Yakub Hazzard

Yakub Hazzard
Partner and Co-Chair, Entertainment and Media Litigation Group, Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P.


I consider my calm demeanor and level-headedness to be among my greatest strengths. Whether it is during an adversarial hearing, participating in a contentious meeting, or delivering a difficult message to a client, I try to remain focused on the issue at hand and offer practical solutions and approaches to the situation. These traits benefit my business on all levels, whether I’m interacting with my fellow partners, collaborating with firm management, or listening to and providing advice to my clients.


My parents are my biggest inspirations. Unfortunately, my father passed away two years ago, but he was my biggest cheerleader, always encouraging me to strive for excellence in my personal and professional life. My mother continues to inspire me with her amazing energy and positive can-do attitude.


I believe in motivation by positive reinforcement and creating personal connections. While I am not hesitant to point out someone’s mistakes when necessary, I have found that others become more motivated and loyal when they are treated well and feel that you are genuinely interested in their personal and professional development.


I believe that the plight of the African-American male is the greatest issue facing the African-American community today. As one of four brothers, and with two sons of my own, I have a vested interest in seeing that black men are given an opportunity to succeed in society, and that those of us who are fortunate enough to prosper actively mentor the next generation.


I give back to the community in several ways. First, I start at home. I have tried to instill in my sons a sense of responsibility to give back. I also try to demonstrate that by example, as I sit on the boards of community-based charitable organizations that serve the disadvantaged.


It is important to treat people well and build your reputation on respect and kindness. It takes a lifetime to develop a good reputation, but a nanosecond to ruin it.


I am lucky to have a very loving family life. I make a point to spend quality time with my family, whether it is golf with my wife or brothers, or spending time with my sons at their sporting events. I also regularly remind myself how fortunate I am to have been afforded the opportunities that I have enjoyed.


Over the years, I have learned that I can do almost anything if I devote the necessary time and energy. The only limits that exist are those that I impose on myself.


Take control of your own destiny and don’t burn bridges as you advance in your career.