Being a white-collar defense attorney is a weighty responsibility because someone’s future is dependent on your strategy and ability to execute. A lawyer ’s work involves advising clients on all parts of the law and presenting their best case both in and out of court. As the business environment continues to be competitive, an adviser should be well informed, prompt, and attentive. Leading with all these skills, Nina Marino is an internationally recognized, white-collar criminal defense attorney.
A co-founder of her firm, Kaplan Marino, Nina represents business professionals, executives, public figures, and other individuals who are under investigation or targeted by serious allegations of white collar and other criminal matters.
In an interview with Insights Success, Nina sheds light on leadership, women’s participation in the legal profession and life factors that inspired her.
“Have a vison, decide who and what you want to be and make it so”
Below are the highlights of the interview:
Please brief our readers about your leadership position at Kaplan Marino.
I founded Kaplan Marino in 1996 with my husband and law partner, Richard Kaplan. Since then, we have shared responsibility for the growth of the firm and the expansion of the practice. Today, Kaplan Marino is recognized globally as a white-collar criminal defense law firm.
Being an experienced leader, what are your thoughts on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the legal profession? And how has Kaplan Marino managed to overcome this significant challenge?
The impact of COVID-19 on the legal profession has been quite interesting. Whereas previously “everyday” meant an “office day,” and every meeting was in person, today we work on a flexible office/work-from-home schedule and video calls are the new norm. That is certainly not to diminish the value of person-to-person working environments. I think what has made COVID-19 a success for Kaplan Marino is our ability to adapt and thrive in a virtual environment. It is balancing working virtually and in the office that has served to grow the firm in 2021.
In what ways do you contribute to the community?
I founded and chaired the Criminal Law Section of Women Lawyers of Los Angeles for more than 20 years. When I retired my post, Jennifer Lieser, a member of my firm, took over as Chair. My partner, Richard Kaplan, was the President of the Beverly Hills Bar Association. I founded and chaired the Women in White Collar Subcommittee of the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section White Collar Committee. I also founded and currently chair the Los Angeles Chapter of the Women White Collar Defense Association. I am also on the Executive Committee of the Criminal Justice Section Council of the American Bar Association, sit by appointment on the Standards Committee, and chair the Continuing Legal Education Committee. To say the least, our firm’s culture encourages giving back to the legal profession and everyone at Kaplan Marino actively contributes.
If given a chance, what change would you bring to mitigate risks for companies in cybercrime or money laundering?
Companies operating in the financial sector must be familiar with know your customer policies and have anti money laundering protocols in place. Due diligence is a must! We work with companies to establish needed processes and procedures that protect them from would be bad actors as well as running afoul of government regulatory oversight. To protect company data from cybercrime breaches, we recommend regular training of employees.
What would be your advice for aspiring women entrepreneurs in law?
Have a vison. Decide who and what you want to be and make it so. I started out practicing criminal defense law straight out of law school. After seven years of practice, I decided I wanted to be a white-collar lawyer. This was and has always been an exclusive industry. Believe it and it will happen!
What people, what books, what life factors have influenced and impacted you?
My parents were entrepreneurs in law, and they instilled in me that belief that “you can do it!” Over my career there have been several people that have shaped who I am as a lawyer. Based on those relationships I remind myself every day that the most important asset I have is my integrity and credibility. I will never risk that for anything. As far as books go, I love to read, so frequently, the last book I read is my current favorite!
What is your vision for Kaplan Marino for the next five years?
Kaplan Marino is on the move, literally! We will be moving to new space later this year that will display our unique boutique vibe. I expect in the next five years our global reputation as a white-collar criminal defense law firm will be furthered by this new space which will reflect our success, our commitment to our clients, and the results we get.