Attorney at Law Magazine First Coast publisher Thomas Brady sat down with columnist Iana Benjamin to discuss her life and career.
AALM: What drew you to a career in the law?
Benjamin: At the core of who I am is an advocate for the disadvantaged, so it was only natural that I learn the law to aid as a tool to assist others.
AALM: Tell us a little about your philosophy when it comes to your practice.
Benjamin: I am passionate about the law and advocacy and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve through the legal profession daily.
AALM: Tell us about one of the most important lessons you learned from a personal or professional mentor.
Benjamin: That giving your best efforts to everyone you meet may yield you a rich emotional life.
AALM: What is the most important lesson your parents (or parental figures) taught you?
Benjamin: Help those less fortunate through time, talent, effort and financial resources.
AALM: How is your practice today different from how you envisioned it in law school?
Benjamin: Law school aided me since my law school focused on the practical aspects of the legal field, so it is not very different, but I must say work-life balance is harder to achieve in private practice versus the life of law student.
AALM: How would you describe the culture of your firm?
Benjamin: Autonomous work environment, fast paced.
AALM: Tell us about a single case that has significantly impacted you personally or professionally?
Benjamin: A case that impacted me personally and professionally is an immigration case that led to my client being able to reunite with his family legally after entering the U.S. illegally.
AALM: As technology changes the practice of law, how are you adapting?
Benjamin: I think lawyers have to take advantage of the technological tools available to us. These tools allow us to manage our work life more efficiently.
AALM: What are some of the challenges you see negatively impacting the judicial system?
Benjamin: There needs to be more diversity of thoughts, ideas and races, cultural backgrounds, in the judicial system.
AALM: Tell us about a book, movie or event that changed your perspective on the practice of law or your approach to life.
Benjamin: “Tuesdays With Morrie” impacted me in a major way. It is about a college professor who took ill and lived every day fully.
AALM: Tell us about your ambitions for your career.
Benjamin: I plan to stay and grow with my firm.
AALM: Tell us about your life outside the law.
Benjamin: I am a mom, a wife and involved friend.
AALM: Tell us about your community involvement.
Benjamin: I am active in Jacksonville Bar Association, the DW Perkins Association and on the Board for Florida Coastal School of Law board of directors.
AALM: At the end of the day, what makes you happiest professionally and personally?
Benjamin: Being able to serve.