Atara Twersky, is principal owner at Twersky Law Group PLLC and also serves as Director of Institutional Investor Services and Of Counsel at Abraham, Fruchter & Twersky, LLP. (“AF&T”) Atara concentrates her practice in securities litigation and advises public and private institutions throughout the world concerning shareholder rights as they relate to class action and individual direct action claims arising under U.S. federal and state laws. Atara works hard to ensure that all her clients understand the many different avenues of portfolio recoveries and she leaves no stone unturned in educating her clients on the best ways to ensure that their investment portfolio remains healthy and robust.
Atara is the host of a popular podcast, Pensions and Investments Podcast where she uses her platform to educate her investment community, interviewing industry professionals and changemakers, including CEO’s, Executive Directors, General Counsel and others who can help provide insights and share their experiences on all matters relating to their investment portfolios and potential avenues for growth and recoveries.
Atara is also a mom of 3 school age children and the author of the popular children’s book series, Curlee Girlee, inspired by her own young daughter and written for all curly girls in an effort to ensure they love their hair and all their unique features and are empowered to become the strong confident women of tomorrow! Atara is married to Mitchell Twersky, managing partner at AF&T, together they live with their children, in Manhattan.
Authority Magazine Interview
Read it here to really get to know Atara
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. Before we dig in, our readers would love to get to know you a bit more. What is the “backstory” that brought you to this particular career path in Law? Did you want to be an attorney “when you grew up”?
I actually wanted to be a broadcast journalist. I love people and enjoy hearing other people’s stories. I envisioned myself as the host of a TV Talk show. I am a good read on people and a good listener and very much like to connect with others through their journeys. I also like to fight for those without a voice and have always had a strong sense of truth and justice, this is most likely where the idea of becoming a lawyer took root.
Can you tell us a bit about the nature of your practice and what you focus on?
-My legal practice is concentrated on securities class action litigation, antitrust claims, derivative claims, mass tort claims and whistleblower actions. In my work, I protect individual and institutional shareholders with regard to their investment portfolios. Essentially when they lose money as a consequence of fraud perpetrated by companies (and their insiders) I work to recover lost monies and increase their overall investment portfolios. Essentially I am protecting the underdog just as I envisioned I would as a child. I practice in State and Federal Courts throughout the United States and advise international and global clients as well.
You are a successful attorney. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Perseverance, a strong work ethic, and my ability to read the situation quickly and empathize with those around me.
What unique qualities do you have that others may not?
I literally never give up!! I love the idea that if you cannot get through the front door you can go through the back door. I believe in life you can always find a way and the word “NO” does not exist in my vocabulary. I tell this to my children all the time- I have had many failures and I always allow a time period to “mourn” my failures but then once that time period is over I force myself right back on the horse. Thought follows action and often just trying again and again and again until you get it right is an antidote to failure.
Do you think you have had luck in your success? Can you explain what you mean?
I don’t believe in pure luck. I think you are lucky when opportunity and timing meet but then it is up to you to take advantage of the moment(s) and do the work necessary to get to success.
Do you think where you went to school has any bearing on your success? How important is it for a lawyer to go to a top-tier school?
I do not believe where i went to school (Brooklyn Law School- a very prestigious but not #1 school) has any bearing on my success and while it is important to aim for the stars and do the best you can to get into the best school suited for you, the amazing part of living in our Country is that you have the opportunity, through hard work and determination and sheer grit to make it in any field you are in. School and education is very important but I would not get bogged down in making it to the “best” schools. Very creative changemakers often are not the ones who are selected for the top schools as the mindset of a student who excels at standardized testing (an important criteria for entry) is often very different from those who think outside the box and are able to envision the world in a way that others do not.
Based on the lessons you have learned from your experience, if you could go back in time and speak to your twenty-year-old self, what would you say? Would you do anything differently?
