Monique D. Hayes currently practices in the area of bankruptcy law at Genovese Joblove & Battista, P.A. Prior to joining the firm, she served as law clerk to U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Laurel Myerson Isicoff and was a staff attorney at Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc., where she practiced in the area of consumer housing litigation representing low income clients in landlord/tenant disputes and consumer bankruptcy proceedings.
Hayes’ blossoming law career has included serving as a bankruptcy career paths panelist for the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges (NCBJ)/NBA Liaison Committee Outreach Project at the 81st Annual Convention of the NCBJ and co-authoring the Business Law Section of the Florida Bar – Case Law Update 2008. She has also served as a panelist for a discussion of (Almost) Everything You Wanted to Know About Getting Retained: A High Stakes Job Interview, presented at the 2009 American Bar Association’s (ABA) Section of the Business Law Committee on Business Bankruptcy fall meeting in conjunction with the 83rd Annual Convention of the NCBJ.
As an active member of the American Bar Association – Business Law Section, Hayes has been admitted to practice before the United States District Courts for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida and was recently appointed by the ABA Business Bankruptcy Committee to serve as its liaison to International Womens Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC). In addition to the ABA, she is also an active member of the Dade County Bar Association, the Bankruptcy Bar Association, the American Bankruptcy Institute, the IWIRC – Florida Network Board of Directors, and the Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. Bar Association. Her recognitions include the Blackshear Fellowship Award, which is given to select candidates each year by the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges (“NCBJ”), and recognition among the Miami-Dade United Way Young Leaders.
Hayes received her Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, from the University of Miami School of Law and an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of South Florida. While at UM Law, Hayes was a member of the Bar and Gavel Honor Society, was named to the Dean’s List, awarded the Dean’s Honor Scholarship, and also received the C.A.L.I. Excellence for the Future Award in Bankruptcy Judge Cristol’s Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Skills Seminar.
1) Do you have a five year plan?
Yes, it is important for me to avoid complacency. I am constantly reassessing my skills and refocusing my efforts in terms of professional development. I generally set major goals at five year intervals and prepare to go in a completely different direction once my goal is reached. That way I can continue to be challenged, learn something new and reach new successes.
2) How do you define or measure success?
I came into the practice of law with the goal of doing well for myself and doing good for my community. I would not consider it success to have achieved financial prosperity and professional recognition, but to have done nothing to better the lives of others. Yet, I recognize that it is hard to help others when you are struggling yourself. So I measure my success by considering how much I have done to position myself, both financially and professionally, to be a blessing to someone in need.
3) In your line of business, is it ever personal?
No, I am fortunate to practice in an area where professionalism is a high priority. Most bankruptcy lawyers know that no one client or case is worth jeopardizing your reputation or career. The bankruptcy bar (even at the national level) is relatively small and close-knit. You never know what side of the table your next case may require you to sit. So, it doesn’t pay to allow personal grievances to cloud your judgment.
4) Do you dress for success or the occasion?
Neither, I have a rather eclectic fashion sense. So I dress according to my mood. Right now I am really into vintage fashion, so a lot of my wardrobe is influenced by the styles of the 60s and 70s. Still, I recognize that there is a time and place to exhibit personal style. I practice, for the most part, in federal court which is still very conservative. So I wear skirt suits and pantyhose (even in Miami humidity). I also exclude sandals and strappy open-toe shoes from my courtroom attire (peep toes are okay).