An Artful Lawyer
The Fine Print – Winter 2017
The instant you speak with Jennifer Dixon about the arts, her eyes quickly light up, and it becomes very evident that this has always been the case. Born and raised on the seacoast of New Hampshire, Jennifer was drawn to music and theatre from a young age, spending much of her youth acting, singing, playing the flute, and playing the guitar. She was the first in her family to graduate from college, earning a bachelor’s degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston.
After college, Jennifer did what many music majors do — anything that would pay the bills. She worked as a sound engineer, actress, stage manager, studio singer, high school drama teacher, costumed theme park character, and even managed a sports radio station before starting her legal career. If a job touched the arts and entertainment, Jennifer would do it. Seeking a challenge when she turned 30, Jennifer decided to undertake two things that intimidated her. She competed in a triathlon and took the LSAT. When she performed far better on the LSAT than the triathlon, Jennifer was inspired. She applied and was admitted to the Florida State University College of Law. It was there that Jennifer realized her first career in the arts had laid the groundwork for a second career in the law. Her theatrical experience proved to be an asset as she competed on the moot court team, for which she was commended on her persuasiveness in the courtroom, and a new passion for legal writing and advocacy was born. Jennifer graduated from Florida State cum laude in 2004. Immediately after graduation, she moved to Orlando to accept a position at Lowndes, where she has developed a litigation practice with a focus on civil and administrative appeals, civil litigation, and family law matters.
Jennifer, who is a shareholder at the firm, draws on her experience in the arts in counseling clients, especially those in creative fields. “Generally, artists and designers process information and communicate differently than scientists and engineers,” she notes. “I find I can be a better counselor and advocate when I am able to speak their language.”
In addition to her legal work, Jennifer has served on the Board of Directors of the Orlando Reparatory Theatre (The REP) since 2010. The REP is the only professional theatre in Central Florida solely focused on theatre for young audiences. “Although I found my professional calling in law, I still appreciate the extraordinary impact the arts can have on young people and the community as a whole,” said Jennifer. As a board member, Jennifer assists The REP in its community outreach, development, governance, and strategic planning efforts — ensuring that The REP has the
resources to create experiences that enlighten, entertain, and enrich the lives of family and young audiences.
“Knowing what has been discovered about how the arts can positively impact child development and education, you can’t overemphasize the importance of the performing arts to the future of our community,” she said. “Orlando is so fortunate to have The REP to fill in the gaps or to even supplement arts education. I feel very fortunate to work for a firm that appreciates and supports The REP’s mission.” Jennifer knows from personal experience that exposure to the arts can lay the crucial groundwork for any number of professional careers. “If not for my arts education, I may never have developed the confidence or skills to embark on a legal career.”
When she is not working for clients or volunteering at The REP, Jennifer and her husband, Brian, a commercial real estate broker, can often be
found (and heard) cheering on their son, Silas, at little league and flag football games. When asked if Silas will follow in his mother’s footsteps by taking to the stage, Jennifer said, “he is much more sports oriented than I was as a child, but we enjoy seeing shows as a family. I will consider it a parenting ‘win’ if he develops his own appreciation of arts, whether it’s as a performer, volunteer or a patron.”