As an aspiring lawyer, I’ve always admired successful lawyers and their work ethic. I have especially looked up to women who dominate in a field predominantly flooded by men. This past summer, I had the opportunity to intern in a local campaign to elect attorney Marica Giordano Hansen for the 11th circuit court judge. Today, she is an AV preeminent-rated attorney with 21 years of litigation experience at her own firm. Last week, I had the opportunity to sit down with Marcia and ask her about her experience as a lawyer.
In true Miami spirit, Marcia is multilingual with an Italian and Chilean background. In the cultural hub that is Miami, she uses this to her advantage to reach more clientele. Marcia got her law degree at Nova Law School in 2 ½ years and immediately jumped into the field. She began her career by gaining experience at the public defender’s office for 5 years. Moving on from working for the state, Marcia began working in civil litigation, where she gained a lot of her learning experience in civil law and then went on to also do white-collar criminal defense. In these 10 years, she grew in her field and eventually decided to start her own firm that has built her legacy for the past 10 years.
An Average Work Day in the Life of an Attorney
I asked Marcia what an average workday looked like for her, and she told me that pre-covid and post-covid are two very different answers. Pre-covid workdays looked like: getting to court at 9 am, then being there for hours before the actual court, preparing clients, and talking to others. Then, straight to the office for the rest of the day to either work on cases, meet with clients, have consultations. Now, with Zoom being at the forefront of our everyday life, it’s also at the forefront of attorneys’ work. Hearings are now held through Zoom, allowing for attorneys to always be in their office. After Zoom meetings, Marcia continues to work on pending cases and focuses on her goal to get the best possible outcome for her clients.
The Power of Social Media
Something really interesting that Marcia does and has added to her work life is social media. With over 3K followers on Instagram and TikTok, she has grabbed the attention of the public eye by using her social media platforms to inform, educate, and entertain. Social media is the powerhouse for advertising, and in this day in age, the most used tool to educate others. On her weekly “Friday Coffee with Marcia,” she posts videos talking about different aspects of the law. On TikTok, she gives you a glimpse into her work and daily life.
What’s it like Owning your Own Firm?
After 10 years of learning from others, Marcia took the big step and milestone that many growing attorneys wish to do in their career and started her firm. For the last 10 years, she’s the sole owner and attorney at the Hansen Law Firm. Specializing in: Federal and state criminal defense, real estate litigation, and immigration law. As the owner of the firm, she essentially plays many roles in its success and progress. She handles accounting, marketing, social media, clientele, and banking just to name a few. She also writes the newsletter for her website to add a more personal touch to it. One of the great things about being a lawyer is that you can try different fields, you don’t just have to stick to one area. She recently added immigration to her practice. Marcia told me adding immigration to her practice is something she should’ve done a long time ago and she’s loved it. Practicing immigration law has allowed her to meet new people and different cultures. Owning your own firm means constantly thinking about how to grow it and how to bring in more clients. As a woman, we can multitask at a greater level than men. Biologically, men just can’t multitask as we can. “I know that women can multitask- that is a powerful tool to have. As a business owner, I multitask, and in court I multitask. Women have the special power to do it all.”
What’s the Biggest Takeaway from the 11th Court Judge Campaign?
II had the opportunity to meet Marcia last summer and aid her in her campaign for judge. We would stand in the scorching hot August sun for 2 weeks every day at different local election sites, meeting candidates and voters. It was definitely one of the greatest learning experiences I’ve had. Marcia says that being part of that election was an experience of a lifetime because she got to know this community like she never has before. You’re essentially living in a bubble, and get to see Miami for what it is and the passion people have for politics which is contagious. Being a part of a campaign like this in the heart of the community she’s spent her whole life working with, really teaches you what it means to be a leader. I asked Marcia what her biggest takeaway from this experience was and she told me, “If you don’t put yourself out there, you’re never going to grow. You have to put yourself in uncomfortable positions.”
What’s a Case that has Impacted you the Most?
Of course, as someone who is a crime junkie and aspiring lawyer to be, I was dying to know what’s a case she considers to have impacted her. Towards the end of 2020, Marcia took to social media to ask people to donate if they can to the Medina Family. The Medina family hired Marcia, and she took on their case pro-bono. In October, Mr. Medina suffered a stroke at work that collapsed their world. After the stroke, Mr.Medina couldn’t work anymore. Mrs. Medina had to care for her husband and her job was not enough to help the family cover rent. As their attorney, Marcia was able to delay their eviction but during this short-lived victory, their electricity was cut off in their home. They couldn’t eat their food because it had spoiled, their daughter couldn’t attend an online school, and they had no heat. Marcia was able to file an Emergency Motion to get their electricity back. Through the power of social media and Marcia’s kind heart, Mrs. Medina was able to find a new and better job and Mr. Medina was able to find a connection to social security disabilities and Marcia was able to hand them a check of 1,187.70 from donations collected!
What’s the Toughest Part about Being a Lawyer?
The toughest part about being a lawyer is the pressure to get the best possible outcome for a client. Essentially, as an attorney your client is your boss, they pay you for the best possible outcome. However, sometimes in criminal cases, you can’t give your client the outcome they want, because of the facts of the case. That’s the toughest thing to get clients to understand.
Advice to Future Lawyers
I asked Marcia if she had any advice and tips for aspiring lawyers in the making (like myself) and this is what she said. Law school isn’t going to teach you what to do, it’s only going to teach you how to think differently. Think of law school as a 3-year delay. During law school, try to take many clinical workshops to see what you like or don’t like in order to figure out what you want to do. Don’t let one bad day make you want to quit, there’s going to be many bad days. Maintain your confidence. You will make mistakes in court, even the smartest people make mistakes. Don’t let your mistakes discourage you, no one’s perfect, this is how you grow. While you are learning, try to meet with as many lawyers in that practice as you can. As a young attorney, work for others and learn from them. You always have to set goals for yourself and think financially. Ask yourself: “ What do I want? And what is it going to take to get me there?”
You can find Marcia Hansen on the following social media platforms: