LAS VEGAS —Briana Martinez was featured in Nevada Trailblazer article published in NV Lawyer magazine.
Born and raised in Las Vegas, Briana holds a deep connection to her Cuban roots. Her family emigrated from Cuba in the 1960s and 70s. The decision to move to the U.S. came after both her grandfathers were released from being political prisoners.
Since they already had family living in the valley, moving to Las Vegas was a natural choice. Briana’s maternal grandfather, Rudy Valdes, had been a roulette dealer in Cuba. His experience helped him secure a job quickly once he was in the U.S. Her paternal great-grandfather opened the first Hispanic grocery store in Las Vegas, called “El Relampago Cubano,” meaning “Cuban Lightning” which was in business for 50-plus years and a mainstay in the Hispanic community.
Her parents met through the Las Vegas, Cuban community, which is very small and everyone in it is considered family, and had Martinez at the ages of 19 and 20. Her mother, Nora Montoya, spent most of her career in accounting and her father, Juan A. Martinez Jr., opened a real estate brokerage, and he was eventually featured alongside U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto as one of the most influential Hispanics in Las Vegas.
During high school, Martinez participated in the National Honor Society and attended school sports and social events. Since her parents worked during the day, her grandparents stepped in as primary caregivers. Her closeness to her family was apparent to everyone.
“My grandparents were one of the most influential set of people in my life. I owe them everything,” Martinez said. “They helped instill my Cuban roots, my sense of self, and my closeness to family. I wouldn’t be who I am without them.”
To gain work experience, Martinez worked at her father’s real estate brokerage assisting with administrative duties. Always one to expect more of herself, she wanted to have a better understanding of the business and asked for more responsibilities. She worked as a quickly moved into other positions eventually learning to manage rental properties, and the brokerage’s accounting department.
She attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, eventually becoming the first in her family to graduate college. During college, she interned for U.S. Senator Harry Reid and worked with the Foreclosure Mediation Program. During her internship, where she utilized the opportunity to explore law. She joined Phi Alpha Delta (PAD), UNLV’s pre-law society, and started studying for the LSAT.
At UNLV, she was introduced to the Huellas program, a nationally recognized mentorship program. Her first mentor was Alex De Castroverde. The connection seemed fated. The De Castroverde and Martinez families have ties dating back many decades. De Castroverde’s father, Waldo, a pillar in the Cuban community, was close acquaintances with Martinez’s grandfather.
“Huellas is the foundation of my professional success. Without people like Alex, Marisa Rodriguez, and Claudia Aguayo, I would not be where I am today. Moving forward, my goal with Huellas is to try to give back in the same life altering way I received,” Martinez said.
Impressed by her drive and work ethic, Reid agreed to write her a letter of recommendation for law school and accepted to Boyd on a full scholarship. At Boyd, Martinez engaged with the community through several organizations. Notably, she was on the board of PAD and was treasurer, then president, of La Voz. While serving as president, she started a “Rebel Raiser” with Leonardo Benavides for La Voz for scholarships. Years later, the La Voz’s Rebel Raiser is still going strong. She was also the business law editor for the Nevada Journal, intended for Judge Adriana Escobar and Judge Gloria Navarro, and worked for the Attorney General’s office. After graduating law school, she clerked for Judge Joe Hardy.
Martinez is a busy associate at Kaempfer Crowell with a broad transactional practice, focused on business transactions, real estate, and regulatory work. Her work schedule has not slowed down her community efforts. She is president of the Nevada Latino Bar Association (LBA). In her role with the LBA, she mentors younger students and, this year alone, has organized and hosted several large events including the LBA’s annual Inspira awards, honoring former Governor Brian Sandoval, and the fifth annual Andale!5k Run/Walk. The three-year leadership position is a labor of love, and her commitment has not gone unrecognized.
“Briana is a great leader in so many ways. She has vision, passion, and an unparalleled work ethic. Whatever she sets out to do, she gets it done, and done well,” previous president Claudia Aguaya said.
Martinez is also a mentor with Huellas, as chair of her firm’s Diversity & Inclusion committee, and a member of the Events committee. She has also been recognized as Nevada Legal Elite, a Best Up and Coming Attorney, and a Top Rank Attorney by Nevada Business Magazine.
In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, close-knit group of best friends, and her LBA family.
With offices in Las Vegas, Reno and Carson City, Kaempfer Crowell is recognized as one of Nevada’s top law firms for Government Relations, Land Use & Zoning, Litigation, Gaming, Administrative Law, Energy & Natural Resources, Real Estate, Bankruptcy, Telecommunications, and Labor & Employment. The firm has more than 30 practicing attorneys, the majority of whom are native and long-term Nevadans. Kaempfer Crowell’s lawyers counsel top corporations, business owners and individuals. The firm’s attorneys are routinely rated among The Best Lawyers in America®.