Breaking Diversity Barriers in Law Firms with Noemi Puntier
Apr 27, 2022
Law is and always will be about service — service to the clients and even our colleagues in the workplace. However, diversity and inclusion remain a struggle, especially within the law profession.
In this episode, Noemi Puntier joins us to discuss her practice and how she strives to break diversity and inclusion barriers in her firm. She builds on her experiences as a struggling immigrant social worker to a lawyer who strives to bring positive change to the law profession. Listen as Noemi also shares about finding the balance between her passion for serving the underserved and earning money as a lawyer.
If you're struggling with incorporating diversity and inclusion in your law firm, this episode is for you!
Here are three reasons why you should listen to this episode
- Discover ways to bring diversity to your workplace consciously.
- Learn how to use money as a tool to serve more people in the law profession.
- Learn other ways to bring positive change in your workplace.
- Noemi is the founder and principal attorney at Puntier Law Firm, a firm representing immigrants, among others.
- As an immigrant and social worker, Noemi believes her life purpose is to pay it forward and serve people.
- Noemi is also part of #HeelsInTheCourt, a movement that combines faith, law, and entrepreneurship to encourage and uplift female attorneys.
- She also hosts a Facebook and radio show at Café Con Leyes, where she educates listeners on the latest legal issues.
Noemi: “When we think of the world, you know, we complain a lot. But we forget that we also have the power and ability to make a difference and make a change and it can start small.”
A Seat at the Table: Noemi’s Drive to Practice Law
- As a social worker, Noemi trained mothers to re-enter the workforce. She pushed her advocacy to the lawmaking arena.
- She believes that ‘a seat at the table’ will allow her to impact the community directly.
Overcoming the Fear of Failure
- Noemi ran for state senate. Although she lost, she believes the experience taught her a few important lessons.
- The same goes for businesses — it is about trial and error. We try something, and we see if it works.
Moshe: “People get so caught up in the fear of ‘what if it doesn’t work?’ that they don’t actually try. And they don’t learn from the experience. And they rob themselves of the lesson.”
- Experiences allow you to learn more about yourself.
- It also gives us the empathy to support others who share the same struggles.
Role of Politicians as Change-Makers
- Real change can only truly happen when good leaders take over.
- People act according to what they’ve witnessed from their role models.
- We cannot expect change if we continue to elect ‘childish and immature’ politicians.
Moshe: ‘Good leaders need to rise up, so people know that there are better ways… to be inclusive and to provide opportunities for everybody.”
Setting the Environment for Change
- Surround yourself with people who inspire you.
- Have a mentor.
Noemi: “We should be taking more chances to try out new things. If it doesn’t work, do some reflection. What can we do differently? What did I learn from that?”
- Change starts with one person. It can be you.
Finding the Balance in Service and Prosperity
- From the onset, we are taught to be good neighbors and serve people.
- People struggle to see the connection between serving and earning.
- Do not shy away from prosperity.
- You can be a good person and be rich.
Noemi: “You can serve and still have enough money to take care of your family and create that generation of wealth.”
Money as a Tool to Serve and Build Your Brand
- The more money you have, the more resources you have to serve.
- Money is not a bad thing. It is a tool.
Moshe: “When somebody invests more than they're comfortable investing in something, the more they’re likely to treat it with respect.”
- You want your clients to work with you.
- Believe that you are worth charging more and that the service is high-value.
Spreading Opportunities of Diversity and Inclusion
- Companies and brands are now making a conscious effort to become more and more inclusive.
- The gap is encouraging the target audience to grab the opportunities.
- Breaking the pattern starts at home, in school, and church.
- Changing the narrative has to be intentional.
Noemi: “It’s gonna take time, community effort, healing, and talking about it.”
Intentionality to Bring Change
- It should be natural.
- There should be no labels. Every human being is just another human being.
- We need to be grateful to the indifferent, including the old generation.
- Sometimes, it’s not the people. It’s ingrained in the system.
- Everyone is teachable. Be graceful in teaching the indifferent.
Challenges in Breaking Barriers
Moshe: “In the effort to become pro-minorities or pro-female, we tend to create new exclusions to the people who are supposedly not being discriminated against.”
- Be a unifier and practice what you preach.
- In hiring people, go beyond qualities or skills.
- Go for personality. Go for someone with the same core values as your company.
- Skills can be acquired and learned along the way.
- The people you choose will become a part of your success.
Noemi: “I try not to be blinded by boxes that you must check off.”
Being a Woman Lawyer on a Mission
- See your client as a person first. Offer goodness to them.
Noemi: “The justice system will take care of justice itself.”
- Your business has to be an extension of your faith and ministry.
- You define success. Do not give in to society and pressure and outside stressors.
- What you do today -- the way you speak with people, your friends on social media -- will matter in the long run.
Noemi: “We all have something different and there’s someone out there that needs that difference.”
- Create your own lane. Do not rob yourself or your clients of your blessings.
Noemi Puntier is the founding attorney of Puntier Law Firm, LLC and the founder of Girl Lawyer on a Mission. She is a licensed lawyer in New York and Georgia and provides representation in immigration and personal injury matters and state and federal cases.
Noemi is a strong advocate and supporter of pro-bono work. As a previous member of the indigent defense panel in Gwinnett County, she represented and served those who could not afford an attorney.
Learn more about Puntier Law Firm here.
You can connect with Noemi through LinkedIn and Twitter.
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