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1909-2019 | Celebrating Our 110th Anniversary: A Conversation with Maria Bernal

You’ve held a number of different positions during your nearly three decades with the firm. Can you tell us how your role has evolved over time? 

I started as a proofreader in the Word Processing Department in 1992. Back then, my workspace was tucked away in the back of the office, so I had very few interactions throughout the course of the day. From there, I moved into the Recruiting Department, then worked in HR and Professional Development, and eventually made the full transition into Administration. At this point, I think just about everyone at the firm has received an email from me requesting a variety of things! It’s been great to interact with so many different people and groups within the firm, see the various facets of the business, and diversify the work I do to include broader administrative and executive support, as well as marketing efforts. 

In what ways was Loeb a different place when you first joined nearly three decades ago, and in what ways is it the same? 

So much has changed since I joined the firm that it would be difficult to encapsulate it in a few words. The one thing that has remained consistent throughout the years—and in my mind is one of Loeb’s best qualities—is how resilient and unified we have remained. This strength and sense of family are still present to this day, and I am really excited to see how they evolve as we move into the future. 

What are some of your favorite aspects of the firm that have kept you here all these years?  

The firm has afforded me so many opportunities to grow and flourish, both personally and professionally, and that is the biggest reason I am still here. The level of support and encouragement that I have received from supervisors, colleagues, mentors and friends over the past 27 years has helped me develop and grow in ways that I never expected, and allowed me to leave any fear or discomfort in that small back room and take on new challenges with optimism and confidence. I will always be grateful for every opportunity afforded to me and for everything that I’ve learned along the way.  

Can you share one of your favorite memories or proudest moments from your years at Loeb (so far)?  

I have too many favorite moments to mention, but one of the proudest moments happened recently and quite unexpectedly. I recently received a message from a family member who is an ex-Marine who served two tours in Afghanistan. His text message said: “I just want to thank you and Loeb & Loeb for caring about Veterans. It means a lot to me and to the entire community, since we are so often forgotten and left behind.” As it turns out, a few of our attorneys from the LA office were at a veterans event earlier that day providing pro bono assistance, and he was in attendance. Knowing that our pro bono efforts were having such a positive impact made me feel incredibly proud to be a Loeb employee.