Michelle Marquez On The Challenging Aspects of Being a Securities Lawyer

Do you find securities exciting? The stock exchange? The exciting world of arbitration law or fraud? Perhaps not but there are many people who do love these areas of the law, including my very good friend Michelle Marquez, an attorney who works tirelessly to ensure that the stock exchange and the traders within it are all doing their bit to stay above the law and trade in accordance with the rules. We often think of attorneys as being courtroom celebrities but this is not always the case. Michelle studied law with me and whilst I went into journalism, she stayed the course and is now a highly respected attorney. We all know the benefits of a job like this, bring people to justice, the salary, the respect, but what about the downsides? I asked Michelle what she felt were the negatives of the job.

The Hours

The long hours are something which Michelle would absolutely love to change but it is an unfortunate fact about the job that she does. The stock exchange may only be open for a certain amount of time but there is far more work to do beyond opening hours and that means less time for Michelle to spend with her friends and family. She does stress that she wouldn’t change her job for all of the money in the world, but she would love to see a small reduction in her hours if it was at all possible.

Lack of Commitment

Michelle’s biggest issue in her job is when she meets people in either her own law firm or from another law firm or group, who simply aren’t committed. In fact she tells me that there are many people who get away with breaking the rules, simply because the people who are charged with enforcing it cannot be bothered to do their job properly. This is something which she tells me really gets her goat and it is definitely a negative of her job.


Michelle tells me that securities law is highly complex and very complicated when compared with criminal law for example. This she tell me gets even more difficult when you throw into the mix the number of stakeholders that are involved in any trade or transaction. The result for someone like Michelle is a huge amount of bureaucracy which can very often slow down or hamper her job. She tells me that even requesting information on certain trades or dealings requires so much authorization and so much cutting of red tape that many simply give up. Michelle is not someone to give up but that is not to say that she doesn’t get deeply frustrated by these aspects of the job, and who can blame her!

All told Michelle adores her job and she actually didn’t enjoy speaking about the negatives, because in her view they pale into comparison with the positive aspects of her position.

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