Fast forward to today, and she is a partner at Cubeta Law Group, a firm representing businesses of all sizes across a range of industries. She founded the firm to fill the service gaps she saw in the traditional law firm model after serving as General Counsel and the head of human resources and compliance for two publicly traded companies.
“I always got so frustrated with law firms because the advice that I got was good legal advice, but it was good legal advice for anybody. In most legal situations, there are a number of different options, a number of different approaches, and it should be engineered based on your risk tolerance. I never felt like law firms ever took the time to appreciate those nuances that have a huge impact on the way you approach issues.”
So that’s not how Cubeta Law Group works with clients. “It’s important to understand how each of our clients make money, what their margins are, who their biggest competitors are, what their biggest fears are, what they feel like they’re really good at, what they feel like they’re really bad at. When you have all of that information, you can really tailor your legal advice so that it aligns with those and really puts them in a better position for where they want to go versus a good legal answer that would work for anybody.”
Her decision to go out on her own was also fueled by a desire to control more of her schedule and allow her to spend time with her daughters, Alex, 11, and Scarlett, 9 that she shares with her husband, Michael Cubeta. Running, exercise, family time, and doing things with the girls is how she recharges.
“I drop off and pick up my girls every single day from school and that 30 minutes after I pick them up from school is probably some of the most precious minutes of every single day where I get to hear things that I think that I missed for many years just because we had a caretaker that picked up our girls and that sort of thing. And that’s where you hear about things that make them happy, sad, mad, all of the kind of the good stuff happens. To me, that is priceless.”
She also works on the go while the girls are at practice for the sports they enjoy. “My daughter does cheerleading at a dance studio. Whenever I go there, I’m always on my laptop. And one of my friends’ daughters takes a class there too and told her mom that she thought I worked there,” she laughs.
Cubeta is thankful for the role of female influencers in her life.
I feel like I had no choice but to be a strong woman with all of them around me. My mom, my grandmothers. I have two incredibly strong, smart, sassy grandmothers. I don’t think I appreciated just what an impact they’ve had on me until recently. I also have a very strong sister who is incredibly important to me.
“I’ve just been so blessed to have strong women since day one. Even when I didn’t know it, their influence was shaping me. There’s no question that you deserve an opportunity because you’re a woman or because you’re smart. You deserve every opportunity that anybody else gets. Go for it,” says Cubeta.
“I come across so many talented individuals, men and women, that are reluctant, and I think there’s no time like today and just go for it. But you’ve got to go all in. You cannot ‘kind of’ go after your dreams. I think you have to pursue them and you’ve got to be ready to white knuckle it. There are going to be times that you’re going to doubt yourself, wonder why you did this. But if you have that core belief that you can do something better than your competition, then you should go for it because your clients deserve that. They deserve better.”
“I had never worked a single day in a law firm and I decided to start my own law firm. It was 15 years into my career. So to say I did this backwards is an understatement. But when people hear how passionate I am and what business are receiving in terms of their legal services and the lack of awareness of the nuances of their business, it all makes sense. I’ve been a law firm consumer; I know the gaps in the service. There is nobody better to fill those gaps than somebody who lived and breathed it for 15 years.”
Yet she admits that it’s tougher than it sounds. “I have so much respect for anybody that starts their own business. I feel like there’s a certain fraternity of people that have this kinship once you start your own business. It’s like having children: You hear about it and it sounds fun and exciting and a little scary and challenging, but there’s nothing like doing it yourself.”
“It’s been a blissful challenge,” adds Cubeta. “I wouldn’t take a moment of it back, but providing legal services, giving legal advice, that’s been the easy part. The difficulty is starting your own business and the million different priorities and objectives that you put on yourself and the pressure that you put yourself under. Learning to be patient has been really, really hard. I do want so much and I have high expectations for myself and for my team and I just know that there are great things that we can achieve. The big challenge is trying to be patient, be kind to myself, and allow things to evolve.”
By Dawn Robinette
Photography by Jason Roberts