1.What is your area of practice?
My practice is focused on employment law. That includes both litigation and counseling. I’ve really enjoyed having that balance of litigation and counseling – it’s great to be able to be proactive and counsel or train a client on ways to help avoid an employment dispute, but also be able to roll up my sleeves and defend a client that finds itself in litigation.
2.Why are you unique??
Professionally, I think I have an unusual background from attorneys in Minnesota, having spent my early childhood in Bogota, Colombia and most my professional career in Miami, Florida, which has a very diverse legal community.
Personally, I would say I’m unique not only in my Hispanic background, but also in that I lived in Southern California and Miami before I moved to Minneapolis. Many people ask why I moved here but I can’t tell you how many times people have said, “Oh, I get it” when I tell them my wife is from Minnesota. There’s been no surprise that a Minnesota woman would want to come home to settle down, even if it means leaving the sunny beaches of Florida and Southern California.
3.How did you do it?
I’m not sure what “it” is, and I’m hesitant to say that I’ve done anything professionally, but I would that I attribute my accomplishments thus far to having some great role models and mentors.
4.What do you do outside of law?
I spend the majority of my time enjoying the outdoors with my wife and my two kids, ages 6 and 4. We really enjoy exploring all that this great state has to offer, so we are always looking for fun activities to do on the weekend – seasonal festivals, hiking, and winter/water sports. It’s been a lot of fun for us Floridians to get to know the seasons and all they have to offer. I’m also huge soccer fan, so I’m always on the lookout for a local pub where I can watch European soccer. I’m open to suggestions from the TCDIP Membership!
5.Who were the people critical to your success and who do you want to thank?
My mother has been my biggest role model. I learned from her the value of hard work, seeing her overcome the many obstacles of moving to the U.S. with us kids, away from everything and everyone that she knew in Colombia. Seeing what she’s been able to overcome helps me put my obstacles in perspective and appreciate all that I have. I’ve also had some great mentors in my legal career, who have thought me so much. I am a big believer in not reinventing the wheel, so I am always open to hearing from people on what has worked for them and what hasn’t. Lastly, I’m very thankful for my wife’s constant support. Thanks in large part to her, we took the huge step of moving to Minnesota and haven’t looked back!