Contributors

Jamie Chou can remember a time before she wanted to be a lawyer—barely. It’s been her dream career since she was in sixth grade.

But it has been a dream for Jamie’s mother for even longer. In many ways, Jamie’s childhood was a classic immigrant’s story. Her mother brought her family from China to California when Jamie was six, with hopes of freedom and a better life for her children, prompting Jamie’s mother to leave everything she knew for an unknown future. 

However, calling it a familiar story oversimplifies Jamie’s path to becoming a Womble Bond Dickinson Corporate, Real Estate, and IP Transactions Partner. It doesn’t account for Jamie knowing from a young age that she had to earn her way into college. Nor does it recognize all of the exhausting low-wage jobs Jamie’s mom worked to support her young family.

“I was the first member of my family to go to college,” Jamie said. “It was ingrained in me at a young age that I needed to do well in school and go to college, then grad school—that education was the key to a better life.”

“I was the first member of my family to go to college. It was ingrained in me at a young age that I needed to do well in school and go to college, then grad school—that education was the key to a better life.”

Jamie Chou, Partner, Womble Bond Dickinson

She fulfilled that personal and family goal, attending UCLA for undergrad and law school. Her entire two-decade legal career has been spent at Womble and its San Francisco predecessor firm, Cooper, White & Cooper. 

In fact, Jamie was instrumental in making this combination happen. It’s one of many examples of how she connects the dots for clients and colleagues, helping them build enduring relationships that will help them long-term.

“The most effective attorneys are those who can look at things from all perspectives and find the commonalities. How do you bring two sides together?”

“The most effective attorneys are those who can look at things from all perspectives and find the commonalities. How do you bring two sides together?”

Jamie Chou, Partner, Womble Bond Dickinson

Jamie’s dot-connecting skills have an interesting origin. While in school, she was a high-level pageant competitor, including being crowned Miss Chinatown USA in 1995. The world of sashes and tiaras may seem completely different from boardrooms and contracts, but Jamie said the interpersonal skills she learned as a pageant contestant still serve her well as an attorney.

“It helps you talk and connect with people you’ve never met before. You have to find a way to engage nearly instantaneously,” she said. “That is a valuable skill to have as a lawyer.”

In addition to being a successful attorney, Jamie has another role dear to her heart—being a mom to her 14-year-old daughter.

“My daughter says she wants to be a doctor,” Jamie said. “But I tell her, ‘You have plenty of time to figure it out. If you want to be a doctor, that’s great. And if you want to do something else, that’s great, too. Just find something you love and are passionate about.”  

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