Editors’ Note: As part of our ongoing Faces of MoFo series, we interviewed Astrid Menendez-Muharram, an associate in the firm’s Corporate Practice.
When did you first realize that you wanted to practice law?
While originally intending to pursue a career in the finance/corporate industry, I realized that the market was oversaturated at the time and I would need to find a way to distinguish myself among other candidates who wished to enter the same market. After evaluating my options between attending a graduate MBA program or attending law school, the latter appeared to provide me with the leverage and diversification I was searching for. While originally a stepping-stone, the experiences I had during law school, including externships and summer positions, broadened my understanding of the benefits of a legal background and how I could use that background to further my career in legal or traditional corporate areas. Rather than using my legal background to bolster my corporate resume, I came to the realization that my financial background would better supplement my legal career.
Did you have any mentors or role models who helped you on your path, whether that was in school or at MoFo in particular?
I have had a few key mentors during my life and personal and professional development. My sister, who is also an attorney, has always served as the most vital and critical mentor with respect to all facets of my life (both professional and personal). I also had a mentor during my first few years as an associate who helped instill the basic skill sets I needed to succeed and continues to play a huge role in my professional life. Here at MoFo, my biggest mentor has been Chere See. She has been a key element with respect to my integration to the firm as well as my development and growth as an attorney.
Was there any advice that you received throughout your career or personal life that has really stuck with you?
The advice I refer to on a daily basis (both in my personal and professional life) is to “avoid having expectations, good or bad, as they generally lead to disappointments.”
Are there any matters or projects that you’ve been particularly proud to have been a part of during your time at MoFo?
While I am generally proud when we have a great outcome for a client or when a client expresses their gratitude for our efforts, the pro bono opportunities that MoFo has provided have delivered a different type of pride and gratitude. Being able to assist individuals on a personal level with life-changing matters, such as with their asylum applications, leaves me with a sense of fulfillment that is hard to match.
If you weren’t practicing law, what else do you think you would be doing?
I would likely be working in a business operations role. A few years down the road, I would also love to the opportunity to teach corporate law/transactional skills in a law school setting.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do?
I love to spend time with my son and my husband. Whenever I have free time, the priority for me is always spending time with my family, including hiking and skiing in Colorado and fishing and boating in Florida.