In the same month that the United States saw one of its major political parties nominate the first female candidate for president, Concepcion Montoya, or “Connie” to her friends, coworkers, and clients, took the helm of the Filipino American Lawyers Association of New York as its new head. In that role, Connie wants to redouble her efforts in increasing the visibility of minority lawyers and embarking on new inclusion and diversity initiatives, motivations arising from her experiences as an immigrant having moved to New York from the Philippines as a teenager. During our interview, Connie reflected on how this age and world in which attorneys practice present increased opportunities resulting from diversity initiatives and with it, the nature of law practice and the challenges that minority attorneys face.
Connie considers herself as someone who has overcome many challenges. She is now a litigation partner at the New York office of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in one of the biggest and most profitable practice groups at the firm, the Consumer Financial Services group. Connie’s practice focuses on the defense of consumer regulatory statutes and employment law in federal trial and appellate litigation predominantly in New York and New Jersey with clients mostly from the financial sector. She is a member of Hinshaw’s Diversity Committee. She is also the cochair for the LGBTQ Network of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. But, according to Connie, it was not easy getting to where she is.