LEAH HOLT


COUNSEL
U.S. Soccer Federation


FIELD  
LEGAL

JOINED  
2019



 


Could you share a little bit of background about yourself?


I grew up in Huntsville, Alabama and left the state to attend Wheaton College in Illinois.  I went to law school at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and have been living in Chicago for the last nine years as a practicing attorney.  I was a college swimmer, and despite my love of sports, this is my first job in the sports industry.

 



All pathways are different; how did you get to where you are?


I was not sure during college what I wanted to do, though I had contemplated law school.  As a Spanish major, I thought about working in immigration.  I took a couple of years off between college and law school and worked at a law firm in Chicago and at legal aid in Alabama.  Despite being unsure about law school, I went ahead and started in the fall of 2007 at William and Mary.  During law school, I discovered my interest in the corporate side of the law and ended up taking a job at a large law firm after graduation.  I stayed for a few years before making the move to the in-house world.  I worked at a few different food companies and had begun to search for a different path when a mentor from the law firm mentioned that U.S. Soccer was looking to hire an attorney.  At the food companies, I became very much a generalist, so I thought the U.S. Soccer position seemed interesting as it would encompass a broad range of subjects.  I had only worked at publicly traded companies, so I was interested in the new challenges of working at a non-profit in an entirely new field.

 



What do you love about your current job?


That every day is different.  I have new challenges and learning opportunities daily, so this job is never boring. 

 

 

What advice would you give to women seeking a position in the sports industry?


People ask how I got this job, and I found out about it from a mentor that knew I was looking for a position.  The best advice for finding a job is to network.  I’ve found the connections that I’ve maintained over the years have been invaluable.  People want to help, and you should cultivate those relationships.  I appreciate my various mentors, and they have been a resource for advice, friendship, and job searching.


What is one piece of advice you wished someone had told you before starting this career path?

That change is a constant and to learn how to adapt and be flexible.  And that everything tends to work out in the end, even when it seems scary.