Merlino & Gonzalez September 2018

September 2018





Get to Know Alexandra Catuogno I knew that I wanted to work at Merlino & Gonzalez long before I was an official full- time member of the team. I joined the firm in 2013 as an intern with no legal experience. I was studying at John Jay College, working toward my degree in law and society and commuting from borough to borough every day. John made sure I never felt that my internship was taking away from my studies. “If they’re this nice to a lowly intern,” I thought, “this firm is definitely the place for me.”

planning and real estate matters. To that end, we want to get to know our clients as people and guide them through major life decisions. Another aspect of my job that I value is how exciting it is. It’s never boring to work here, because we always have something going on. I also appreciate the variety that this type of firm offers. We work with all types of people and handle a variety of legal matters. The ever-surprising nature of my job keeps me engaged and on my toes. Speaking of staying active, I’m a fitness nut. To me, a day without going to the gym feels incomplete. The team here likes to joke that if we ever had an office Olympics, I’d need a bigger desk for all the gold medals I’d win. Now, I don’t think that’s totally true — Ken is a pretty good athlete — but I appreciate the support I get from my coworkers. During the summers, I always make time to head to the Jersey Shore for a few weekends at the beach. It’s always held a special place in my heart. Even if I went to Hawaii or Ibiza, I’m sure that my preferred beach would still be this one here on the Eastern Seaboard. My other favorite hobby is shopping, so if you know of any good local boutiques or shops, don’t hesitate to let me know. In closing, I just want to say what a joy it is to work at Merlino & Gonzalez. Most people aren’t lucky enough to have a job they’re legitimately excited to go to, but I’m one of the lucky few. We really are a family here, albeit one with more than its fair share of crazy aunts and uncles. I wouldn’t have it any other way. –Alexandra Catuogno

After graduating in 2016, I was honored to accept a role as a full-time paralegal at the firm. Since then, I haven’t looked back. I love working alongside such an amazing team, and you couldn’t ask for better bosses than John and Ken. They lead by example, caring about clients and doing the best work possible. It’s amazing to be in an environment where everybody is working passionately toward the same goal. Oh, and John and Ken are both hilarious, although not always intentionally. It’s a good thing that I genuinely love my job so much, as it would be pretty tough to greet clients cheerfully if I didn’t. Developing relationships with our clients is one of my favorite parts of the job. Unlike many law firms, we don’t think of our clients as one-and- done cases. Our goal is to be your lifetime law firm for all estate



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