Maggie Jo Hilliard, Esq. is an attorney, artist and business consultant living mostly on the east coast, but traveling any chance she gets! Maggie Jo ("MJ" or "MoJo") grew up in Kentucky with an artist/bookkeeper mother and a CPA father that could play piano by ear and whistle any song he knew.
MJ first became inspired to be a journalist, and received national recognition for written works in high school while also participating as a photographer, layout editor and copywriter on the yearbook staff. Aside from being voted “most memorable” by her classmates in high school, the only other life-defining high school experience involved the broken arm she received when talking smack to a classmate. Some lessons in public relations come very early in life.
Growing up in a family of entrepreneurs encouraged MJ to seek out a myriad of educational experiences. Double-majoring in undergraduate studies at Western Kentucky University, MJ pursued Print Journalism and Creative Advertising degrees while also working as a car wash cashier, then a customer representative for a camping merchandise and RV accessory company… then she landed a job making slop as the bookkeeper for the local paper to gain exposure to the journalism world. MJ also earned a minor in Government/Political Science and, while she was the most awarded graphic design student in the Ad Department (even winning the national essay competition), she somehow fell in love with case briefing in Professor Ellis’ Constitutional Law class. Maggie Jo might still have color-coded outlines from Press Law & Ethics… the class that built the initial dream.
With the intent to go to law school to pursue a career in First Amendment Law, bearing a shield against the “forces that shall seek to destroy our dearly beloved first amendment”, it was not long before Maggie Jo realized that she wasn’t exactly “big firm” material. (And, big newspapers don’t hire new lawyers…especially bubbly blonde ones with a C average.) With her ranging hair colors and proclivity for rebelling against convention… combined with interesting grades… Maggie Jo focused on litigation and was lucky to be hired as an Assistant State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida.
Panty hose, suits and the hot Florida summers are among the many miseries tolerated by Maggie Jo’s creative soul attempting to conform to conservative thinking while wearing heels daily. (Skirt suits only on Mondays. No camisoles. And... if your dad isn’t a well-connected lawyer in town, don’t you dare take off your shoes after court in your office.) Eventually, between the politics and personal objections in prosecuting the poor into being poorer, Maggie Jo left to pursue private practice.
In 2008, Maggie Jo began the Law Office of Maggie Jo Hilliard, P.A. and – finally – Maggie Jo was not inhibited to build the practice she felt people deserved. Designing her own logo, website and marketing materials, Maggie Jo started the law office on a shoe-string budget. Further, Maggie Jo yearned for the freedom to spread her wings with charitable and creative goals. Struggling annually to raise funds, Maggie Jo successfully built “Merry Charity” a multi-charity fundraiser and raffle that raised over $50,000 in its best year. For four years, Maggie Jo provided legal services in the areas of criminal law, appellate law, family law, adoption law, probate, estate planning, personal injury, traffic citations, and business law. (Every holiday season, she receives a sweet card from her first adoption case with a picture of her buddy, Ethan!) Soon after beginning the practice, Maggie Jo’s niche began to form – utilizing creative skills in graphic design, web design, and marketing (and those skills learned being an entrepreneur herself) to help others to start (or conform to) cost-effective, well-marketed businesses quickly and simply. Facing interesting questions like “should I be an LLC or an S-corp?”, Maggie Jo aims at educating entrepreneurs. (The answer is: you can be both, an LLC and an S-corp…)
Interestingly, in 2010, Maggie Jo furthered her experiences in public relations and entertainment contracting when she was the star of a reality show pilot called “Lipstick Justice.” Funded by Lifetime and filmed by Renegade 83 Productions in Los Angeles, the show expanded MJ's life and professional experiences. Although Lifetime didn’t opt to buy more episodes, the pilot shoot in January of 2011 was life-changing for Maggie Jo.
From 2012-2013, Maggie Jo lived in New York City and refocused her practice and personal life to more creative ventures with greater satisfaction than life in the world of criminal defense litigation. Later in 2013, the Peacock Series expanded to include 60+ original additional original acrylic artworks created in the "mojo method" of moving acrylic paint in bold, contrasting swirls. Further, Maggie Jo began studying acting in New York City and aerial silks in Florida to continue creative and personal growth.
Now, in 2014, Maggie Jo is operating as a private attorney, a full-time appellate attorney for the State of Florida, a painter, print-maker, web designer, graphic designer and business consultant. Never bored, Maggie Jo is always looking for creative ways to assist new and emerging business owners to build their dreams (and of course, painting inspiration)!
In 2014, Maggie Jo is now taking the time to fully explore the creative aspects of business, happily consulting in legal, administrative and marketing capacities for start-ups and businesses in need of restructuring, redesign or simple cost-cutting advice. For whatever your business may need, from effective training for doing your own blogging or building your company from the ground up, contact Maggie Jo. The benefits of working with a creative and legal consultant can cut your costs dramatically and more effectively tackle your business needs without the necessity to retain multiple professionals.
- Maggie Jo | Portfolio site - The Maggie Jo Hilliard, Esq. portfolio of paintings, graphic design, business consulting, web design and video projects by artist, attorney and business consultant, Maggie Jo Hilliard