Lady B Hits Pause on Project Runway to Talk Scalia, Google and Misunderstood Clients
Discovery with Juan Baez
Published in 2019 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers magazine
By Juan Baez on May 16, 2019
My nickname is … Lady B. My BFF loves Lady Gaga and coined me Lady B, “B” for Baez.
I can’t go a day without … listening to music or going to the gym. I often do both as a form of stress relief.
The quality I most like in a lawyer is … the ability to communicate another person’s story as if it were their own.
If I weren’t a lawyer, I’d be … in the fashion industry. Prior to law school, I took sewing classes at FIT in NYC. I decided it would be a better hobby than a career.
The SCOTUS justice I’d like to meet is … Justice Antonin Scalia. He was unapologetic about what he believed and you always knew where he stood. Our perspectives were different, but I appreciated that he was true to his convictions.
A different practice area that intrigues me is … tax law. When I started at the AIDS Law Project, many clients had IRS debt. Many accumulated it because they didn’t expect to live as long as they did. I helped many resolve IRS debt, and it gave me a different perspective of tax law.
The talent I wish I had is … the ability to sing.
I get angry when … someone is unwilling to listen. I approach life from a place of understanding, even if we disagree on the topic.
My motto is … you cannot control others, you can only control how you act and react.
The movie line I quote most often is … “No, no … that wasn’t a question.” –Miranda from The Devil Wears Prada.
The three people I’d invite to dinner are … Leonardo da Vinci, Niccolò Machiavelli and Oprah Winfrey. Da Vinci: Renaissance man; Machiavelli: master at getting people to do what he wanted. Oprah? All of those things.
The last TV show I binge-watched was … Project Runway.
My least-favorite phrase is … “I don’t care.”
If I won the lottery I’d … travel the world and start a foundation to help individuals motivated to improve their lives.
The most annoying thing about my job is … watching well-intended services and programs not be administered correctly.
The greatest song lyric ever written is … “Teach them well and let them lead the way, Show them all the beauty they possess inside. Give them a sense of pride to make it easier.” – “The Greatest Love of All”
The most misunderstood part of my practice area is … this question: “Why do people living with HIV need a specific legal services provider?” At the start of the AIDS epidemic, injustice was common. While we’ve made progress, people living with HIV still battle stigma and discrimination. For the most part, they are people living complicated existences, who want to do better and live with dignity.
The app I can’t live without is … Google.
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Juan M. BaezTop rated Legal Aid & Pro Bono lawyer AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA
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