We had the good fortune of connecting with Samah Abukhodeir and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Samah, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
My family is from Jerusalem and I’m Palestinian-American. I was born and raised in Lake Wales, Florida which is a small town in central Florida that is not very well known. We were the only Arab-American family in our town. My parents came from Jerusalem to the United States in 1987 with nothing to their names. My father, who is a German-educated physician, attempted to renew his license in the United States however due to the difficulties with the new language and new born baby (me), was not able to achieve his life long dream of practicing medicine in the United States. He instead sought employment anywhere that would hire him to provide for his growing family. My mother, who was only 20 years old when arriving with my father also immediately began the process of learning English and working odd jobs to help provide with my father. They both put their dreams on hold to make sure me and my sisters were taken care of and were afforded every educational opportunity to become successful young women. Now, 30 years later, me and my sisters share 2 Masters degrees and a doctorate between the 3 of us, and 2 of us are university professors. In addition, I am the owner and managing partner of a law firm which employs 10 team members in Coral Gables, Florida which serves the entire state of Florida. Myself and my sisters have been driven to succeed due to the example of sacrifice that our parents instilled in us. Were it not for the hopes and dreams that they put on hold to ensure we would be provided for, we would’ve never been able to accomplish what we have thus far. Now, we are returning the favor and making sure they are taken care of and I personally make sure that any of my team members looking to advance educationally or professionally have my full support both from a financial and personal standpoint.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Our team helps clients take care of what matters to them most, their family. We help families who are going through the most challenging times of their lives, death and divorce. We are a dedicated team, striving to understand our client’s needs and goals.
In addition to traditional family law, our firm also practices Collaborative Family Law. Collaborative Family Law is a process that eschews the traditional contested divorce route in favor of a more holistic and cooperative approach. Our attorneys are both members of the Collaborative Family Law Institute. In addition, I have been an Adjunct Professor at Florida International University for the past four years. I have been a Florida Bar appointed Committee Member for the Florida Probate Rules Committee, the 11th Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee and is also on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
I have a passion for creating a business that fosters a familial relationship among employees to promote a positive work environment that provides the best quality of service to their clients. I have built my firm on the philosophy of “we don’t build cases, we build relationships.”
We are aware that losing a loved one or dealing with a divorce are not only some of the hardest things most people go through in their lives, they’re also the only times most people have to deal with an attorney. My team prides themselves on being there for our clients when they need us the most.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’ve been in Miami for a little over 10 years and it was a hard city to adjust to however I now love it! When friends and family visit, I love taking them to Wynwood, Gables, Grove, Miami Beach, etc. I love taking people to try authentic Cuban food but I also love taking them to try Peruvian ceviche at Dr. Limon, Asian at Makoto, Italian at Sapore di Mare, Fireman Derek’s for a good pie, and Houston’s for my favorite tres leches!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?