From News Anchor to Lawyer, Monica Segura Talks about Her Work and the Influence of Her Family

05.25.15 | Permalink

Despite the fact that her grandmother called her and her twin sister “Abogaditas,” or Little Lawyers throughout their childhood, Monica Segura, a partner in RKC’s Miami office, did not plan to attend law school after college until her twin convinced her otherwise. Never looking back, Monica has developed her practice in the areas of construction law, toxic tort and casualty defense. Monica talks about early influences in her life, the importance of family and community, and what she enjoys most about her practice.

My twin sister and I always had an explanation for everything and were fiercely loyal to each other and would never tell on one another, which is why our grandmother referred to us as “Little Lawyers.” Monica was also influenced by her father, a retired police officer and they watched Law & Order together. “While it’s obviously different than what I do in my work today, it definitely influenced me. Despite all that, I wasn’t planning to go to law school.” Monica studied broadcast journalism and was a news anchor for the University of Miami television station. “When my twin sister decided to go to law school, it made me reconsider and I couldn’t be happier that I did. Law school challenged me and I’m really proud of the work I do.”
 

                 Monica Segura (right) with sister Annette Strauch (left)

Monica worked for almost five years defending contractors and developers in state and federal Chinese drywall litigation with Bob Fitzsimmons, a partner in the Miami office.  In particular, the RKC team worked upwards of 1,000 cases for contractors facing claims that were unique to product liability issues and construction matters in the Multidistrict Litigation. Once the settlement happened around 2012, some plaintiffs did not want to accept it, so it took a long time therefore to resolve most of the cases.   While construction is definitely a large focus for her practice, Monica does not shy away from other practice areas. 

“Bob Fitzsimmons has been a wonderful mentor for me. He allowed me to take an active role in our cases and encouraged me to make decisions, argue motions, take depositions, etc.”  Monica explains that Bob has been both a guide and champion and cheered her on along the way. “Bob has always been supportive of my endeavors and was never afraid to put me in the limelight. I know that at many other places, partners only allow young associates to write memos and research, but here I was able to do that and so much more.”

Not only does Monica get to work on extremely challenging, high quality cases, but she gets to do it with an amazing team. “We work hard to achieve the best results for the clients, but we do it in a very professional, dignified manner. The lawyers, staff, and paralegals, just everyone here is fantastic. It’s a very collegiate environment.” In the Miami office, the attorneys have lunch together every Thursday which is a great opportunity to share ideas or just see one another since we are all so busy.

“Because I am valued and treated like a professional here, I am motivated to do my very best work and maintain the firm’s reputation.  When there is important work to do, we roll up our sleeves and put in the time necessary to accomplish the goal. We are expected to always do our best because you really cannot do better than that.”

Monica explained that as a result of this team work ethic, the firm attracts diverse clients and she enjoys being able to work with so many different types of people. “I also have had the opportunity to interact with many senior attorneys in the community. For example, in a big construction case, there can be 10-20 parties and that brings in many of the biggest firms.”

All of this exposure to such high quality cases and attorneys has allowed her to grow both professionally and personally.   “Even though I have already learned so much, I know that I will continue to be challenged and never stop learning. I am very grateful for the opportunities I have had at RKC and for making me a partner.”

“Another great aspect of working at RKC is that we are encouraged to be active in both professional and community organizations, which is very important to me.”  Monica served on the Board of Directors of the Cuban American Bar Association and the Board of Governors of the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division. She also spent a number of years serving on the Board of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, Miami-Dade Chapter.

While it is impossible to be a part of every organization, Monica focused on those that are most meaningful to her and as a result have provided additional mentoring and professional development opportunities. She is driven to be successful and play an active role in the community and have made that a priority.

When she is not working or participating in a community event for one of the organizations to which she belongs, Monica can be found spending time with family. While she was born in Miami, her parents came from Cuba at very young ages and Monica identifies strongly with the Cuban community. “We all live very close to one another—I am a block away from my twin sister and 10 minutes away from my parents and younger sister.” Her mother worked as a librarian and her step-father, to whom Monica is also close, is a business owner.  “They  made so many sacrifices for us. Instead of vacationing in Europe and driving a Mercedes Benz, they sent us to private school. I’m so thankful for that and it is one of the most influential factors in my drive to be successful.”

“It’s important to find time to unwind and relax and I’m thankful I can do that with my husband.”  Monica and her husband enjoy simple pleasures like going to the park, movies or the mall.  Her husband has run for office so they are often attending events in the community and spending time with nieces, nephews, siblings and parents. “We live in Coral Gables and walk outdoors through the historic section enjoying the beautiful architecture and trees. Spending time there is such a treat.”

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