📸 Photography by Rodolfo Benitez
Hi Lauren! Who are you? What do you do?
I am a business law attorney and co-founding partner of Miami-based boutique law firm Marsicano + Leyva PLLC and previously worked with global Fortune 100 companies like Bank of America and Ryder.
Outside of my law firm, I created the Networking Maverick community where I help clients turn their networks into net worth, and in 2020, I am proud to have founded the local nonprofit Women for Success where I’m creating generational impact by empowering self-identifying women through grants, education, e-mentorship, support, community, and Business Showers to allow them to define success on their own terms and create more wealth and community for women.
What neighborhood(s) are you reppin’?
I’ve lived in Coral Gables since I moved down here 13 years ago, and we have our main offices in Brickell and the Gables.
What brings you most alive about the 305?
The food! My favorite part of visiting other cities is usually sampling the food because it tells you a lot about the culture. Miami’s delicious food scene is the same, as the culinary experiences available are as diverse as the people who live here. As an Italian, I know that good food gathers people around a table and helps build connections and community while forming wonderful memories.
What’s your favorite Miami memory?
It definitely has to be all the dates and memories shared with my husband. For our first date, I casually invited my husband to attend Wynwood Art Walk back in 2013, when Wynwood was just becoming the powerhouse art and cultural scene it is today. The local artists gave us lots to discuss, the food trucks provided delicious bites, and the trendy bars gave us even more time to hang out after and continue the evening. Ten years later, we’re now happily married and building our empires together.
If you could eat only one meal from a local restaurant for the rest of your life, what would it be?
We LOVE all the food from Sushi Kong, a contemporary Asian-Latin fusion restaurant. Our favorite roll is the Blue Bird, but you HAVE to try the fried cheesecake dessert (don’t ask about it, just order and get the full experience!) Sometimes we go just for some sake and that dessert. YUM!
Outside of the obvious stop above, share your other top three destinations for where you’d go on your perfect Miami day.
The perfect day for me would include brunch at Zuma (bottomless sake with a view!), followed by window shopping along Miracle Mile, and ending with that scrumptious fried cheesecake from Sushi Kong.
Other go-to spots are the Gardens of Weber Manor (great photoshoot location), Pinecrest Bakery (my fav croquettes), the Wagyu Bar, Fairchild Gardens, the Frost Museum, Bay 13 Brewery (especially for a whiskey flight!), and Fritz & Franz (a staple for 24 years and currently has a petition open to help save it from the City’s intent to cancel the lease!).
What’s your favorite local social media account to follow and why?
There are so many amazing local Queens that inspire me! Bianca Espinosa (@TheScotchGirl) got me into whiskey and single-malt scotches through her company Scotch Society 305 with her business partner Drew; GiGi Diaz (@GiGiDiazLive) who reminds me to take a breath and that success is not about the hustle, but about the quality of life that we live; Vivian Olodun (@VivianOlo) constantly inspires me not only with her work through Flourish Media but also her nonprofit Behind the Leaf; Melitsa Waage (@MelitsaWaage) and Epic Talks have monthly events and reminders to show up for yourself and continue to make new connections; and Paola Mendez (@CoralGablesLove) is on the lookout for all the hidden gems for me to checkout.
If you could give any one piece of advice to locals, what would it be?
A.B.C. – Always Be Connecting!
Some people fail to truly connect with others and sometimes feel Miami can be too superficial. In my experience, if you take the time to find like-minded individuals who also want to add value to others (just like I do), then you’ll find TONS of events and opportunities with quality people. And I don’t just mean my own, either! Find something you love, and you’re already more likely to form a connection because you have an interest in common (like I love the Scotch Society 305 whiskey events! Plus, you get to taste some amazing drams).
How does Miami help you do what you do or influence your work?
Ever since I came down for law school (shoutout University of Miami School of Law Class of 2013!), Miami has allowed me to grow and flourish as a person and in my career. Growing up, I moved around the world 15 times, living in eight different states and four different countries. Miami combines the best of living abroad with the culture and food of America, as well as modern conveniences. Miami also introduced me to my business partner (Carolina Leyva, one of my best friends from law school) and the best, most supportive husband and life partner (Sebastian Alvarez, also Carolina’s cousin!), both Miami natives. The Miami community also inspired me to launch Women for Success, and many of our partners are usually local small businesses that want to join us in our mission to create generational impact and provide local Queenpreneurs with a Business Shower Grant and entrance into our incubator program. Miami locals make it all happen and keep me inspired to make an even greater impact!
If there was one thing you could change, address, etc. about Miami, what would it be?
The public transportation. The Brightline is amazing (now even connecting us to Orlando!), but the local traffic and drivers can be overwhelming, especially for newbies and transplants. Even with the traffic, Miami is still my favorite city that I love to call home.
What are you looking forward to in 2024?
More growth and connections! I want to make every year better than the last, not just for myself, but for everyone I connect with and can add value to in our community.
That’s a wrap on this week’s Locals to Know. Know someone who ought to be featured or would like to be featured yourself? Reach out by sending an email to [email protected] with the subject line “TNT Locals to Know 2024.” If chosen, you might just see yourself or a friend in a future newsletter.