Attorney at Law Magazine Miami Publisher Rhenne Leon sat down with Kristina G. Maranges to discuss her career as an attorney and what she hopes to accomplish in the future.
AALM: When did you first know you wanted to become an attorney? What drew you to this career?
Maranges: As a high school senior at Our Lady of Lourdes Academy in Miami, I was a member of our National Champion We the People Constitution Team, a national, federally funded program that gave students the opportunity to participate in mock congressional hearings on a variety of complex legal issues. It was the most challenging year of my education (yes, even law school), but the most influential. I was working 15-16 hours a day, seven days a week, between my schoolwork and preparation for competition, tackling criminal and social issues law students do not study until their second year. I woke up every morning energized to tackle the day and I knew then I had to become an attorney.
AALM: How is the practice of law different than your expectations in law school?
Maranges: The practice of law is a business and must be approached as one. From planting seeds throughout the years, to getting clients in the door now, to managing them and their expectations, such a large part of what a lawyer does every day is building and running a business. Understanding the business of law and learning to surround yourself with lawyers who understand and excel in that aspect of the practice is critical to a young lawyers success.
AALM: What drew you to your current firm? How would you describe the culture there? How would you describe your role within the firm?
Maranges: Initially, my draw to Broad and Cassel was its longstanding reputation for world-class lawyers. But this firm is so much more than that. While many firms and workplaces espouse a family-like environment, Broad and Cassel truly does. The “opendoor” policy from the office manager to managing partner is much more than just a management tagline, and the firm enjoys one of the most collegiate legal environments in our community without losing its competitive edge. I like to think I do my part in making sure that open-door policy continues into the next generation of attorneys at the firm, facilitating communication amongst and participation by all of our attorneys.
AALM: Of the cases you’ve worked on or witnessed, what has stood out most in your mind?
Maranges: I have been blessed to work with and learn from some, if not, the greatest trial attorneys in our community. What has stood out preeminently amongst all of them is that there is no substitution for preparation. Obviously, skill is of supreme importance, but preparation cannot be faked. So much of our practice is driven by preparation. Whether it is preparation for a client meeting, for a meeting with a partner in your office, or for an appearance before the court, coworkers, clients, judges and opposing counsel alike always will be able to tell whether you are prepared. Most importantly, the reputation as a lawyer who does not prepare is so easily earned, and near impossible to change.
AALM: With technology and an ever-global world, how do you see the legal profession evolving over your career? Do you believe this will be positive or negative?
Maranges: Technology’s effect on the future of the legal profession is both exciting and terrifying. Advancements in artificial intelligence will streamline the work of attorneys, helping us to be more cost-efficient for our clients, and alter what the day-today practice of law looks like. These changes will raise the bar for the standard of practice and require each attorney to be more specialized in her area of practice to stay relevant and competitive on the global market.
AALM: What do you most hope to accomplish in the future?
Maranges: In the future, I hope I come to be known and remembered as someone who is kind in all aspects of life – including professionally. Our career is adversarial by its very nature, but many of us lose sight of the fact we do not have to sacrifice civility and kindness to be effective advocates. If I can remain an example of someone who is a zealous and tireless advocate, but is governed by principles of civility and kindness, then I have truly succeeded.