Prestigious Women Awards Honorees: Michele Stocker

Michele Stocker is the Co-Chair of the Financial Services Litigation practice group at Greenberg Traurig, LLP and is based in the firm’s office in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Michele has a broad range of experience helping clients in the financial services industry manage their litigation risk, including regional and national banks, loan servicers, consumer finance companies, mortgage bankers, credit card issuers, debt buyers and third-party debt collectors. Michele graduated, with honors, from Columbia University School of Law in 1990, and from Princeton University, cum laude, in 1987. She is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts in New York and Florida.

Favorite quote: “Love the life you live, live the life you love” — Bob Marley

Fun fact: I have attended over 50 Grateful Dead concerts.

How do you unwind after a long day of work? I like to watch movies, especially on the Hallmark Channel.

What challenges have you faced in your career, and how did you overcome them? My biggest challenge was balancing a demanding career while raising a family. I overcame these challenges by learning how to prioritize. My daughters are the most important thing in my life and their needs always come first. I learned to work differently, keeping odd hours so that I could be there for my kids when they needed me. Sometimes work had to take priority but overall, I think that I have kept a good balance.

What has been the most monumental moment of your career thus far? Without a doubt, it was winning my very first jury trial as the first chair.

Who are your role models? My biggest role models are my parents. My father always encouraged me to further my education, and he has always been an inspiration to me. After he passed away, my mother raised my sisters and brother and I as a single mom, and she worked very hard to provide for our family. They are the greatest influences in my life.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten? One of many pieces of great advice I have received is to always treat everyone with dignity and respect no matter what because you never know when your paths may cross again in your career.

What advice would you give a young woman at the start of her career? Do not sacrifice your personal life, or your family for the sake of your career because nothing is more important than family.

How does being a woman has impacted your career? As a woman of color, I have had to overcome a lot of stereotypes including the perception that you are not as smart as your peers or that you are only in your position due to affirmative action. I believe that I have always had to work twice as hard to be recognized and valued for my achievements and qualifications.

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