Jessica Portela |

Jessica Portela, Recruiter in Miami

Jessica Portela

About Jessica

A Florida native and former corporate lawyer with Greenberg Traurig’s New York office, Ms. Portela makes partner, counsel, and associate placements throughout the Eastern seaboard. She specializes in firms in Florida, New York, and Washington D.C. Ms. Portela is a member of the Florida and New York bars.

The daughter of medical doctors, Ms. Portela became interested in law while participating on her high school’s Constitution Team—a debate-style national competition focused on the Bill of Rights. Her team placed second in the nation.

With an eye on law school, Ms. Portela majored in Political Science and Criminology at the University of Florida in Gainesville. She graduated cum laude and then earned her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Initially drawn to criminal law, Ms. Portela shifted her focus to business law after enjoying the transactional work she did as a Greenberg Traurig summer associate. In addition to her law degree, she has a Certificate in Business and Public Policy from the Wharton School of Business.

Ms. Portela joined Greenberg’s Corporate and Securities Department in New York, where she worked on a diverse set of matters, including corporate governance, M&A’s, IPO’s, REIT work, and representation of public entities before regulatory agencies. She also had a unique opportunity to work closely with one of the firm’s biotech clients—essentially acting as the company’s chief legal officer for securities filings. She enjoyed the experience and it eventually led her into corporate counsel work.

After several years in New York, Ms. Portela (by now married and a young mother) moved back to Miami and took a position as Vice President and Corporate Counsel for Terremark Worldwide, a data storage company. Shortly after starting, Verizon acquired Terremark, so Ms. Portela oversaw Terremark’s due diligence effort in the $2 billion acquisition and then spent five years as Assistant General Counsel of Verizon.

Ms. Portela switched from practicing law to legal recruiting after successfully assisting two friends make job transitions. She found legal recruiting to be a perfect fit for her background and talents, allowing her to utilize her knowledge of the legal industry and draw upon the interpersonal skills she honed from years of facilitating deals, interfacing with counsel, and managing teams of attorneys. She especially appreciates connecting with candidates on a personal level and counseling them through the entire job search process—from brainstorming, to reviewing resumes, to prepping for interviews, to helping smooth out the jitters and make sound decisions.

Ms. Portela’s husband (a fellow Florida Gator) works in the commercial real estate industry. The couple has three young children and they spend as much time as possible on their shallow-bottomed “Flats Boat” in the waters around Miami—sport fishing, diving for lobster, and snorkeling. They love the water so much they even head to aquatic destinations for vacations. They recently returned from a trip to the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas, where several families (and about 15 kids!) rented a boat and went island hopping among the Cays. To clear her mind and recharge, Ms. Portela goes running and takes Pilates classes.

Harrison's Comments About Jessica

“If Jessica represents me, I know she will do a great job preparing me for interviews. She will always be available and responsive, and she will be persistent in getting me to apply for appropriate jobs. Not only will she constantly review and send me jobs as they are available, so I do not miss out on opportunities, but she will also follow up with firms after submissions to make sure they received my materials. To make sure I am completely prepared, she will review my resume and give me good feedback to improve it. Jessica is not afraid to send me to more markets than just where I work, and she will not take anything personally if someone is rude to her. I know she will talk with me on the phone and make personal connections. But she will not push me to take offers or go on interviews if I do not want to. Thanks to her commitment to constant improvement, she will also seek out feedback and information from her colleagues because she is not afraid to ask for help. Jessica dedicated herself to the legal recruiting profession and not a fly-by-night operation. She is always eager to learn and get better!”

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