July 18, 2019
Maritza Rodríguez RLAW11
Rodríguez is the immediate past president of the Rutgers Newark Law School Alumni Association.

How did you get started in your current area of practice?

I started out doing a clerkship after law school. I had always wanted to go out on my own, but thought I would do so after I had worked for a firm for a few years. It was 2012 and the job market was tough—job offers were few and in areas that I did not want to practice in. I had to make an important decision: do I take those offers or do I make the big jump and go out on my own? I went out on my own and never looked back. Seven years later I'm still here!

For someone unfamiliar with your practice area, how would you describe it?

I do family law and international family law cases. Family law includes child support, divorce, custody, separation, prenups, and international child abduction cases.

Is there a typical day for someone in your practice area? If so, what is it like? If not, what types of experiences can you have from day-to-day?

Usually, I meet with clients, go to court, or prepare for court hearings and/or trials

Are there certain skills and personality traits that are important in your practice area?

Patience and empathy because you're dealing with people when they are going through an emotional time in their life. Helping people through this is fulfilling.

What is the most challenging part of your practice?

Sometimes I cannot help everyone. Sometimes I wish I could stay in touch with each client to make sure I can follow up  and always be there for help, but it is not realistically possible

How did Rutgers Law help prepare you for this work?

I took my first family law class and got hooked on the subject! I also did an internship for the San Fransisco City Attorney's Office while in law school and it was great.

What advice do you have for students interested in pursuing a career in your field?

Talk to attorneys who are working for firms, who are working in solo practice and working for nonprofit or state agencies and figure out which path you may want to take. Also, get their advice on what activities and organizations to join to help with professional development. State, local, and national bar organizations and affinity bar organizations that have committees dedicated to family law. 

Rutgers Law Media Contacts:
Mike Sepanic (Camden); Elizabeth Moore (Newark)

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