Alumna Credits Student Organizations as Key

Beatriz "Bibi" Azcuy, J.D. '94, is a founder and co-managing partner of Sidley Austin's Miami office, head of the real estate group in Miami, and Miami chair of the diversity, equity, and inclusion committee. The 157-year-old $3 billion global firm is one of the largest, with over 2,300 lawyers serving 21 offices.
Alumna Credits Student Organizations as Key
Beatriz Azcuy, J.D. '94, left, Yvette Ostolaza, B.A. '85, J.D. '92

Beatriz "Bibi" Azcuy has 30 years of experience advising and representing financial institutions, investment banks, private equity funds, and other institutional clients in a broad range of commercial real estate transactions across the United States and Latin America. Her practice also includes selling, acquiring, developing, managing, and leasing various commercial real estate properties and advises companies in Chapter 11 and corporate transactions involving significant real estate portfolios.

The Hialeah, Florida, native has been recognized by Daily Business Review's Florida Legal Awards as a 2023 "Best Mentor" honoree. She was named a 2023 Florida Trend "Legal Elite Notable Managing Partner." She was also recognized in 2022 by Latino Leaders Magazine as a "Top Latino Lawyer." Azcuy received "Top Dealmaker of the Year" for real estate finance by the Daily Business Review in 2011 for her work on restructuring the $2.7 billion Beacon Capital Partners loan. At the time, the loan was one of the largest commercial real estate loans ever securitized. She has been recommended as a "Best Lawyer" by Best Lawyers in America for Real Estate Law in Miami and recommended by Legal 500 for Real Estate.

Your undergraduate degree is in economics. So why law school? Why Miami Law?

As a teenager, I worked as a receptionist at a title company owned by a lawyer, Raul G. Mendoza. Several months into the job, Raul told me that I gave him no choice but to fire me. After the initial shock, he explained that I was wasting my potential and that I should go to law school. This was a turning point for me. 

I enrolled in Miami-Dade Community College and ultimately graduated with honors from Florida International University. To be honest, I chose Economics because I didn’t want to take an accounting class and ended up loving the subject.  Throughout college, I continued to work at the title company to pay for school. I was not sure how I was going to pay for law school, but I applied anyway. Fortunately, at the time, the University of Miami had a night program. I was accepted, continued to work full-time, and earned top grades. After my first year, the School of Law awarded me a full merit scholarship, which allowed me to transfer to the day program. I ultimately ended up at a top 10 AmLaw law firm working as a real estate associate. 

It's a long and winding path, but I will forever be grateful to Raul and the "U" for the opportunities and support they gave me. 

Almost 30 years post-law school, what would you tell your first-year self? Is there anything you would have done differently?

Get involved in the various extra-curricular activities Miami Law has to offer law students and participate in or attend as many events as you can. When I was in school, I was an active member of the University of Miami Law Review, the Charles C. Papy Moot Court Board, and the International Moot Court Board.  Those organizations provided me with rich experiences and wonderful relationships. For anyone still in law school (which includes my daughter, [Monica Diaz] currently a 2L at Miami Law), my advice is to join clubs and volunteer for organizations that matter to you because that is where you will meet others who share your interests and create lifelong friendships. Relationships will always be KEY to your success and happiness.

 What would surprise people to know about you? 

I recently hired a private tutor to improve my conversational and grammatical skills in Spanish.

You were at the same firm for almost 28 years, rising to partner. What made you make the leap to Sidley Austin?

My leap to Sidley is probably the easiest and quickest business decision that I have ever made. That said, I am not sure that I would have taken the leap if I didn't trust the person recruiting me. I was on vacation with my three kids when I got a call from a former mentor and partner -Yvette Ostolaza, Sidley's management committee chair. 

She was on the line asking me where I was as if we had spoken every day. Although Yvette and I were at Miami Law together, we only briefly crossed paths there. I joined the same law firm she joined earlier but in a different office and department. Years later, I was in her office for a client meeting. There we were—two Cuban American women from Miami and Miami Law at a top firm. We bonded, and she took it upon herself to mentor me. Her guidance and mentorship were instrumental in my elevation to partnership years later.

She left that firm about 10 years ago to join Sidley, but we kept in touch. When she reached out last year and shared the firm's vision for the Miami office and what made Sidley “Built to Win”, I leaped (almost literally). When you trust someone, share their vision, and know firsthand they have a proven track record of success and helping others succeed, you don't hesitate.

What's next?

True to my real estate background: Building.

Building an office that delivers top legal services and value to our global clients. 

Building an office as diverse as this city. 

Building a team of the most talented lawyers and business professionals. 

Building a successful business that affords growth opportunities for everyone who joins Sidley. 

Building relationships in the South Florida community and working to make it better for the next generation.  

Read more about Miami Law's student organizations.