Denise Guzman – CUP in LA Member Spotlight

What is your occupation and how did you come to work in this field?

I am a business and estate planning attorney. I became an attorney because I have always been a good communicator and I wanted a higher education. Law school seemed to be the natural course.

What is the biggest challenge of your work?

In today’s fast paced digital age I can quickly and efficiently communicate with my clients. And vice versa. Unfortunately, the legal system does not always move at the same pace as many would expect and that can be a challenge.

What is your proudest achievement?

My proudest achievement has always been starting my own firm day one out of law school. I have continued to grow the firm with the right team of attorneys and support staff that share in my vision and brand of lawyering.

What leaders, thinkers or doers do you admire most?

I admire my entrepreneurial clients because they are outside-of-the-box thinkers and ahead of their respective industries curve. They have a vision and take a risk developing it, turning a company of 1 employee into 300. Its a remarkable feat to watch and I really admire that kind of accomplishment.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

In ten years I still see myself being at the head of a firm and continuing to give back to the community. I wouldn’t mind if I had a few more vacation days though.

What would be your advice to young people who want their careers and lives to have an impact?

You have to be a leader to make an impact. Make smart choices, but also don’t be afraid of risk. Pay it forward and give back to your community.

Did you have a mentor or do you mentor someone else? How has that experience changed you?

No, I did not have a mentor because there were very few female attorneys when I started practicing. Being a women in the legal field wasn’t received well 30 years ago. The absences of a mentor made the beginning of my career that much more difficult. The experience was profound and it’s the reason why throughout my career I have felt so strongly about mentoring young attorneys.