For many attorneys, the question of where to focus one’s efforts is one of the larger looming thoughts of their early career. Some are guided to a specialty by their interest while others may look to existing areas of expertise. Regardless of how one chooses a specialty, it is clear that the choice can have a large effect on their law practice moving forward. To see this effect in action, we looked to the case of Juan Monteverde, an attorney specializing in the field of securities law. Seeing the manner in which his specialty has positively affected his career can be informative for an attorney questioning their own direction.
In the case of Juan Monteverde, his specialization could be seen in the work he was doing from the start of his legal career. In fact, the seeds of this work were planted even earlier than that — during his formal education. After attaining his B.S. from Cal State, Northridge, the future attorney went on to attend law school at St. Thomas University’s School of Law. During his time studying law, he focused his extracurricular attention on his work at the school’s law review and the school’s newspaper, where he served as its president.
The drive and determination exhibited by the young law student helped him to land a position as a summer associate at the firm of Diaz Reus, LLP. It was there that his first introduction into the formal practice of law began. The firm provides litigation and arbitration support in complex and often high-profile cases. These cases typically deal with issues of commercial disputes or government investigations. This work has included multinational and Fortune 500 corporations as well as banks and other financial institutions. With this first step into the field of financial and corporate disputes, the attorney had a preview of where his career could go.
Benefit of specialization
There are numerous positives to specialization for a young attorney that warrant deep consideration. One thing that such a path can do is allow an attorney to make a name for themselves in a niche field. This process can sometimes be easier than working in a larger field where the opportunities to stand out are fewer and farther between. By contrast, working a high-profile case in a specific field of practice can allow an attorney to showcase their skills and bring their work to the attention of other clients and firms.
The field of securities law is a good example of a viable specialization that allows attorneys to highlight their skills. The field focuses on issues of law related to financial tools connected to investment in a company. Oftentimes this work centers around the stock market, requiring these attorneys to have a solid working knowledge of the regulations put in place by the Securities Exchange Commission. In addition, an attorney in this field will often need to be familiar with regulations at the state level, since they can vary from their federal counterparts. This again points to the benefit of specializing in this area to facilitate a thorough understanding of relevant laws.
From the above examples, we can see that one way for an attorney to participate in a particular field of focus is through working at a firm that engages in that focus. If a firm has multiple specialties, a young attorney can work at the firm with the goal of investigating all of them and determining which is most suited to their own set of interests. If, instead, a firm has a single focus, then it can provide an ideal space for an attorney to more completely dive into that field and see what specialization in that area would look like in practice. In either example, there is ample benefit to be gained from being mindful of specialization when determining where to work.
In the case of the above attorney, his firm, Monteverde & Associates, is considered to be a national class action lawsuit firm with a focus on protecting consumers and investors from instances of corporate misconduct. The firm is heavily involved in securities law and regularly takes on cases where it represents shareholders who have incurred financial loss due to corporate fraud. The firm has handled cases at many different levels of trial and appellate courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
Beyond the opportunities presented by an attorney’s place of employment, much can be learned on one’s path towards specialization by reading legal articles and attending related lectures. Such sources of information are regularly disseminated by experienced attorneys in a given field and provide the opportunity for others to learn from their example. This work can not only provide key information to further one’s understanding of a legal specialty, it can also help to familiarize you with the most discussed and debated issues in a given area of study.
Due to his high degree of knowledge in the field of securities law, Juan Monteverde often provides knowledge of the above type. He’s known to write articles for legal publications and is regularly invited to speaking engagements to help educate others. His speaking engagements are typically before legal conferences such as PLI, ACI, and ABA and often focus on issues of executive compensation and merger litigation. By learning his thoughts on some of the most pressing matters in his field, young attorneys are better able to understand his specialization and determine if they would like to follow in his example.
While the question of where to focus one’s efforts in the field of law may be evergreen for attorneys new to the profession, there are plenty of resources available to help them make decisions. The above look at legal specialties can provide a first glimpse at where some of those resources may be found as well as some of the thoughts to consider when determining one’s area of focus. The work of Juan Monteverde is especially helpful in this regard, his example along with the information contained in this overview should provide a good place for young attorneys to begin shaping their careers.