Following in the footsteps of his father – and with a heavy dose of inspiration from TV’s favorite lawyer, Perry Mason – Gustavo D. Lage, a Miami criminal attorney, graduated from The Florida State University College of Law. He had fulfilled his dream; he was a lawyer.
“I started out at a fairly large firm, but left with only a couple of cases to found my own firm,” he said. In retrospect, Lage admits that the gamble with his career was a little crazy. In the end, however, he left his firm, Salas, Ede Peterson & Lage, LLP to join Sanchez-Medina, Gonzalez, Quesada, Lage, Crespo, Gomez, Machado & Preira in Miami. “Thankfully, things worked out. My partners are wonderful lawyers and I thoroughly enjoy practicing law at my firm,” Lage said. He’s lucky, he knows, to have found such a great firm to share his practice with.
Lage hasn’t had any one mentor in his professional life. Instead, he attributes his success and his development to a handful of older lawyers, who helped teach him the ropes and keep him on track. “Rudy Sorondo, Mark Seiden and Steve Smith, to name a few, taught me quite a bit,” Lage said.
As rewarding as his career is, Lage still meets several challenges. “As a criminal lawyer, what I find most challenging is the pressure that comes from being responsible for a client’s future,” he said. “It is a responsibility I take very seriously. If I make a mistake my client could end up in jail for a long time. That is what motivates me to do the best I can for every client. It’s also what I find most rewarding. I enjoy helping people resolve difficult problems. And, when it works out, I have the satisfaction of seeing them get a new lease on life.”
“I treat my clients like family,” Lage said. In fact, it is not money or the successful verdicts on his cases that bring a smile to Lage’s face. For him it was when one of his clients said that he felt like he was treated like family, that was the highest compliment Lage can accept.
While Lage embraces the challenges of taking on someone’s case and the pressure that comes with that task, it is not a life for everyone. “I take the outcome of my clients’ cases very much to heart,” Lage said.
He acknowledges that this profession, particularly a criminal law practice, takes hard work and dedication. When asked what advice he has for young lawyers wishing to follow in his footsteps, he said, “You have to be willing to put in the hard work and learn everything you can. There is no shortcut to success in this profession.”
As a former prosecutor for the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office, Lage is able to examine a case from all sides. In his years as an attorney, he has tried more than 50 cases to verdict. In regard to the future of his practice, Lage and his partners are looking forward to expanding their firm.
When Lage is not practicing law, he enjoys watching college football, traveling, reading and playing golf. But, most of all, he said, “I enjoy being a parent. My kids and wife are the reason I get up and go to work every day. “