In Memoriam: Jay Jaffe, 1943-2012

Jay and I enjoying dinner at a Mexican restaurant near his Colorado home in 2004.

Jay Jaffe died this week, at the too-young age of 68. Jay was a true trailblazer and pioneer in legal marketing. Much of what the field is today follows from Jay’s lead. He was also my employer for two years, between 2002 and 2004, when I worked for his firm as vice president of editorial, and my friend ever since.

The Jaffe PR website has full details about Jay’s accomplished life. Here is his biography, here is his obituary, and here is a remembrance from Kevin Aschenbrenner, who worked with Jay for many years. A 2010 recording of Jay and me as guests on ┬áthe PR Insider radio show hosted by Maureen Kedes is available here.

Once early in my time working with Jay, when I was uncertain about my approach to something, Jay said, “Trust your instincts. They are better than you realize.” With that simple remark, Jay gave me a much-appreciated boost of confidence, and I often recall it, even today, it when I have doubts about something I am doing.

Well before anyone ever invented the phrase, “think outside the box,” Jay was thinking outside the box. For me, that is his legacy. Think creatively, challenge convention, and you will succeed. That formula certainly worked for Jay.