What makes Alexandra Paez one of the best attorneys in the South East? Is it her extensive experience in litigation, her time spent at the Florida Supreme Court, or her attitude to face every challenge with humor, wit, and grace? Maybe it’s a combination of all three, but what sets her apart from every other attorney is that Alexandra has worked harder and longer to make sure she is the most prepared attorney in the room.
And that has made all the difference.
Alexandra draws on her life experience daily, as a former defense attorney for one of the largest insurance defense firms in Florida and as a female attorney. Her understanding of how insurance companies think and operate gives Alexandra a unique understanding of how to maximize client recovery.
But long before Joining Steinger, Greene & Feiner in both the pre-litigation and litigation departments, when Alexandra was just a student at the University of Florida, one case, in particular, struck her in particular, it would be the case the ultimately lead to her choice to become a lawyer.
The case was Loving v. Virginia. In that case, Virginia had anti-miscegenation laws, which prevented white people and people of color from marrying. The lawyers were creative and used commerce-based laws to strike down Virginia’s anti-miscegenation laws as unconstitutional. According to Alexandra, “I was so moved at how much creative, smart, and passionate lawyering could achieve justice that I decided that I wanted to be a lawyer.”
Finding the balance between standing your ground and seeming too bossy is an art all on its own. What helps in all cases is that Alexandra is the most prepared attorney in any room she enters. Her confidence is born from her preparedness.
Her advice to all female lawyers, or those ladies thinking about becoming lawyers is simple: “You catch more flies with honey. There is a lot of frustration and fires that need to be put out on a daily basis. However, if you react negatively, you won’t be as productive.”
We asked Alexandra to answer some questions about her experience as a woman in the legal field and to provide her insights about life as a strong woman in an industry of predominantly men.
Who is your favorite female mentor and why?
My first boss, Laurie Adams. She was a great mentor. She taught me how to tirelessly fight for your client, how to be thorough, and how to be civil.
What advice do you have for other women entering into a legal career?
I’ve certainly met my challenges as a woman attorney. For instance, I’m consistently asked if I am the Court Reporter. I find humor to be the best form of diffusion and deflection. It allows you to make a point without making an awkward situation. For instance, now when I am asked if I am the Court Reporter, my typical response is, “ that’s funny, I was just about to ask you the same thing.”
Have you been met with issues of gender equality in the legal field? How have you overcome them?
Yes, I’ve definitely felt prejudiced by being a young woman in a field dominated by men. One of the first times I went to Calendar call, ( I was covering for my partner), I walked down the corridor and the only attorneys that were waiting there were men. There were about 20 of them. I was so intimidated. In fact, the two attorneys on the other side tried to get started at Calendar Call before I even approached the podium. They started making statements to the Court, that I knew to be false, thinking I wouldn’t know the case well enough. I corrected the record and the Judge nearly sanctioned opposing counsel. The best way to overcome feelings of inadequacy is to be the best-prepared person in the room.
Do you ever draw on your experience as a woman in your legal career? How so?
Absolutely! Women are inherently caregivers and protectors. My job is to protect and fight for the rights of clients, all the while treating them with compassion and care.
The Ladies of The Law spotlight shines a much-needed light on the woman who makes the legal profession incredible. These hard-working lawyers are some of the finest in the industry at Steinger, Greene & Feiner. Through their shining example, we hope to inspire the next generation of women in law.