Marcus Haggard and success are good friends. The Up and Coming Lawyers’ familiarity with business, civic engagement and social-enterprise marketing give him unique insights into his legal practice.
Before the Perkins Coie Associate joined the firm, he worked for a nonprofit “that was focused on creating economic opportunities for minority groups — primarily women — in Orissa, India,” Haggard said. Such was the start in his long line of successes.
“And it was, I think, a fairly successful endeavor. There [were] quite a few small community businesses that were built using local resources.” Haggard said the work in Orissa was meaningful to him as he supported not only the community development but was able to provide aid to entire regions by fostering economic growth. “I loved that work — that was very meaningful work.”
After satisfying his hunger to provide community and nonprofit support, Haggard pivoted toward more entrepreneurial success and co-founded and sold a successful digital marketing company. He was named a “Top 40 Under 40 Rising Star” by the Colorado Springs Business Journal in 2012. “During that time frame, we became very civically involved in Colorado Springs. We helped host the first young professional civic mayoral forum.” The company also contributed to a branding effort that garnered national attention.
After these first two forays in business success, Haggard began to eye a career in law.
“While I was leading that company and doing the digital marketing that I did, it became clear to me that I wanted to be more involved both civically and professionally to do something that was closer to what law does,” said Haggard. “Working with people on pretty serious issues that they’re confronting or organizations that are facing serious situations — that motivated me to then apply to graduate school.”
He earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and his M.P.P. from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. “While in graduate school, Marcus worked on poverty law and access-to-justice issues, completed an internship focused on anti-corruption/anti-human trafficking issues, helped organize the Harvard International Development conference and helped social enterprises in Washington, D.C. through his participation in the Social Enterprise Clinic,” wrote Tiffney Allred, a marketing administrator at Perkins Coie, in Haggard’s nomination to Law Week.
Access to justice has become a more prominent issue in the legal community over the course of the pandemic, as restricted in-person activity bolstered access to justice in some areas but impeded access in others. Law Week previously covered how the shift to video and phone call court proceedings exacerbated existing infrastructure issues in tribal and Native American communities.
“I’m thankful to be a part of a profession in which you can use your training and skills to be able to help people like that.” – Marcus Haggard, associate at Perkins Coie
Haggard noted “that more people have become aware of various ways that we can deliver justice to people and make courts and the justice system accessible using technology,” but added that there are still systemic challenges and wrinkles that need to be ironed out. “When you start thinking from a policy perspective, that there are just various sides to it, and it’s not like [remote or virtual court operation] is going to be the single solution.”
The current legal focus for Haggard is more on anti-corruption and anti-human trafficking issues. As he works with both individuals and larger corporations in the white collar and investigative area, Haggard and his team at Perkins Coie have become more acutely aware of the need for due diligence in supply chains. “We help them ensure that it’s all compliant,” he noted. “I think that more and more companies are getting products from all over the world in very complex supply chains. And this has created a large economy of supply — a web all over the world — and the risk of traffic labor — of modern-day slavery — is very real and very high.”
Haggard said that a powerful way to address that risk is when corporations take the issue seriously and address it through their supply chain.
And not only does Haggard practice in the area of white collar and investigations, he also keeps a focus on pro bono work. “Since coming to Colorado, I’ve been on an asylum case pretty much non-stop.” He said the immense amount of need and the moving stories of those seeking asylum are what motivate him to do the work alongside various organizations and immigration attorneys. “I’m thankful to be a part of a profession in which you can use your training and skills to be able to help people like that. And I think asylum was an opportunity to do that.”
A husband and father of four, Haggard says he also balances work and life by staying active with his family. “We’re very much a backpacking, skiing, mountain biking, fly fishing family. We get into the mountains as much as we possibly can.”
Surrounded by success, Haggard reflected, “the consequence of your legal work is going to have a dramatic impact.” He said “that’s the draw for me is being able to help people.”