Melanie Figueroa ’08, managing partner at Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP, was interviewed by Law.com regarding her career achievements. Figueroa has been recently recognized as an honoree of Corporate Counsel’s 2018 National Women in Law awards.
What was your route to the top?
I started my legal career when I was a sophomore at NYU as a corporate paralegal for a small firm. After graduating from Fordham Law, I returned and continued advising microcap companies with SEC compliance matters and alternative IPOs. Subsequently this firm combined with LA-based Richardson & Patel (“RP”) where I expanded and strengthened my practice within the public finance arena, specifically with respect to traditional IPOs and exchange listings. Here I was fortunate enough that as an associate, firm management was receptive to my thoughts and ideas concerning various firm management matters. I was promoted to partner in 2014. In July 2015, RP merged with MSK. Seeing a need for representation from MSK’s NY office, I quickly joined numerous committees at MSK. In 2016, I was honored to be asked to serve as the managing partner of MSK’s NY office which is a capacity I continue to serve in today.
Looking back, what do you wish you had known when you started out in the legal profession?
As a young lawyer, you’re often focused on and consumed by the legal issues in front of you every day, so it can be difficult to make the time to network and get to know people which is critical to building your practice. Young attorneys should be very deliberate about their networking activities early in their careers so that they can capitalize on opportunities that an expanded network can provide later in their careers when the expectations to develop your own practice increase.