Attorney at Law Magazine Miami Publisher Rhenne Leon sat down with 2019 Superstar Jorge Luis Lopez of Jorge Luis Lopez Law Firm to discuss his career, his inspiration, and his plans for the future.
AALM: What was the greatest lesson you learned in law school?
Lopez: It was finals week 1987 – my last semester at the University of Miami School of Law – when my car got stolen with all my books inside it. Initially, I was devastated, but I knew that dwelling and making excuses would not lead me on the path of success. Therefore, I shift ed my thoughts to what I knew I could control – my performance. I knew I was prepared because I had done the work. Now, I just had to execute. I responsibly informed Dean White of the incident, considering her a mentor throughout my law school career. I then took my exams as scheduled, passed, and went on to graduate cum laude. The experience taught me that being prepared is the first step to success. Perseverance is the second and showing up is the third.
AALM: Tell us a funny story that has happened to you in your career.
Lopez: I have always been a technology savvy person – testing the latest emerging technologies and figuring out the best ways in which they could optimize my time. I brought in a computer on my first day at Mershon Sawyer When the managing partner made his rounds and saw my machine that morning, he leaned in and said: “Son, those things are for secretaries.” At that time, the practice of law relied exclusively on pen and paper. However, I understood technology could maximize efficiency and increase productivity … adding immense value to a profession characterized by long days and nights. I knew technology was the future.
AALM: How would you describe the culture of the firm?
Lopez: The culture of our law firm is family oriented. My wife, Marile Lopez, is the CFO. Our oldest son, AR Lopez, has been work ing with us since 2014 as a research assistant and political analyst – learning the trade as he pursues his goal of becoming an attorney. Our son, Carlos Lopez, also works at our firm while he completes his bachelor’s degree in computer science from FIU. Nonetheless, our family culture extends beyond our physical family. We consider each member of our team a part of our family – as I’ve known most long before we established the firm in 2007. Moreover, throughout the span of the law firm and my professional career, we have made it our mission to mentor highly-talented young professionals who now have successful careers such as Ignacio Ortiz-Petit, Chief of Staff of City of Miami Manager, Armando Ibarra, founder and owner of AI Advisors; Michael Fernandez, successful litigation attorney in New York City.
AALM: Thus far in your career, what are you most proud of?
Lopez: In my 30-year law career, I have found that the thing I’m most proud of is being able to combine my professional success and service to our community. I have served on the board of directors for the American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, Boys & Girls Club of Miami-Dade, Chapman Partnership, Big Brother Big Sister, Miami-Dade Parks Foundation, Vizcaya Museum Trust, and others, and helped raise over $24 million for advancing the mission of the charities Marile and I support.
AALM: What events are you most looking forward to in the coming year?
Lopez: In the coming year, my wife and I are humbled and honored to chair St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital’s Inaugural South Florida executive committee and hosting the 2020 Legends for Charity NFL Super Bowl LIV Dinner in support of St. Jude’s. We will be joining South Florida’s elite community and business leaders in an ongoing effort to support St. Jude’s mission to guarantee that children with cancer survive and thrive. As Miami welcomes the NFL Super Bowl LIV 2020 the eyes of the sports world will be upon us. We feel blessed to lead our South Florida community in rising up to this historic giving occasion and showing the nation that our generosity and passion for helping children knows no bounds.
AALM: What do you do when you’re not working?
Lopez: Throughout the years, I have run four marathons and two triathlons. I enjoy training for endurance sports because it’s an opportunity to reflect, pray and go beyond your limits.