I am the oldest of all my siblings, including two brothers and two sisters. I was born in New York City, but I was raised in Miami, FL, where I grew up playing baseball and football. I graduated from Penn State University with a bachelor’s in Political Science and a minor in Philosophy. I then graduated from the University of Miami School of Law with a Juris Doctorate. Since then, I have been working as a family lawyer for Leinoff & Lemos, P.A. in Miami.
What has been one insight or lesson that has been most helpful in your career?
When I became a lawyer, I would say about a couple of years in; I handled my own trial for the first time. It gave me incredible insight into what it takes to be an effective litigator and all the work involved. It showed me how my specific area of law and all the different components or sub-areas of my speciality fit into place and work with each other. It also gave me invaluable practical experience in terms of learning how to prepare effectively and even learning how much time and effort is needed to coordinate and complete some of the seemingly easier tasks necessary to prepare your case for presentation. Those intangibles can’t be taught in law school, even in the best litigation classes with a simulated trial.
What has been your favorite mistake? A mistake that in retrospect led to a great lesson and progress.
Trying to always “win” your arguments by proving you are right. Even if you are right, if proving that you’re right will do more harm than good, just let it go. Likewise, you will gain more respect from others by admitting when you’re wrong than by always trying to be right.
Project forward ten years. How will your industry or field be fundamentally different then? What opportunities do you see?
The Florida Legislature is always looking to improve the family-related laws, and there is certainly room for improvement. Family law is one of the areas of law that all people are most likely to have some experience with, whether in their own personal lives or in the lives of someone close to them. It only makes sense for family law to continue to be tweaked and updated to help optimize the legal process, which will lead to better and fairer results.
What are some bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
Any recommendation that would require you to sacrifice security and peace of mind for the chance of more financial gain. Money can’t buy happiness, right?
In the last two years, what have you become better at saying no to?
Working while on vacation. It entirely defeats the purpose of taking the much-needed break from my professional life.
What is the one book you recommend most often and why?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It provides incredible insight, perspective, and encouragement in the pursuit of your dreams, aspirations, and personal journey.
What advice would you give a smart and ambitious recent college graduate? What advice should they ignore?
Be willing to network and meet new people regularly. You never know which relationship you make that will be the one that makes a tremendous impact on your life.
Don’t just take a job because it pays the most. Take the job that you believe you can excel in.
What is your favorite quote, one you aim to live by?
“The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”
― John Wooden