Amaya & Associates : Attorney At Law – An Interview With Maria Amaya.

by | May 5, 2016 | Lawyers



Q 1.  Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.

Ans:  Amaya & Associates – Attorneys at Law is located in Chico, California. Our firm is a multi-area law practice providing legal representation to clients in need of Criminal Defense, DUI Defense, Personal Injury and Family Law. For the past 14 years our lawyers have represented individuals in northern California, from Sacramento to Shasta County.

Q 2.  Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).

Ans:  Prior to earning my Juris Doctor Degree I worked as a Paralegal for numerous Law Firms in Chico, Yuba City, Monterey and Santa Cruz, California. In the 15 years employed as a Paralegal I acquired extensive experience in the areas of Criminal Defense, DUI, Personal Injury, Family Law, and Workers Compensation, under the direct supervision of highly skilled attorneys. In 2002 I was hired as an Associate Attorney with Law Offices of Matthew E. Williamson, a Firm based in Monterey and Pebble Beach, California. In 2003 I became a full partner of the Chico based office, and in 2004 the sole proprietor of what is today “Amaya & Associates Attorneys at Law.”

Q 3.  What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?

Ans:  Since I was a little girl, my ultimate dream was to become an attorney and perhaps someday own my business. I am very grateful to many individuals who inspired me begin a private law practice despite the many challenges associated with this venture. The field of criminal defense in northern California 14 years ago was almost exclusively dominated by men. My goal was to provide an additional option for those clients that wished to be represented by a female lawyer. For many years I was the only private practice female, Latina lawyer in north of Sacramento.

Q 4.  What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?


  1. Be willing to work hard and provide quality services.
  2. Any new business will find many challenges in the initial stages – encourage yourself to step out of the box and find created solutions.
  3. Treat your clients with respect and carefully listen to their needs.

Q 5.  What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?


  1. Strong expertise in your field and the need to constantly acquire new skills and knowledge.
  2. Deliver the services your client requested and gain their complete trust. Happy client will become your primary source advertisement and future referrals.
  3. Develop excellent communication and listening skills. Make your clients feel important.

Q 6.  How many hours do you work a day on average?

Ans:  Most business owners do not have set hours, particularly when just establishing a new business. For private practice attorneys it is not uncommon to work between 50-70 hours per week.

Q 7.  To what do you most attribute your success?

Ans:  I believe my success as an attorney is attributed to expressing genuine interest in the clients I represent. I am very honest with them and provide legal advice that looks at multiple options and solutions to their legal needs that will have the least impact on their daily lives.

Q 8.  How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?

Ans:  I have marketed my law practice on TV, Yellow Page Book, Direct Advertisement, Google Ads, Radio and Internet. A combination of these approaches has been beneficial at different stages. Today, internet and mobile advertisement is essential. Providing quality services is the best advertisement because satisfied clients will always make referrals.

Q 9.  Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?

Ans:  The starting capital for my law firm came from several years of savings. The psychological capital was created by my mother who migrate to the United States with all her children to provide them a better life. My way to thank my mother for all of her sacrifices was by becoming the first person in our family to attend a university education. I later became an attorney and business owner to complete my dream and provide an example for my younger siblings. Financial capital is important, psychological capital is essential because it provides the motivation to be successful.

Q 10.  What is the best way to achieve long-term success?

Ans:  It reality success is combination of many factors that coincide with timing. It is very important to be internally motivated to succeed, embrace challenges and view them as opportunities to grow, surround yourself with positive individuals, treat people with respect and show gratitude for life in general.

Q 11.  Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?

Ans:  My hope is continue my business for a very long time. Perhaps in 10 years I will be partially retired but continuing to develop innovating ways to provide the best legal representation in Northern California.

Q 12.  How important have good employees been to your success?

Ans:  It is essential to have quality employees that are devoted to common goals and business objectives. When you have employees you can trust and willing to work hard your chances of having a successful business improve.

Q 13.  How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?

Ans:  Time and resources is very important in the legal field. When ideas divert attention from quality services, time and resources – it is important to accept that the idea needs more careful analysis. Perhaps it is the wrong idea.

Q 14.  How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?

Ans:  A private law practice requires complete devotion and time. When you have a family that understands these principles and is supportive or your success, it allows for more flexibility. Many sacrifices are needed, but a good business owner needs to be aware that success cannot be built on sacrificing the family system. Spending quality time with family and friends is necessary. Individualistic success, in my opinion, has less value than shared success with your loved ones.

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