Class of 2015 with joint MBA
B.A., Marketing, minor in International Business
Eastern Washington University
What did you do before law school, and what led you to pursue a law degree?
Until I was about 14 years old, I lived in Venezuela. My mother, understanding our future was at risk, decided to take a leap of faith and move to the United States for a better life. I am the first of 28 cousins to earn a degree. During college, I worked for Bank of America, where I trained hundreds of loan officers in Spanish and English. After college, I worked at Amazon, leading initiatives to enhance Amazon’s online customer experience. Then I decided to gain more business experience at Starbucks headquarters, resolving complex international business issues.
While my work focused predominantly on serving corporate clients, I also participated in my community. I volunteered at El Centro and the King County Bar Association legal clinics to assist low-income clients facing real life-hindering legal issues. I ensured my clients received the right information and were kept informed about the legal process until we found a solution. Looking back, I believe my experience growing up, coupled with my motivation to get involved, affirmed my decision to attend law school.
How has Seattle University School of Law benefited you? What have you found most valuable during your law school experience?
Even before I became a law student, the people at this school were exceptionally helpful and interested in my success. The first time I visited, I felt a sense of belonging. I was introduced to staff members and alumni who were more than willing to answer all my questions and offer helpful advice. To this day, my first impression continues to be true. As a 1L, I co-founded the Business & Entrepreneurship Law Association to help law students interested in exploring all aspects of business law. I introduced the idea to some of my professors and they all offered substantive advice, feedback, and agreed to continue being involved. This is just one of many ways this school has supported and encouraged me to pursue my goals.
Was there a defining moment or experience that confirmed your decision to become a lawyer?
My defining moment to attend law school occurred while I was volunteering. Like most Thursdays, the legal clinic is filled with Latinos in search of legal help. Mario, a native Spanish speaker in his 50s, was in desperate need of guidance. As a volunteer interpreter, I found that this was the third time he visited a legal clinic. He was “forced out of his home after trying to make his payment,” he told us. He had money to refinance, but no bank had taken his loan, and he was afraid for his life. Mario had built his own home and spent most of his life keeping it up, but now he faced losing it. I did not want to let that happen.
In deciding which career path to pursue, I recalled some of my best work while teaching and explaining complex legal terms and conditions to Latino clients. I loved it, and I began to explore the idea of law school to deepen my knowledge and be able to help the community at another level. My motivation and drive led me to prevent injustice and assist Mario with his foreclosed home. After that experience, I realized my passion is to serve people on legal issues. Over the last couple of years, I have made the conscious decision to make this passion the focus of my career. It is for this reason that I am pursuing a legal degree at Seattle University School of Law.