After graduation, she took a position in insurance so she could begin paying back her student loans. She still planned on attending law school, but those plans changed when she began progressing on an insurance career path and then decided to start a family.
“By then, I was making more money than some of the people I knew who were coming out of law school,” she says. “So I figured I was in a good spot.”
But she remained close to the legal profession, specializing in professional liability for lawyers. She even helped her husband, who she met while preparing for the LSAT in New Jersey, through law school.
Being her own advocate
“My family didn’t know anything about insurance or corporate America,” she says. “They came here from the Dominican Republic to establish themselves and create a better life, just like a lot of other immigrants who’ve come to the U.S.
“They taught me a lot of things, but I learned on my own that if I wanted to get anywhere, I needed to be my own advocate.”
On top of the challenge of learning an entirely new industry, she experienced a struggle that’s all too familiar to many immigrants and their families.
“English was not my first language,” she says. “Sometimes I don’t look the way people expect. I tell my kids this today – that because we are still the minority, you have to work a lot harder to be recognized. That’s always been the struggle.”