Set your goals high, work hard and enjoy what you do.” These are words that Christine Montenegro, a partner at Kasowitz Benson Torres, lives by. And they have served her well. Montenegro is one of the few women or Hispanic lawyers in the country today handling high-stakes litigation matters – traditionally, an arena dominated by white men. Her exceptional skills, zealous representation and innovative approaches to tough legal arguments have enabled her to achieve impressive successes for the firm’s clients. She has also represented Native Americans in certain Constitutional-related matters.
A graduate of Fordham University School of Law, Ms. Montenegro is a strong advocate for collaborating with and mentoring other women lawyers. She has taken an active role in reconstituting Kasowitz’s Women’s Initiative Committee and now serves as co-chair and an active leader for that group. Under Montenegro’s leadership, the Committee is working closely with the firm’s women partners, associates and staff to ensure professional growth opportunities and improved mentorship.
In addition to the many high-profile, high-stakes cases she handles in her day-to-day work, Montenegro also provides pro bono legal services to clients in need.
According to Montenegro, diversity is essential to a legal firm’s success. When a team of attorneys is confronted with a complex and challenging case, the diversity of perspectives and experiences provided by team members can help ensure not only a just and creative solution for clients – but also a successful one. What’s this litigator’s personal view? “To me, diversity means being respected and recognized for your talents and skills, while also being appreciated for your unique perspective.”
Montenegro offers the following advice to women pursuing a career in law: “Be present and give it your all – your passion will help bring out the best work in others; and be yourself and listen to your instincts – the practice of law requires good judgment. I have found that following these principles leads to successful results.”