Attorney at Law Magazine Miami publisher Rhenne Leon sat down with Jocelyn Santana of Goldberg & Rosen to discuss her career and her plans for the future in the 2018 Women in Law special issue.
AALM: Did you have any mentors who helped you develop your career?
Santana: My role model has always been my mother – a prominent cardiologist in a male-dominated profession. She showed me that anything is possible if you’re willing to work harder than everyone else. Her influence inspires me to this day.
AALM: What do you find rewarding about being an attorney?
Santana: Personal injury trial practice is without question the most rewarding area of law there is. I wake up every morning to new challenges, new experiences and new opportunities for success. Sometimes I am at my client’s bedside after major surgery or hugging a parent who just lost a child. The next moment I may be battling a team of defense lawyers on a motion for summary judgment or getting ready to stand up to do a closing argument in a catastrophic injury trial. The challenge is the reward.
AALM: How welcoming do you think the South Florida legal community is to women practitioners?
Santana: Women need to fight to gain respect even more than men. Movements like #MeToo have brought to light the obstacles and challenges that women have had to overcome in a male-dominated profession. Women trial attorneys do not start on the same playing field as men. Our intelligence, aptitude and experience are challenged every time we get up to speak. We are judged by a higher standard than men. If we act too aggressively, then we are categorized as a “bitch” and if we are too nice, we are a pushover. In contrast, a kind male lawyer is applauded as professional and an aggressive man is praised as a shark in the courtroom. This is just the reality of practicing as a women trial lawyer. I feel blessed because those obstacles and challenges fuel my fire to break the stereotypes.
This is just the reality of practicing as a women trial lawyer. I feel blessed because those obstacles and challenges fuel my fire to break the stereotypes.
AALM: What first drew you to your firm?
Santana: Confidence. My partners at the firm and I try to exude confidence in every situation. We respect the traditions of law and at the same time, reinvent the practice into a modern world.
AALM: What accomplishment are you most proud of achieving?
Santana: Winning my first trial against an experienced male bulldog defense lawyer on a case that nobody thought we had a shot at winning. A few more victories like that, and I am proud to say that I am the first female Hispanic partner at Goldberg & Rosen.
AALM: Tell us something about yourself that people would be surprised to learn.
Santana: I can’t answer that in a public article. Call me, and I’ll tell you: 305-374-4200.
AALM: What do you enjoy doing outside of work? Hobbies? Sports?
Santana: I’m a Miami-girl. Give me a cortadito to start my day, beach and/or boat on the weekend, and a great restaurant at night, and I’m good to go.
AALM: What traits do you think make an attorney exceptional? What’s the difference between a good attorney and an outstanding one?
Santana: Be a bad ass … always.
AALM: How is your career different today than you envisioned in law school?
Santana: I couldn’t wait to get out of law school. I wanted to be in court. I’m actually taking time out of trial prep to answer these questions … got to get back to work. Bye!