WAGS Work: Jessica W.
Tell us who you are, how you got into the baseball world, and a little bit about you and your boyfriend/fiancé/husband.
Hi everyone! I’m Jessica, and I am currently in law school at the University of Washington. I met my boyfriend, Cole, about 5 years ago when we were both sophomores at the University of Oregon. He was drafted shortly after we began dating back in 2013, and he has been pitching in the Texas Rangers organization ever since.
Tell us all about your job, what do you do, and how long you’ve been werkin’ it.
I have had a number of legal jobs while Cole has been playing baseball.
I worked at a criminal defense and family law firm for about two years before I started law school, and last year I worked as a legal intern for a Federal government agency that provides grants to distressed communities.
Lately I have been providing legal services for low-income individuals in the Seattle area. I get to work on a number of different types of cases — wrongful evictions, child custody, domestic violence, consumer law issues, and more.
This summer I will be a corporate legal intern, which is the area of law I intend to work in upon graduation.
How did you find these jobs?
As a student, there are lots of resources for finding a job. I attend career fairs, on-campus interviews, and networking events, and I always keep an eye on job postings (on the school website and on LinkedIn).
I have always found networking to be a huge part of the job search process. Building relationships with other professionals in the community can open the door to lots of opportunities!
How do you balance your work and living the baseball life?
There are some years where I have a lot of flexibility in my schedule and others where I have none. Some years I have had shorter summer internships where I was able to spend part of the season with Cole, and other years where I had a strict two-week vacation period. When I am not able to travel with him during the season, we keep in touch on the phone and through FaceTime. I take advantage of any 3-day weekends I have, even if that means traveling to the opposite coast for a two-day visit. It’s not particularly convenient, but it’s always worth it!
How did finding this job impact your life personally, and for the two of you?
I have always been very ambitious, and I decided when I was young that I wanted to have a career that allowed me to make positive changes in people’s lives. I decided to pursue a career as an attorney to do just that. I enjoy helping individuals seek justice, and I enjoy helping corporations strengthen and benefit our society. There are many opportunities in this profession to make a difference.
Although Cole and I would love to spend every day together, our support of one another’s dreams is what makes our relationship so strong. I have learned that being a support system has nothing to do with proximity and has everything to do with patience, understanding, and unconditional love. We both know how it feels to be in high-stakes situations and how difficult it may be at times to overcome obstacles. My career experiences have helped me to understand some of the hardships he faces, and vice versa. We are incredibly supportive of each other and want nothing more than to see the other succeed.
What’s a typical workday like for you?
During my years in criminal defense and family law, I spent a majority of my day reviewing police reports, body-cam videos, and other discovery documents. Sometimes I had the chance to assist the attorneys during trial, which was an invaluable learning experience.
As I have transitioned away from the litigation side of law, my days consist mostly of conducting research and drafting contracts and other documents. It is very rewarding to have a company or entity come to you with a complex question and be able to guide them to the best course of action.
In my work with low-income individuals, I spend much of my time on the phone with clients, listening to their stories and collecting all of the relevant facts. I love working one-on-one with these clients and reducing the stress in their lives.
What advice do you have for other WAGs who are trying to balance baseball with their own goals?
Pursuing a career while your significant other is playing baseball can be tough at times, but overall it has been incredibly rewarding for both of us. I have been inspired by some of the other girlfriends and wives I’ve met who have also been pursuing their own careers back home. Every relationship is different, and distance may not always work for everyone, but if you have a dream for yourself, make sure you at least give it a shot! It may be a bit tricky or uncomfortable at first, but I promise it gets easier!
What’s the hardest part of your job? What’s the best?
There are days in which legal work can be tedious and mentally taxing. But there is always a point in research or in preparing a case where things start coming into focus.
The end result is always rewarding, whether it’s helping a company comply with regulations and avoid litigation or whether it’s getting an innocent person’s case dismissed. The day to day may not always be the easy or fun, but accomplishing goals and making a positive impact makes all of the hard work worthwhile! Just like everything else in life, nothing good comes easy.
What’s one thing you wish EVERYONE knew about being a WAG/baseball life?
Every woman in this baseball world I have met thus far has had so much to offer and does so much for the people in their lives. Some work, some are caring mothers, some start or contribute to wonderful charities and programs. I have been so fortunate to get to know so many of these women, and I look up to every one of them in different ways!