Jacqueline A. Salcines is Distinguished for Hands-on Approach and Wealth of Knowledge

Since 2002, Jacqueline A. Salcines’ practice has consisted of primarily real estate law, title, and business matters.

Jacqueline A. Salcines

Photo Credit: Salcines Law

Mrs. Salcines recently spoke to Haute Lawyer about the beginnings of Salcines Law and what has led to her incredible success in the field of real estate law.

Haute Lawyer: What led you to decide to open your own firm?

Jacqueline A. Salcines: Right out of high school, while studying Accounting at the University of Miami, I applied for and was hired as a legal secretary in a prominent downtown law firm. As a legal assistant, I was quickly exposed to so many different aspects of the law. Business Litigation definitely attracted me at first, but it was not until I went to work for a very prominent criminal defense attorney who later became my mentor, that I knew private practice was for me. He took me to federal criminal court with him on a daily basis and I became quickly enthralled with the practice of law and with becoming a solo practitioner. I admired how he ran his office so effortlessly, so many clients and staff depending on one person. It became both a challenge and a goal. I worked as a legal assistant all through law school, and after graduating it was just natural to open up my own firm. I had gained so much experience and knowledge, I knew I didn’t want to work for anyone but myself.

HL: That’s so interesting. In essence, your time as a legal secretary was invaluable.

JAS: Absolutely. During those eight years, I worked in so many different firms getting my feet wet learning bankruptcy law, commercial litigation, business law, real estate and even worked at a firm that handled asbestos class action suits. When you’re a legal secretary, you really do much of the leg work for the attorney, and I was the type that became fully engrossed, wanting to learn as much as I could, including researching and drafting documents. I knew my boss was depending on me and always wanted to impress them. If I didn’t know it, I would learn it. By the time I graduated, I had learned so much, and had so much hands-on experience, both in and out of court, I was ready to open my own practice.

HL: What do you feel sets your practice apart from other firms?

JAS: I always get told by my clients that they are pleasantly surprised and impressed at how hands-on I am. At many firms, including the ones I worked for early in my career as an assistant, the attorney would sit with the potential client and once they retained, the client never again saw the attorney. Most just don’t want to deal with the client. My practice is quite the opposite. I don’t know if it’s because I love what I do, I love real estate, or I just love helping people. But when you hire me, 99% of the time, whether by phone or in person, you get me! And this goes not just for my clients, but also my business partners, realtors and bankers I partner with. My reasoning is that if they hired me and are paying me for my know-how and experience, its only right for them to get me, not send them to my staff. Whether I am handling a real estate closing or business matter, or answering a client call, my clients and partners want answers and solutions, and that’s what I am there for. I love placing the client at ease so they know what to expect. And physically sitting at the closing table, explaining what the client is signing and experiencing the joy of buying and selling real estate, that is just icing on the cake. So yes, it’s that active involvement that I feel sets me apart.

HL: Does the national economic landscape ever affect your practice when it comes to real estate law? 

JAS: It’s interesting, even though my practice is concentrated in real estate, so many years working in so many firms has afforded me the know-how to be able to offer different services to my clients, in line with the changing economic landscape. When real estate hit a slump in 2008, I was just coming off a very active four years with appreciated real estate values, especially in Miami. When all the foreclosures started popping up, the same clients I had helped refinance or purchase property, were now losing their homes and needed foreclosure and debt defense. I was able to lead my firm into a very successful foreclosure defense practice, with a solid team to handle short sales and debt defense. Recent years have once again shifted the landscape, with the COVID outbreak and the influx of out-of-state buyers, which catapulted Florida real estate. I pride myself on being able to offer a wide array of services to my ever-changing clients, whether they need a 1031 exchange, FIRPTA assistance, landlord tenant evictions, or any other business need. This general practice compliments my real estate practice and allows me to offer a full package to the client, so they don’t need to go elsewhere to fulfill all their legal needs.

HL: What vision do you have for the future of the firm? 

JAS: Whether or not the country enters a recession, the housing market, especially in South Florida, remains solid. This makes it an excellent moment to continue to expand my real estate practice, and continue to assist local and international buyers with their buying and selling needs. Real estate is one of the greatest long-term investments we make in our lifetime and the luxury real estate market in South Florida will continue to thrive. I am glad to be a part of it and glad to be able to do what I love.