Honduran couple brings law firm, gourmet coffee to St. Paul

After Inti Martínez-Alemán graduated from Mitchell Hamline School of Law in 2016, he knew he didn’t want to work at somebody else’s firm. 

“I didn’t want to have a boss. I wanted to work for myself,” said Martínez-Alemán. “I wanted to have the freedom to choose my clients, my fees, and my schedule.”

After passing the bar exam, Martínez-Alemán, 37, connected with an incubator program called LegalWise, which provided him with office space, administrative support, software, and a pipeline to both clients and professional mentors in exchange for a modest fee. 

With that, Martínez-Alemán launched Ceiba Fôrte Law Firm the same year he graduated.  The ceiba is a towering tree from the tropics and is considered sacred by the Mayan people, while fôrte means “strong” in Spanish. The operation caters primarily to Spanish-speaking clients in civil matters related to business, real estate, and employment.