Someone once told our Mary Ellen Coffay, “You make your own luck”. It’s a simple piece of advice that has made all the difference in Mary Ellen’s life, and it’s a sentiment that has defined her life and helped her not only take on every challenge a woman faces in the legal field but seek those challenges out.
Dare we say, she was lucky to have heard it.
In her life and her career, Mary Ellen has sought out challenges like a bloodhound searching for foxes. It was her tenacity to seek out adversity, that first got her interested in the law. She laughs in the face of difficulties, leaps tough hurdles in a single bound, and navigates career struggles all before breakfast.
Mary Ellen believes that if you visualize the end, you will get there. Her advice to other ladies in all other fields is to do the work like it’s going to work out, and it will. Mary Ellen is a great example of a strong and capable woman in the legal field who knows what she wants and how to get it. Creating a path for other women to follow.
Mary Ellen Coffay graduated Cum Laude from the University of Miami School of law and is now an associate attorney at the Fort Lauderdale/Miami, Florida office of Steinger, Greene & Feiner.
Mary Ellen is a compassionate and hard-working attorney. She is dedicated to protecting the rights of her clients and providing them with the compensation that they deserve.
If Mary Ellen wasn’t a lawyer, she would be an investigative journalist, asking tough questions. Thankfully, she still does so on our behalf. Insurance companies beware!
We asked MAry Ellen 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.
What drew you to a career in law?
“I have always wanted to work in a field where I have the ability to make a positive difference in another person’s life. As an attorney, you are given the opportunity to use the law to make someone’s life better.
I also gravitate towards challenges. I feel a great sense of satisfaction when I overcome challenging scenarios that were initially intimidating to me. As a child, I always imagined that going to law school and becoming a lawyer would be very hard, but knowing that it would be difficult is what intrigued me about the profession.”
What has been your proudest career moment and your biggest hurdle?
“My proudest career moment was obtaining settlement money for a client that enabled her to pursue her dream of attending nursing school. Being able to see how the time that I devoted to her case paid huge dividends towards her future was extremely gratifying for me.
My biggest hurdle was overcoming the “imposter syndrome” that I think a lot of young attorneys battle in the early years of their career. Coming into an environment where your colleagues are so incredibly talented at what they do can be a bit intimidating and stir up feelings of self-doubt. Initially, I attributed a lot of my early successes to luck as opposed to hard work. But, in time I have come to realize that my successes have truly been earned.”
Who is your favorite female mentor and why?
“I don’t have one particular female mentor that I turn to for advice. But, I work alongside several very talented female attorneys, including Maria Fischer Esq. and Alexandra Paez, Esq. who have provided me with invaluable guidance and support. I think that as a female attorney it is important to develop meaningful relationships with other women in your industry that you trust. Collaboration will not only produce better results, but it will also instill greater confidence in your decisions.”
Do you ever draw on your experience as a woman in your legal career? How so?
“I think that every woman has found herself in at least one scenario where they are treated as though they are less important because they are not a man. But, I think these kinds of experiences can be very useful in the legal field. Adversity is a gift because it enriches your sense of empathy. Insurance companies often treat my clients as though they are not important. Because I have been made to feel like that before, and know-how degrading it feels, it drives me to fight even harder on their behalf.”
The Ladies of The Law spotlight shines a much-needed light on the woman who make 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. Mary Ellen is one of the best Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys.