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Carla Trigueiro is a legal recruiter and director at Marina Sirras & Associates, LLC, a legal search firm founded in New York in 1987.They specialize in the placement of attorneys at all levels of experience in corporations and law firms in the U.S. and internationally. Marina Sirras & Associates offers consulting services, which includes mergers and practice group acquisitions, growth strategies, and office expansions. They also developed expertise in placement of individuals in support staff and law firm administration.
Marina Sirras & Associates is actively recruiting candidates who are interested in working in Latin and South America, Eastern and Western Europe, and Asia (including China and Singapore). Since 1987, they have established a client base that has interests around the world.
Ms. Trigueiro places associates, counsels, and partners in major international firms, as well as in financial institutions and corporations within the U.S. and overseas. She also specializes in the legal placements of Latin America practitioners in the U.S. and in Latin America, with a particular focus in Brazil. Ms. Trigueiro joined Marina Sirras & Associates in March 2001 and has been a legal consultant since 2000. Prior to working at the firm, she served as the director for the PeterSan Group and was a recruiter for Juris placement International. Ms. Trigueiro is a member of the National Association of Legal Search Consultants (NALSC) and is a member of the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce.
I asked Ms. Trigueiro what was the most noteworthy placement she made? She explained:
"I had the fortune of making quite a few nice placements throughout my career, but many years ago I worked with a client in Brazil who hired not only one, but two partners and a few associated with my help, so that meant that I was part of staffing the office of a major law firm in Brazil and that felt really good. I also became a good friend of the lawyers in that particular practice, and this was priceless."
What makes her stand out as a legal recruiter in her field? "I believe that having a niche and being focused on that niche will always help a recruiter to make his/her name."
What is the biggest contribution Ms. Trigueiro made? "I don't know. However, every day I certainly try to make at least a small one…"
Ms. Trigueiro was born and raised in Brazil. She earned her law degree from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte before she attended a master post-graduate program in civil procedure at PontificiaUniversidadeCatolica de Sao Paulo, (PUC-SP), Brazil. In 1995, Ms. Trigueiro studied English for one year in Oxford, England. From 2000 to 2002,she attended a course of translation in the continuing education program at New York University. Ms. Trigueiro practiced commercial litigation in São Paulo, Brazil.Her native language is Portuguese and she is fluent in Spanish and English.
When asked about her family, Ms. Trigueiro said, "I have a daughter who is 18. She is not only an intelligent, mature and accomplishing girl, she is a kindred spirit. Anna's influence makes me try to be a better person every day. I am proud and thankful for her." When she isn't working, she enjoys music, biographies, soccer, and sailing. Ms. Trigueiro added, "Following the Barcelona soccer team is a passion."
Did Ms. Trigueiro receive any awards, scholarships, or honors at school? She replied:
"I did not have a scholarship because the University I attended is subsidized by the federal government, and it is very competitive because of the quality of its faculty and because one does not have to pay for. So, the fact that I could get in that type of school was an honor. I also graduated with very good grades, but in my school - at least at that time - they did not write on your transcripts any sort of honors like they do in the U.S."
Does she have a top memory from law school? "My top memory is from the year of my graduation in 1989… I was in very high standing among my peers and professors. I was elected to give the speech to my class, and it turned out to be a nice speech in a beautiful ceremony. I was about to move to Sao Paulo in order to start the post-graduation program in one of the most prestigious law schools in the country. I had a beautiful and promising future ahead of me!"
What does it take to become a successful legal recruiter? "Resilience, belief in a long term relationship with both clients and candidates, as well as keeping yourself well informed about your market, and giving clients and candidates full attention, prompt and honest answers. I always try to be very open and upfront with my candidates and clients, and, honestly, I don't see much of a difference in being personal or professional, after all, this business is very personal."
What motivated Ms. Trigueiro to work as a recruiter? "The possibility of having a niche in Latin America, especially in Brazil."
What is her advice to new recruiters? "To look at this business as a long-term commitment. Sometimes a no placement today could mean two placements tomorrow. Be honest with candidates and clients, and do not be pushy. The genuine permanent placement happens smoothly. It is better not to make a placement than making a bad one. Also, keep in mind that this business is far from being steady and predictable."
What are Ms. Trigueiro's strengths and one weakness as a recruiter? "I believe my strength is definitely the Brazil market. My weakness is still the cold calling part of the business… it is something that no matter how you look at it, is always somehow challenging."
What is she known for professionally? "I am an expert in Latin America, mainly in the Brazil market."
What does Ms. Trigueiro look for to find the right fit? What makes a great candidate?
"Many things: from book of business to personality, language skills to expertise and academic credentials… you name it. Finding the right fit involves several elements, and, of course, involves knowing both your client and your candidate well. It is not a simple task, for everything has to fall into place."
In regards to what makes a great candidate, she said, "The ones who, besides the right experience and academic credentials, know what they want and are enthusiastic about the opportunities you bring, and, most important of all: are responsive. It is very frustrating to work with a candidate who does not communicate well with you."
Where does Ms. Trigueiro see the field in the next five years? "Not very different from today, here in America. In Latin America I see it more active five years from today, mainly in countries like Colombia, Chile and Peru."
Does she learn something of value from all mistakes? "Absolutely. Is it not always from the mistakes that you learn the most?"
What motivates Ms. Trigueiro? "The fact that I have a niche, and, of course, the need to earn my living…"
Where does she derive her confidence? "Basically from a good deal of knowledge of the market that I work most and, from the necessity of obtaining results."
Being Mentored By Marina Sirras and Most Influential Person
Does Ms. Trigueiro have a mentor? "Yes, I had the fortune of being trained by Marina Sirras, the principal in our offices, and she is not only a great mentor because of her deep knowledge of the business and because of her relationship with virtually any major US and UK firm, but because she conducts business with an elegance and an assurance that is difficult to find nowadays."
Who has the most inspiring influence upon her? "Marina Sirras is definitely my role model. She has a tremendous history to tell and she has set an example not only for me, but for hundreds of recruiters in the US. She is just so well-accomplished and determined. Marina has been a great source of inspiration and strength to me."
Ms. Trigueiro's Passion, A Rewarding Position and Her Goals
What causes is Ms. Trigueiro passionate about? "The Five Star Movement in Italy."
Does she find her work rewarding? "Yes, every time I see someone who I placed being successful and content where she/he is, I feel rewarded."
Does Ms. Trigueiro like her occupation? "Most of the time. This is because I work with well-educated people, the majority of which are very nice to deal with and always have something to teach. I have a lot of flexibility and freedom in my activity, which is vital to me."
Does she have goals? "I would like to further develop my relationships with a few other countries in South America other than Brazil. I also would like to be able to work more with companies as opposed to mostly with law firms."
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