Kamilla Rodrigues. Image courtesy of NYREJ.

Recently featured by the New York Real Estate Journal in their spotlight series, “2020 Ones to Watch,” Kamilla Rodrigues (School of Hotel Administration ’08) is not only a powerhouse Associate at Herrick, Feinstein LLP, but also an inaugural member of CREC Women and the CREC Career Advisory Program.

What led you to your current profession?
I graduated from the Cornell School of Hotel Administration prepared and eager to work in the luxury hospitality and client services industry. While I loved working in client services, after some time, I realized I was ready for a new challenge, which lead me to law school. I went to law school expecting to end up on the business side of transactions, as that was the world I came from. Real estate and financing law completely fell onto my lap and quickly evolved into my passion during my time at a smaller firm in New Jersey and now at Herrick in New York. While hospitality may seem like a world away from the day-to-day of advising clients on major real estate transactions, the concept of client services has been a constant theme throughout both my careers and industries. In my experience, clients want the same level of attention, problem-solving and responsiveness no matter what field or industry you are in.

What do you like most about your job?
Being able to apply my knowledge and experience together with the law in order to solve a client’s problems or concerns is my favorite aspect of my job, especially when it results in tangible cost-savings or reduction of risk.

Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired and motivated by the hard-fought changes in the legal industry towards a more inclusive and diverse landscape. When I started at my first law firm, there were no female partners. It has been incredible to see and experience the ascent of female partners or other diverse attorneys around my generation of professionals. Although I recognize that there is still so much work to be done, it has been encouraging to see women of all backgrounds and at every level taking seats on all sides the table–including the head of the table. At Herrick, our real estate, litigation, and trust and estate departments are led by women, which highlights the values of this firm. I love that on any given transaction there are more diverse players than ever before.

Note: This article was originally written & published by the New York Real Estate Journal.