly benefit from being able to work from home, especially new moms that may not have the option of three month paid maternity leave. Not only can they continue to be an integral member of their company, but they are given the opportunity to be there with their newborn, as well. New dads, too!

Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?

Our law firm was ahead of the curve in terms of accommodating work-life balance. Even prior to working remote from the pandemic, I often already did, aside from when I was traveling between offices and to industry conferences and events. Our firm’s partners recognized that my productivity remained consistent and engaged whether at the office or at home, and they recognized the value they were adding to my home life by allowing me to be there for my son simultaneously. Working from home works for me and my family and I hope that more companies afford their working mothers the option to work from home if it works for them, too.

Can you share your advice about how to best work from home, while balancing the needs of homeschooling or the needs of a family?

While there will always be work matters that arise, giving reasons to work beyond ‘regular’ hours, we have to weigh what the actual benefits are of making that decision. It’s so easy to stay a little later in your home office, whether that’s an actual designated office, a living room, a bedroom, or wherever you have to go. I have been just as guilty of working late as any other parent juggling this crazy circus of life, so I had to ask myself, was the extra two hours I spent away from my son really that important? Was it more important than my own needs and the needs of my family? As a single mother, the time with my son is his time, and I make every effort to respect that time, just as much as I do the time I give to my company. In fact, when I feel fully balanced, I see it reflecting positively in every aspect of my life and the life of my son.

Can you share your strategies about how to stay sane and serene while sheltering in place, or simply staying inside, for long periods with your family?

You know what I hated being asked prior to this pandemic? It was the question, “What are your hobbies?” I hated this question because I never had an answer! My hobbies? Let’s see…if managing a busy work schedule, taking care of my son, and sleeping crazy hours could count, then I’d have nailed that answer every time. I am a pro at juggling — just not the juggling that you’d pay to see at a circus. Although sometimes my life is so crazy, I think I should start monopolizing on it!

So, in an effort to stay sane through the pandemic lockdowns and beyond, I decided to venture out into the scary world of “hobbyland” and try something new. With that, I started doing handmade pottery and oil painting. I am still in the beginner phase, but I’ve been able to use these newfound hobbies as an outlet for expressing my emotions and the grief from my partner’s passing.

I guess my advice is, get a hobby. Find an outlet where you can release your pent-up emotions and frustrations in a healthy and therapeutic way. And let’s be honest, the nights I spend making pottery or painting are always accompanied by a glass, or three, of Malbec.

Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have understandably heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your perspective can you help our readers to see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel”? Can you share your “5 Reasons To Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis”? If you can, please share a story or example for each.

  1. Unity. I think that we have reached a point in this pandemic where there is light at the end of the tunnel, similar to a rainbow that follows a dark rainstorm. For me, the light is not necessarily the hope that things will be “back to normal” (I hate that phrase), but that we, as individuals, as communities, and as humans globally are stronger than we ever thought we possibly could be. We have lost loved ones, we have lost jobs, and at some points, we have lost ourselves. And yet, here we are. Together. Moving forward, through the grief, the worry, and the pain — we are here together.
  2. Mental health awareness. Now, more than ever, the stigma-plastered barriers are coming down and we are discussing mental illness and the importance of focusing on mental wellbeing as much as physical wellbeing. I am so hopeful that this open dialogue continues, especially with children and adolescents, where depression and suicide rates have been increasing at an alarming rate. Now is the time to change the narrative, to make conversations about their mental health a part of our daily routine.
  3. Small businesses. I am hopeful for small business owners to be able to rally again after the lockdowns and closures. I am hopeful that their hard work, blood, sweat, and tears, will be rewarded by being able to come back from this and they can continue to support their families, employees, and clients. This pandemic has not only resulted in lives lost but livelihoods lost. I am hopeful that we as a country will do whatever we can to help small business owners continue to live through this crisis and continue the American dream
  4. True heroes. I am hopeful that the vaccine will save lives and protect our frontline workers and public safety members who didn’t have the opportunity to work from home through this. I am reminded of how incredibly fortunate I have been throughout the last year, and I am constantly reminded of the bravery that healthcare workers, first responders, and employees of businesses open during the pandemic have been.
  5. Family. I can wake up and have my son here with me. Seeing his face every morning gives me hope. There are too many that have lost loved ones and it has given me a renewed and solemn gratitude for the family and loved ones I cherish. For me, hope is not just a desire for how things will be, but a recognition of the positive things that already are. I have hope that the positive things with my family continue and I have hope that the future will continue to bring my loved ones positivity.

From your experience, what are a few ideas that one can use to effectively offer support to their family and loved ones who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?

As women, it can be hard to ask for help or to be open about what our needs are. I’d be the biggest hypocrite in the room if I didn’t say I am guilty at times of the “I can do all the things!” mentality, but over the last few years, I’ve accepted that I simply cannot. I do need help. I do need support. I do need a listening ear. Life can be brutally challenging at times — now, especially — where mental health is declining and depression and anxiety are on the rise. As women, let us not hide anymore; these issues are far too important.

I typically have a two-step approach when talking with a friend or loved one that is struggling in life, whether it’s personally or professionally. First, simply take the time to ask “are you okay? I’ve noticed you haven’t been yourself lately. Can we talk?” and really mean it. Be in a mindset and place where you are available to take the time to genuinely listen.

Now, if the approach of asking does not work for whatever reason, it might be time to deploy step two. (Disclaimer: Know your audience and read the situation. Sometimes, it’s best to leave it at step one and circle back a week later with a phone call to check up on them again.) With that said, when I can sense that someone I care about is really struggling and needs help, but is not inclined to volunteer their situation with me in a conversation — which is completely okay — I simply tell them I am going to do something to assist or cheer them up and it would be great if they share a way I can do this, whether it’s watching their kids for a few hours, dropping off some wine and food, etc. If you’re type A like I am, I usually let them know that if they don’t tell me, I’m going to do something anyway, so they might as well have me do something that will actually help, otherwise I am not to blame when the singing telegram shows up on their doorstep. For those that know me, they know to not put a singing telegram past my spectrum of antics.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

One of the most impactful books I’ve ever read is The Book of Joy, a beautifully written compilation of ways to find happiness, even in the darkest of times. In the book, The Dalai Lama poses the following thought, “If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.”

In my simpler mind, I always ask myself, If you can change it, why worry? If you can’t change it, why worry? I am a single mother and I keep it real, not just with others, but with myself. Even with a wonderful job, there are periods where I struggle, just like most working women and working mothers. I make a conscious effort to take a step back when it all seems too much and ask myself what I can do to fix the situation, and sometimes, there’s not much at the moment that can be done. That’s okay! That’s life. Fixating and worrying does nothing positive or productive. Develop a plan on how to work through the challenge-at-hand and then do so, at a pace and ability that you can achieve.

How can our readers follow you online?

Find me on LinkedIn — best professional place to connect with me, or to chat about the firm and the services we offer, please email me at [email protected].

Aside from a professional networking connection, if you are going through personal challenges or simply need a listening ear, don’t hesitate for a second to send me a message at my personal email, [email protected].

Thank you for these wonderful insights!

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