What service to the Latino community impassions you?
I was very privileged to serve the Latino community for more than 25 years as a federal judge, including six years as Chief Judge. It is my fond hope that my service inspired members of our Latino community to enter the legal profession and adopt Cesar Chavez’s “Si Se Puede” mentality. During my judicial tenure, I tried to interact with as many Latino students as possible so that they could see that judges are just plain human beings. I have been blessed to have mentored many young Latino professionals throughout my forty-year legal career. This is a small repayment for the many Latino attorneys and judges—like Justice David Cerda—who mentored me as a young attorney.
I also would like to pay homage to all our dedicated Latino law enforcement officers. Because of my good friend Felipe Sanchez, I was able to serve as an Assistant United States Attorney for four years prior to becoming a judge. During those four years, and my entire judicial career, time and time again I saw dedicated Latinx law enforcement officers and prosecutors readily give their time and risk their lives for our community. These law enforcement professionals make us proud and thankful.
During my next professional chapter, as a Big Law partner, I will continue to try to serve the Latino community by striving to consistently champion the twin goals of diversity in our legal profession and social justice.