Just entering her professional prime after years working with some of the field's top attorneys, Khadija Misuraca is emerging as one of Long Island's more skilled young matrimonial lawyers. A name partner at the family law firm of Barrocas, Mintz, Misuraca & Record, Misuraca - along with her two partners, Laura A. Mintz and Emily S. Record - are part of a new generation of grounded and practical divorce lawyers practicing in the region today. (Their senior colleague and founding partner, the respected litigator Sol Barrocas, recently retired, but remains a strong influence.)
Like many of her peers, Misuraca possesses a calm, poised demeanor that conceals a personal determination and resolve, all of which have helped propel her career. Khadija grew up in the tight-knit community of Dyker Heights, in the shadow of the Verrazano Bridge, which in her high school years she crossed every day to attend Notre Dame Academy in Staten Island. "I was always the good kid, the good student - nothing very rebellious about me," she says. "Some were into sports as a kid - I was into art." She thought early on of becoming a doctor, but at SUNY Binghamton she chose the school's prestigious Philosophy Politics and Law (PPL) program, in part for its expansive curriculum. And she loved college: "It was very competitive but everyone knew how to have fun."
After getting her degree she spent some time in Australia, giving her a chance to reflect on her options, first among them law school. She went to Hofstra Law in the fall of 2002; "After 9/11 it was suddenly a different world - people started making decisions differently, and staying close to home mattered." Early on her focus was on environmental law, which would tie in her interest in life sciences, but "I was pretty practical about about creating professional opportunities, so I had to keep an open mind."
One instructor, Randy Sheppard, recommended Misuraca to Sol Barrocas, the former prosecutor whose Garden City practice was one of the most active on Long Island. While in law school she clerked in the office of Nassau County Supreme Court Judge Ute Wolff Lally, where Misuraca gained valuable insights on court protocols and personalities. When she joined the Barrocas firm she was the youngest associate, "trained in constructive legal approaches from the first day." She added, "After only a few months I knew family law would be my focus. There was a culture of diligently and urgently serving clients that I really appreciated." For Misuraca, family law is "intensely personal compared with other areas of the law, and that kind of interaction played to my strengths."
Misuraca remained with Barrocas when he split with his partner in May 2012; the move gave her more responsibility and a higher profile. Today Barrocas, Mintz, Misuraca & Record, with offices on Stewart Avenue in Garden City, attracts clients from throughout the region; Emily Record, for one, lives in Manhattan, and the firm maintains a presence there as well. Misuraca, now in her late 30s, already has a range of trial and mediation experience. Some of her clients arrive from the places Misuraca grew up; "In that respect I've never really left home." Moreover, Misuraca's older sister, Yasmine, is today a well known forensic accountant with the Marks Paneth firm in Manhattan.
Khadija Misuraca says she loves family-oriented Long Island, where "there's a certain respect for work-home balance, which we all strive for." She and her husband, George Laskas, have a three-year-old daughter, and they live in Long Beach, a short commute to her Garden City office.