Our Sequor Law attorneys are some of the best in the industry. That’s why we’ve created the Attorney Spotlight, a monthly series that gives you a glimpse into the lives of our attorneys and their unique insights. To kick off our series, we interviewed Juan Mendoza.
What inspired you to study law?
It was really a collection of moments that inspired me to pursue law. When I was younger, I was very indecisive about what I wanted to do. I studied economics and finance during college because I enjoyed business and I liked to understand how things worked. I was even interested in pursuing engineering at one point, but it wasn’t until I took a law class that I started to develop an interest. At the time, I was part of the Honors College at Arizona State University, and they allowed me to take graduate coursework such as health law and the philosophy of law. I fell in love with the problem-solving aspect, the fact that it was intellectually fulfilling, and that I was able to help people in the process. For me, trying different things was the key to helping me discover what was the best fit for my personality.
What practice areas do you focus on?
I focus on domestic and cross-border bankruptcy and commercial litigation. Typically, these are cases involving fraud allegations.
What is most exciting to you about being a lawyer in this day and age?
In this day and age, everything is so expeditious. With phone and email, everyone expects you to answer quickly, and during the COVID-era, the legal industry has learned to adapt. Many judges are now holding remote hearings and actually prefer it to in-person hearings. Clients also understand that zoom is king, so most of them want to have meetings over video. This has opened up opportunities to network and interact with professionals and potential clients, no matter where we live.
In the case of cross-border insolvencies, I’ve also seen exciting developments in the interconnectivity of businesses and the legal framework. Due to the model law, we now have a mechanism that recognizes cross-border insolvency cases. I’ve also noticed that many other countries have implemented similar frameworks that allow them to recognize and assist U.S. bankruptcy cases in foreign jurisdictions. This will lead to more coordination, cooperation, and helps us know what to expect.
What advice would you give to young attorneys?
- Always be a sponge. Whenever you have an assignment, learn as much as you can about the subject. Early on in your career, you have the luxury to be very thorough. Once you become more senior, people will expect you to know the answers off the top of your head and you won’t have the opportunity to research, so it is important to take advantage of this time.
- Find some mentors, both at your firm and outside your firm. Look for someone you can bounce ideas off of, ask questions, and get career guidance. But remember this goes both ways, so it is important to cultivate and nurture those relationships.
- Get involved. Find an organization or two that you want to be involved in and be active. Don’t just go to the meetings – partake in projects, get into leadership, and meet other members. This is especially helpful as a young attorney because you have the opportunity to build your network and learn from other attorneys.