Attorney Highlight of the Month - January 2020
Published 1st January, 2020 by Joshua Sphere.
Gian-Franco Melendez is a Managing Partner at Law Office of Gian-Franco Melendez, LLC in Tampa. His legal areas of expertise include Immigration, Business, Estate Planning and Real Estate.
It is an honor to be the person that my clients turn to when they do not know what to do.
What is the most satisfying part of your practice?
The most satisfying part of my practice is getting to help others when they need it the most. When I am helping someone with an immigration petition or a contract, it feels great to use my knowledge and years of experience to give my clients peace of mind that I will protect them and serve their best interests in whatever they are trying to accomplish. It is an honor to be the person that my clients turn to when they do not know what to do. One common complaint I hear from clients is that prior to finding me it was very hard for them to find an attorney to help them with their specific need that speaks Spanish. Being able to effectively serve such a large portion of the population, one that is near and dear to my heart, in their own language, is very important to me. My clients have the comfort of knowing that their attorney will know exactly what they are saying, without worrying that important details can get lost in translation if the attorney has to speak to them through a legal assistant or friend.
How does your background influence your legal practice?
As a Hispanic man growing up in an area with a large Hispanic population, being a Latino is a huge part of my identity. Although I am Puerto Rican and immigration has not directly affected my family, it is an incredibly important issue for the Latino community in the United States. The first legal job I had while in law school was at an immigration clinic that provided pro bono services for those in desperate need. My clients came from tragic backgrounds and were going through very difficult times. Being able to provide not only legal help, but comfort as well to these individuals was an immensely rewarding experience that has never left me. As the son of a surgeon who served in Operation Desert Storm as a Major in the Air Force, serving and helping others is ingrained in my DNA.
What is a common issue that arises with clients in your primary practice area?
There has not been such a turbulent or uncertain time in recent memory when it comes to immigration. Every week or so it seems that the government is putting additional roadblocks in making it possible for those seeking a better life in the United States to do so. While the media often talks about the proposed physical wall between the US and Mexico, immigration attorneys are more concerned with what has been coined the invisible wall the government seems to be building to prevent individuals from being able to immigrate to the United States. The worst part of my job is telling someone asking me for help,
What makes a person a good client?
A good client is completely honest with their attorney and actually listens to what their attorney says in regards to their case. An attorney cannot effectively represent a client who does not tell them all of the relevant facts, or one who does not listen to their attorney
What should a potential client look for when hiring an attorney?
A client should look for an attorney who is honest with them, even if the attorney tells them something that they do not want to hear. One of the worst things an attorney can do is to sugarcoat a client
What are your hobbies?
I love to cook. I am an avid sports fan, and love attending or watching sporting events. My wife and I love to travel, and we try to get out on the beach or the water whenever we can.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself
While I am already completely fluent in English and Spanish, I am currently learning a 3rd language just for fun, German!
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Tampa, FLGian-Franco Melendez
87.6% LAWYER SPHERE RATING 1 vote