Jacqueline Harding’s Emmy

How does a labor lawyer win television's highest honor?

Published in 2009 Southern California Rising Stars — July 2009

The success stories of Jacqueline Harding's family are prominently displayed in their home. Her children's sports trophies sit next to various plaques that she and her husband have received for career accomplishments and community contributions.

But among all those items there's something special: a Regional Emmy that Harding received for producing a weekly news program in Chicago. "People ask, 'Why don't you have it encased in glass?' We have to be equal opportunity braggarts," explains Harding.

A native Californian, Harding is a partner at Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker, where she specializes in labor and employment law. The Emmy was earned two careers earlier.

Harding majored in television production at the University of California, Los Angeles, and landed her first post-graduate job producing local news for KABC. She eventually moved to Chicago to work for a public broadcasting station, and then accepted a job at WMAQ-NBC in 1978 producing a weekly news show called On Q.

The Saturday evening show followed the 60 Minutes magazine format of presenting three news stories covering local topics. On Q was recognized with a Regional Emmy in 1981.

Soon after that, Harding and her husband moved back to California, where she began her second career, helping her husband operate their several McDonald's franchises. "I discovered that I had strong business acumen and really enjoyed the experience," she says. While running the business, she discovered her affinity for labor law and contracts. That, as you already are aware, led to career No. 3.

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