by Amy Martinez
Updated 10 months ago
As co-chair of the health care law practice at Kozyak Tropin Throckmorton in Coral Gables, Maria Garcia guides health care providers through various legal issues, such as business expansion, federal and state regulatory compliance, practice formation and managed care contracting.
She received both her bachelor’s and law degrees from Florida International University and is heavily involved with the Cuban American Bar Association (CABA), for which she served as president in 2019.
- Background: “I was born and raised in Miami. I’ve wanted to be a lawyer since I was a child. My parents always taught me the importance of the rule of law and having a civil society. My mother came here from Cuba in 1980 during the Mariel boatlift. My father was part of a counter-revolutionary group and was a political prisoner in Cuba for 12 years. He came to Miami in the 1970s and became a small-business owner.”
- CABA: “I joined the board of directors a year out of law school and served on the board for 10 years. I think it has to do with what my parents went through in Cuba with the Castro regime and all the oppression that followed. Besides helping our community here, we try to promote human rights on the island.”
- Career Switch: “I graduated from law school in 2008. I practiced maritime and admiralty law for a year and realized that wasn’t for me. I came across health care law and felt it was a good area to develop an expertise in. Health care is such a big part of our economy. It’s definitely not going anywhere.”
- Coronavirus Impact: “I’m currently president of the CABA Foundation. We have an endowment to give scholarships to law students throughout the country. This year, we saw at least three times as many scholarship applications as in past years. A lot of students, it seems, are in need of financial assistance. There’s been an increase in law students who aren’t able to find work, either a clerkship or summer job at a law firm.”
- Balancing Act: “I have young children, and I’m married, so I have a personal life that’s very full. My children are 9 and 5. The key has been having a very supportive family, from my husband, who’s also an attorney, to my parents and siblings. You can’t do it alone. The legal industry is slowly coming to understand that things like vacation and time off actually make you a better lawyer. You have to be able to say, ‘I need to go recharge my battery for a few days because when I come back, I’m going to be even more efficient and focused.’ ”
Read more in Florida Trend's November issue.
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