During a recent interview, Dagoberto Rodriguez recounts how he fled from the worsening conditions in Venezuela and used his life experiences to manifest his destiny as an attorney at law.
Question: Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Answer: “I came to the United States after fleeing from Venezuela. Due to my father’s political position as a General against Chavez, my parents made the difficult decision to send me here to the United States.
While going to work one day, I was involved in a real bad car accident. Even though it wasn’t my fault, the insurance company screwed me over. While in law school we learned that when you suffer injuries caused by negligent parties you have the right to receive compensation, something I wish I knew when I was in that car accident I just mentioned. Inspired by my learnings in law school and experience, I knew then I wanted to work as a Personal Injury attorney.”
Q: Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
A: “I worked in construction so I could attend school and have funds to support myself. Through everything, I kept my mind focused on only one thing—to become a lawyer. What drives me is the need that I have to compete with myself, to consistently become a better version of myself each day. I promised myself I would become a lawyer, even though I did not even speak the language. Now I am licensed in 3 different states, and 2 of those licenses I achieved by passing bar exams.”
After discussing his past struggles, the interview moved on to the present state of his practice. He discusses the mindset crucial to his success and the competitive edge of his law firm.
Q: So how are things going today? How did grit and resilience lead to your eventual success?
A: “I am working the cases I want. I have a growing practice, and my business is expanding beyond the DMV (DC-MD-VA). I knew what I wanted to be, and I did not let fear or doubt get in the way. I only allow fear to stop me from making foolish decisions.”
Q: What do you think makes your company stand out?
A: “We are honest and truthful with our counsel. We do not set unreal expectations just to obtain business. Once a client hires my firm, they pretty much know what outcomes to expect. We never make false promises. In 2019 and 2020, I have been chosen as a Personal Injury Rising Star Attorney by Super Lawyer. I am also being recognized as America’s Top 100 Personal Injury Lawyers, and I recently became a member of the Top 25 Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association.”
The lessons that he has learned throughout his journey equipped Attorney Rodriguez with wisdom that he hopes to share with his colleagues. He is also on a mission to use his success to effect positive change to the larger community.
Q: None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful toward who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
A: “I have to thank my wife for always believing in me and lifting me up when I felt down. My children who are my biggest fans. My parents and parents-in-law for their unconditional love, support, and advice. My siblings and brothers-in-law for always having my back. And of course, I have to thank all my clients and former clients who have made my profession possible.”
Q: Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not burn out?
A: “Do not let others dictate what you want to do with your life. Follow your heart and do not let fear make the decisions you have to make.”
Dagoberto recalls a relevant experience serving as a partner for another firm. The firm wanted to redirect its course into another field of law. He had everything a lawyer could want: good pay, multiple associates, and numerous staff members. However, he did not feel any connection to what he was doing. This was when Dagoberto decided to start his own law firm.
In retrospect, he admits that his decision has not been easy or cheap. What his experience made him realize is how rewarding it is to break free from the bonds of fear. Following his heart led him to grow both as a professional and as a business person.
Through his work, Dagoberto has recovered money for those who were injured and needed assistance to pay for medical treatment. He is also actively contributing whatever he can to help his home country, Venezuela. His hope is to use his success to share goodness to the world.