Having children allows you to speak to your 20-year-old self often (and your 7, 10, 15, 16 year-old as well!) What I would tell myself is to follow your heart that money will follow, or it may not, so have a fall back because there are realities in life. But if you feel passionately about your projects you will excel and fulfillment and happiness comes from leading a meaningful life. Also enjoy long summer days but “stay out of the sun” and travel!!!
This is not easy work. What is your primary motivation and drive behind the work that you do?
As I said, I love people and I love to help the underdog. Working in securities litigation, where I am protecting the retirement systems of so many of our public servants, helps me to keep going even on the tough days!
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I cannot really divulge the specifics of any cases I am working on but I am working on behalf of many large institutions to protect their investments against many high profile companies. Letting these companies know that no matter how big they think they are, we will not be deterred from working on behalf of the everyday person is always exciting. Also I am now the host of a popular investment and legal podcast, Pensions and Investments, allows me to interview some amazing people in the industry. Listening to their story of success and failure and learning that we are all so much more alike than we are different is gratifying and exciting in so many ways.
Where do you go from here? Where do you aim to be in the next chapter of your career?
I hope to continue to grow on the path I am on, continue to meet interesting changemakers through my podcast and help shareholders to maximize their investments portfolios for themselves and in their capacity as fiduciaries.
Ok, fantastic. Let’s now shift to discussing some advice for aspiring lawyers. Do you work remotely? Onsite? Or Hybrid? What do you think will be the future of how law offices operate? What do you prefer? Can you please explain what you mean?
I have shifted to working mostly at home, though others in my office do come in daily. I never thought I would say this, since I am someone who likes to wake up and get dressed and go, I am not someone who can spend hours in one place, but there is something really nice about being able to work from my home office, especially as a mother, knowing I have flexibility and can pick up from school if necessary, take any of my children to a class and generally be home for them when they arrive, which I had not been able to do prior to remote working. The thing is obviously I was able to do it, I just did think I was able to do so but the shift has been so freeing for me. There is no better time to get into your child’s world than right when they come home from school. An hour later they have shifted to home mode but in those moments when they work through the door, you can really get a feel for their day; these moments are invaluable to me. I do think there will be a shift in how we work as many people are wanting freedom and flexibility and once kids are in school, there is a block of time that can allow for continuous and concentrated work. I think the ability to work in teams and interact with colleagues is invaluable so a hybrid would be nice. The key is that when employees feel more control I believe they will be more productive. It is important to collaborate with employees and those on your team to determine what is best for each of them as these discussions and shared decisions will allow for maximum worker satisfaction which I believe is the key to maximum productivity.
How has the legal world changed since COVID? How do you think it might change in the near future? Can you explain what you mean? The legal world has changed in much the way the rest of the world has; we are working in ways we never thought possible, court appearances on zoom- that did not seem like a viable possibility but now everything seems possible. The legal world has expanded so there is really much more room for creativity and problem solving.
We often hear about the importance of networking and getting referrals. Is this still true today? Has the nature of networking changed or has its importance changed? Can you explain what you mean?
Networking is always important. I find if you work hard for a client and are honest and straightforward they will appreciate that and referrals follow naturally from there.
Based on your experience, how can attorneys effectively leverage social media to build their practice?
We live in an incredibly digital society that consists of the majority of the population using social media in some form or another. Find your medium whether it is Twitter or Linkedin, but always remember that your website is what you own so that is the place you really want people to find you.
Excellent. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things You Need To Become A Top Lawyer In Your Specific Field of Law?” Please share a story or an example for each.
In my field of securities litigation you need a deep knowledge and understanding of securities law, the stock market and how market interacts with investments, As with all areas of the law there is no substitute for working or interning in a law firm that specializes in your area of interest; it is only then that you can get a real sense of the field and whether you are well suited for it.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂
I interview many great and interesting people on my podcast and have been so fortunate. I would love to interview Yasir Al Rumayyan Governor of the Public Investment fund of Saudi Arabia. He is quite an inspiring figure: the way in which he manages one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world and interacts globally is quite amazing.