In the latest Board Certified Lawyer of the Month feature, Attorney at Law Magazine sat down with Jennifer Diaz to discuss her career and her aspirations for the future.
AALM: As an international trade lawyer, have you ever considered a different type of the law?
JD: I had 12 law clerk positions in law school. The last one was in the customs & international trade department of a large law firm, where I received my first offer, and started practicing in 2006. I never once considered any other type of law. Customs & international trade law is truly an area of law I am passionate about.
AALM: What do you enjoy most about your practice?
JD: I was immediately drawn to the customs & international trade practice area as it is fast paced, challenging, and every day is different.
AALM: What are some of the challenges you face in your practice?
JD: My clients typically have what I would call emergency issues, i.e., cargo was seized, a large penalty was issued, an ongoing investigation is taking place to find trade violations, etc. My main goals are to take on my client’s issue to alleviate their stress and get a federal government agency to act quickly for my client’s benefit. It is essential to be persistent, as delays in responses from federal government agencies are typical. Waiting for a decision can be extremely frustrating, as my #1 goal is always to get the best possible result for my clients as soon as possible.
AALM: What drew you to start Diaz Trade Law?
JD: I was raised by an entrepreneur and always had the entrepreneurial bug. I finally took the plunge in 2016, when I was 10 years into my legal career. At that time, I was the chair of my former firm’s customs and international trade department, board certified for five years, and had my own book of business. I had numerous mentors who pushed me to open Diaz Trade Law and provided strategic advice on how to do so most effectively.
AALM: How would you describe the culture there?
JD: Diaz Trade Law has a very specific set of core values. We are driven to get the best results for our client, invested in our work and continuously go above and beyond for our clients. We work as a team, always strive to get to the bottom of the most complex legal issues, and consistently lead our clients to be model importers and exporters by staying up to date with regulatory changes and provide ongoing high-level training.
AALM: What drew you to becoming board certified in your area of practice?
JD: Becoming board certified was a MUST for me. There was no question, the minute I hit the five-year mark in my practice, my application was submitted to the Florida Bar. My practice is a niche practice within the larger scope of international law, and board certification was a terrific way to stand out within this niche as an expert.
AALM: Professionally, what are you most proud to have accomplished thus far?
JD: I am extremely proud of my board certification and chambers ranking.