Contributed By: Naomi Massave Berry, Attorney at Carlton Fields and WCC Communications Committee member

Jenelle La Chuisa is a Rochester, NY native who came to Miami for law school and made her career here.  After graduating from St. Thomas University School of Law, Jenelle began practicing as a litigator, and gained trial experience at a variety of firms before finding her niche at her current law firm, Astigarraga Davis, where she has practiced for almost the past five years.  Jenelle remarked that Astigarraga Davis was the ideal firm because of her desire to focus on international arbitration and commercial litigation.  

Jenelle primarily represents medium to large domestic and foreign companies in international disputes. Jenelle explained that one of the main differences of arbitration versus litigation is that cases tend to move faster in arbitration than in traditional litigation, and involve less discovery, which is typical in civil law countries.

Jenelle believes that one’s reputation is their best marketing tool. “If a client likes your service and your results, they will hire you again and give you referrals,” she remarked. Because of Astigarraga Davis’ emphasis on non-billable, reputation building opportunities, Jenelle has served on a number of panels and serves as an editor of a book about international arbitration in the U.S. to be published next year.

Founded by four shareholders, Astigarraga Davis’ motto “The Power of Focus” was borne out of the founders focus on a handful specific practice areas. Jenelle says she really appreciates the firm’s adherence to its values, including the “no jerk” rule, its commitment to mutual respect, and insistence on treating its employees well.

Jenelle is a member of the Board of Directors of the WCC and thoroughly enjoys the events and the women that are involved.  Her marketing efforts are likely to target women’s organizations because “women tend to want to refer business to other women,” she stated.  She has also served as the president of the Miami-Dade Chapter of the National Association of Professional Women and is currently serving on a committee to organize a conference for the National Association of Women Judges.  She is currently coordinating two international panels for the conference and said she has truly enjoyed talking to female judges and human rights activists from all over the world; and comparing the progress in other countries, such as Jordan, to her experience in the U.S.: “They are so humble, and so appreciative of the opportunity to come to Florida.” 

When asked what advice she would give to professional women starting their careers, Jenelle said she wished she had sought out a mentor sooner to help her become better focused, particularly because she was one of the first people in her family to go to graduate school.  “I wish I had sought out more guidance and had been more deliberate in my education and career strategy,” she said.  Nonetheless, Jenelle has achieved her goals thus far and most assuredly will continue to with her positive, on-track attitude, “you can’t wait for things to happen – you have to figure out what you want and go after it.”

Forever taking on new challenges while making time for things one enjoys is an important aspect in Jenelle’s life. For this accomplished professional, that means going to the gym every morning to give her that sense of accomplishment early in the day.  Her dedication to this routine has allowed Jenelle to run four marathons, which included raising money for a charity for AIDS orphans in Zimbabwe called Zara’s Center. New challenges? Jenelle is focused on learning to box and enjoys participating in obstacle races.

Jenelle E. La Chuisa, Esq.
Astigarraga Davis Mullins & Grossman, P.A.
701 Brickell Ave.,16th Floor
Miami, Florida  33131
Tel: (305) 372-8282, ext. 284
Fax: (305) 372-8202 l

– Back to Summer 2012 Newsletter Index

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