After spending 20 years practicing law, Mari Sampedro-Iglesia decided she wanted to be a judge. She made her dream a reality, and currently works in the juvenile division for the courts in the state of Florida. Judge Sampedro-Iglesia also works as a human trafficking judge, which is its own division. She doesn’t believe there are any other courts like that one in the state. Judge Sampedro-Iglesia is inspired in her position by her belief in the Constitution and people’s rights. She also finds motivation in the fact that her work defends voiceless children, and ensures that they are taken care of and their rights are protected. Judge Sampedro-Iglesia treats each case with open-mindedness and patience, and always listens before making a decision. As a testament to her achievements, she has received several awards and recognition, including being named the 2012 Woman of the Year by the Florida Association of Women Lawyers. To prepare for her profession, Judge Sampedro-Iglesia earned a JD from the University of Miami and a license to practice law, and became an elected judge.
In addition to her law career, Judge Sampedro-Iglesia is also a published author. Her book, “The Heroes Among Us,” tells the story of her husband’s cancer diagnosis and her family’s journey through it. All of the proceeds go to cancer research. As a woman in today’s world, Judge Sampedro-Iglesia feels that perseverance and ability to juggle life have contributed to her success. She would advise the younger generation of women entering the workforce to never give up, and to understand that not everything can be done at once.
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