New York’s Juan Monteverde and the Career Progression of a Practicing Attorney
Whether you’re considering a career as an attorney or just interested in what such a career could look like, one great resource for information is to look to the professional path of someone actively practicing law. To show this, we’ve looked to the career of Juan Monteverde, a well-respected securities attorney who now runs his own firm. While there are, of course, many different paths an attorney can take, his work provides a compelling example of one way such a career can unfold.
Education and early choices
For many attorneys, the decision to pursue a career in law was not made all at once. In fact, many attorneys started out on an educational path that was focused on another field altogether. Such was the case with Juan Monteverde. When he first went to California State University, Northridge to obtain his undergraduate degree, he was of the mindset that he wanted to pursue a career in finance. Financial markets interested in him and he was intrigued by the way the field helped to shape global economies. While he eventually did graduate from the school with a B.S. in Finance, his time at the institution would help change his mind as to the profession he wanted to pursue.
Much of this shift occurred as a result of taking a part-time job at a local law firm. Though the future attorney took the job primarily as a way to support himself, he soon found the firm’s work to be quite fascinating. His lasting admiration for the field of law came into full form when he had the opportunity to participate in a two-week-long trial. The firm at which he was working was representing two landowners who were disputing the ownership of land that was under development by other individuals. The case was eventually decided in favor of the landowners, which helped them to significantly improve their financial security.
The case represented an important lesson for the finance major. He was able to witness firsthand how an attorney could come to the aid of a client who may have been the victim of an injustice. By representing such a client in court, an attorney could potentially help them to rectify that injustice and gain compensation for damages they may have incurred. The concept helped drive home the positive work attorneys could accomplish and it helped turn what was just a part-time job into a significant career milestone.
One of the defining periods in almost any law career is an attorney’s time at law school. This is when many attorneys first see the full scope of what a career in law can entail and how they may fit into the larger legal landscape. It also affords attorneys an opportunity to distinguish themselves through their schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and work outside of law school. In the case of the securities attorney, he was able to have a significant positive effect on his reputation through each of these avenues.
In terms of his studies, the attorney was known for being one of the leaders in his year. He graduated near the top of his class at St. Thomas University’s School of Law and drew praise from professors and peers alike. He was also known for his efforts outside of the classroom to contribute to the law school through his written abilities. This included time as a staff editor for the school’s law review as well as serving as President for the school’s official newspaper — Plead the Fifth.
Another formative part of his time in law school came from his work as an associate at Diaz Reus, a local firm that was well-known for its innovative and sophisticated litigation and arbitration. The time at the firm afforded the attorney the opportunity to gain experience in high-profile commercial disputes and government investigations for both U.S.-based and global clients. This included work with multinational and Fortune 500 corporations. He was also afforded the chance to work with foreign government entities and financial institutions in Latin America, the Middle East, Europe, and elsewhere.
Work at other firms
Oftentimes, after an attorney has graduated from law school they will take a job at a law firm practicing in an area that may of interest to the graduate. In this way, they can contribute to the law firm’s overall mission and help clients who may require legal assistance. The attorney can also work to improve their own expertise in their field and further refine their focus within the broader practice of law.
In the case of the securities attorney, his early efforts in law saw him first working at a defense law firm focused on civil litigation. Though he did well in the work and appreciated the opportunity afforded by the position, he ultimately decided that it wasn’t for him. He eventually turned his attention to work in the securities field, where he was able to represent victims of securities fraud, mutual fund abuse, consumer fraud, and more. This field turned out to be a much better fit for the attorney, perhaps due to his previous interest in the area of finance.
Starting own firm
For many attorneys, their career path may lead them to the creation of their own firm. While running your own law firm can entail many different considerations outside the field of law, such as increased administrative responsibilities, it can also be a rewarding experience that can allow for further concentration in a field of interest. In the case of the attorney, his creation of Monteverde & Associates has allowed him to further the scope of his practice and provide representation to shareholders who may have seen their rights infringed upon as part of a merger or other corporate action.
The above overview of the career of Juan Monteverde helps to showcase one potential path that an attorney may traverse during their professional life. His journey from an education in finance to working with a number of different firms to eventually starting a firm of his own provides just one example of how to build one’s career in law. If such a career seems interesting to you, consider looking to additional resources to further understand what such a career could entail and how you may find your own unique place within the field.