YPN Spotlight: Andrew Kemp-Gerstel, Esq.

Posted:  January 19th, 2012 by:  YPN MIami comments:  0

Andrew Kemp-Gerstel grew up in Naples, Florida before moving to Miami to attend the University of Miami.  Andrew graduated cum laude from UM in 2004 with a B.A. in Criminology then enrolled at Vanderbilt University Law School, where he obtained his J.D. in 2007.  He has been a member of the Florida Bar since 2007 and practices as a Commercial Litigation Associate at Liebler Gonzalez & Portuondo in Downtown, Miami.  Andrew’s practice centers around the representation of financial institutions and other corporate clients.


1) Who has had the most impact on your professional development?

I cannot speak highly enough about my parents.  I frequently tell people that my parents are the two best people I know.  I credit them for teaching me to love God, to work hard, and for providing me with a tremendous example of a successful marriage.  If I can replicate half of my father’s patience and my mother’s penchant for critical thinking, I know that I will have success in, not only my professional life, but my personal life as well.

2) What would you like to see from YPN and other similar groups?

Mentorship.  The interesting thing about mentorship is that people love to talk about how important it is, but seldom become involved.  A wise man once said: “Don’t talk about it, be about it.”  Those seeking mentors are often faced with sparse mentoring options or are simply too intimidated or embarrassed to ask for a formal mentoring relationship.  Those with the knowledge, power and social capital to make the best mentors are often too busy achieving the aforementioned knowledge, power and social capital to take proactive steps to begin offering their services as a mentor.  Mentoring can happen at a lunch, over the phone, or at the gym, but there should be a formal infrastructure to make certain that the mentor-mentee relationship begins.

3) How important is networking for young professionals?

For attorneys in private practice, our practice is only as strong as our client base.  I want to build my own client base, and I’ve endeavored to do so.  However, as a young attorney, I recognize that it is an uphill battle to seek out business owners or executives who are twenty years my senior and ask them to forgo a longstanding relationship with their attorney, also twenty years my senior, to give me the chance to represent them.  That said, I know that surrounding myself with like-minded professionals of a similar age may benefit me now and will certainly benefit me in the future.

It is exciting to watch my friends and colleagues grow and prosper.  Whether those I meet are in my life for a reason or a season, I welcome relationships with those who strive for success.  I also know that networking and relationship-building today with those in my age group will prove to be valuable as we increase our stake in the South Florida business community.

4) What are some platforms to spark networking and professional development?

Like a lot of my friends and colleagues, I’ve been to a number of professional “mixers” and professional social events.  Unfortunately, those events often play out more like singles mixers.  Rather than putting a bunch of young professionals in a dimly lit lounge with Maxwell and Floetry playing in the background, I think we would benefit from a different style of mixer.  Perhaps the goals of relationship-building and the exchange of ideas would be better fostered if we sent a group to a Hands on Miami service day, a Habitat for Humanity project, or put together a 3-on-3 basketball tournament.  The “Show-up-in-your-work-clothes-to-happy-hour model” does not have to be abandoned, but it should not be the only model.

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