Ventura Law Firm Grows Its Team and Continues Advancing Diversity in the Legal Profession
A pioneer in bringing diversity to the legal profession, local firm Ventura Law continues to grow based on the principle of its founder, Attorney Americo Ventura, namely, that valuing the differences of others is what brings us all together.
A pioneer in bringing diversity to the legal profession, local firm Ventura Law continues to grow based on the principle of its founder, Attorney Americo Ventura, namely, that valuing the differences of others is what brings us all together. As an important asset to the community it serves, the firm acknowledges the individual strength of each member of its team and invests in the potential and passion they bring.
In an exclusive interview, the two new additions to the Ventura Law team, attorneys George Fernandes and José Michael Rojas, share their convictions and commitment to connect and best advocate for the firm’s clients.
After attending Bethel High School, attorney George Fernandes, 31, received his undergraduate degree from Western Connecticut State University, and his Juris Doctor from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School. He was born in Danbury to a Portuguese father and a mother from the United States. He was raised on a farm in Bethel, CT, and shares that learning to tend to different animals has made him a better listener and hence, a better lawyer. He has a passion for raising and breeding drum horses.
Attorney José Michael Rojas, 49, received a Bachelor of Science degree from Bentley University, and his Juris Doctor from Quinnipiac University School of Law in 1997. He was born to a father from a small village on the outskirts of Toledo, Spain, and a mother from Boston, MA. He is driven by a personal passion to bring justice to those who need it most.
Tribuna: What areas of the law do you practice?
George Fernandes: Civil litigation. I have represented plaintiffs and insurance companies on both sides.
José Michael Rojas: Personal injury, medical malpractice, product liability, and mass tort.
Tribuna: What languages do you speak in addition to English and what are the benefits of being a bilingual lawyer?
George Fernandes: I speak Spanish, Portuguese, and some Greek. Being able to speak to someone without them having to second guess how they are telling you what their issue is. Their comfort level is much higher and it’s more time efficient.
José Michael Rojas: I speak Spanish. Being able to connect to a human being in their native language is paramount. Even when a person speaks English, if you can speak to that person in the language they are most culturally connected to, a bond develops. It is a special connection. There is a feeling of mutual understanding.
Tribuna: What skills do you believe are fundamental when practicing law in a culturally diverse community?
George Fernandes: Empathy and determination are some skills that have helped me advocate best for my clients who have a native language other than English.
José Michael Rojas: First and foremost, you must be an advocate. Our clients have unique challenges and exciting opportunities. They require an advocacy that understands both these perspectives.
Tribuna: Are you providing free consultation for new clients?
George Fernandes: Yes
José Michael Rojas: Yes
Tribuna: What should a client who does not speak English as a first language look for when needing the assistance of an attorney?
George Fernandes: Someone who is reputable, determined, and speaks their native language.
José Michael Rojas: Skill, experience, and connection.
Tribuna: What do you believe makes Ventura Law stand out as a law firm?
George Fernandes: We are a firm made up of minority attorneys, which helps us to connect with the community at large. I am also an openly gay attorney, which you don’t see often.
José Michael Rojas: This firm has a long history, and cultural connections to Danbury. However, it has deeper roots in a larger picture to the Hispanic, Portuguese, and Brazilian communities. The firm believes that these families are part of our family.
Tribuna: What do you believe are the main qualities of a good lawyer?
George Fernandes: In my opinion, being considerate, compassionate, and forward are the main qualities that make a good lawyer.
José Michael Rojas: Intelligence, persistence, and empathy. A lawyer is bestowed the best gift, the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of human beings. We need to cherish this.
About Ventura Law
Ventura Law has provided its clients with compassionate legal service and a strong voice in the legal process since 1957, with four offices in Connecticut and one in New York City. They are a full-service practice, serving clients who have been injured in cases ranging from motor vehicle accidents, workplace accidents, premises liability, and pharmaceutical/medical device claims in state and federal courts. To learn more about Ventura Law, please visit http://www.venturalaw.com.