1 Thank you for joining us this evening and for supporting the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association Scholarship Fund San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association Scholarship Fund 2012 Annual Scholarship Dinner & Gala YinTuition Cover art generously donated by Irene Carranza For more information on the artist please visit 36 x 48 inches, Oil Pastel on Museum Board Friday, October 19, 2012 Hard Rock Hotel
3 San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association Scholarship Fund 2012 Annual Scholarship Dinner & Gala Friday, October 19, 2012 Hard Rock Cafe San Diego, California 5:30 p.m. RECEPTION 7:00p.m. DINNER & PROGRAM WELCOME Nadia P. Bermudez, President of SDLRLA Scholarship Fund RECOGNITION OF EVENT SPONSORS Presented by Nadia P. Bermudez, President of SDLRLA Scholarship Fund EVENT SPONSORS Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovzky and Popeo, P.C., Sony, Union Bank, Robbins Umeda LLP, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP, SAIC, Dependency Legal Group of San Diego, Littler Mendelson P.C. VIP TABLE SPONSORS Best, Best & Krieger LLP, California Western School of Law, GCR, LLP, Jackson Lewis, LLP, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, University of San Diego School of Law PRESIDENT S ADDRESS & AWARDS Lizzette Herrera, President, SDLRLA, CONGRESSMAN BOB FILNER Presented by Rafael Castellanos INVESTITURE OF INCOMING BOARD OF DIRECTORS, KEYNOTE SPEAKER Thomas Saenz, President and General Counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) Presented by Hon. Amalia Meza SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS Presented by Juan E. Zúñiga Attorney of the Year Award Jose Garza Badillo Presented by Sergio Feria CLOSING REMARKS Rafael Castellanos, Incoming President After Dinner Reception 9:00 p.m. 11:00 p.m.
4 2012 Gala Sponsors: Gold Sponsor Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. Sony Union Bank Silver Sponsor Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP Robbins Umeda LLP SAIC Bronze Sponsor Dependency Legal Group of San Diego Littler Mendelson, P.C. In-Kind Sponsor Hard Rock Hotel VIP Table Sponsors Best Best & Krieger, LLP California Western School of Law GCR, LLP Jackson Lewis LLP Northwestern Mutual Financial Network Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek Thomas Jefferson School of Law University of San Diego School of Law Table Sponsors Federal Defenders of San Diego Law Offices of Jose Garza Badillo, Esq. Legal Aid Society of San Diego, Inc. Manning & Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez, Trester LLP Solomon Minton Cardinal Doyle & Smith LLP
5 2012 Individual Contributors: $1,000 - $2,500 Law Offices of Sergio Feria, Esq. Lizzette Herrera & Dr. Luis Castellanos $500-$999 Cross Border Law Group, PC Patricia Guerrero, Esq. Clarice Barrelet, Esq. $50-$499 Eran Bermudez, Esq. & Jason Gundel, Esq. Nadia P. Bermudez, Esq. Linda Brown, Esq. Rachel Cano, Esq. Rafael Castellanos, Esq. Hon. Anna Espana Renee Galente, Esq. Eric Ganci, Esq. Hon. Gary Haehnle Danielle Hickman, Esq. Erika Hiramatsu, Esq. Hon. Irma Gonzalez & Robert S. Brewer, Esq. Hon. Amalia Meza Enrique Muñoz, Esq. Adriana Sanchez, Esq. Angela H. Santamaria, Esq. Lorena Slomanson, Esq. Lilia Velasquez, Esq. Education Heroes Jose Castillo, Esq. Laura B. Castillo Anna Jauregui, Esq. Douglas Law, Esq. Education Hero Business Bad Boys Bail Bonds Thank you to all our sponsors and supporters!
6 President s Message In November of 2011, I gave birth to my first baby, a little boy named Lazarito. One month into my year as President of San Diego La Raza Lawyers, I became a mother. Other mothers had repeatedly told me that this would change my life in ways that I could not even begin to imagine. They were right. My worldview completely changed. I realized that the time that I spent away from my child needed to be something truly worthwhile. My involvement with La Raza Lawyers has definitely been a worthwhile endeavor. We build a community of professionals, mentor new attorneys, offer CLEs, involve ourselves in political activity, and work on community service projects. I welcome you to this year s annual San Diego La Raza Lawyers Scholarship Fund Dinner and Gala. We have had quite a year and have a lot to celebrate. We created a new webpage. We adopted a new logo. We hosted our first ever mayoral debate. We continue to work with our non profit arm to give law school scholarships and bar exam scholarships. I have to credit my board for having the vision and dedication to bring so many projects to fruition this past year. My board members contributed countless hours to the organization and our events. Renee Galente took on recreating our webpage and working with a design firm on our logo. Rafael Castellanos spearheaded the mayoral debate with plenty of help from Rodrigo Guevara and Claudia Arzaga. Joanna Solozabal was my right hand helping out at so many events. Lorena Slomanson and Eran Bermudez, experienced past presidents, were often my sounding boards and advisors. Sergio Feria was a constant and trusted treasurer, handling all financial reports. And Nadia Bermudez consistently handled the organizing and editing of the weekly announcements that reach over 1000 community members. Of course we were able to hold a mayoral debate, redesign the webpage, adopt a logo, hold a judiciary reception, mixers and CLEs! I had an excellent team willing to take on this work. I could not have been involved with La Raza Lawyers without the support of USD School of Law. My executive assistants, Graylin Clavell and Roseanne Preciado, made my life easier in handling administrative tasks and event details. My deans, Dean Mitnick, Dean Wiggins, and Dean Ferruolo, never closed the doors when I wanted to bring events, meetings, or speakers to USD. Whether it was a mayoral debate or a board retreat, there was always a place for us at USD. And I could not have made it through this year without the support of my husband who was my sounding board, my partner, and my best friend. I was already pregnant when I debated becoming President of La Raza Lawyers and he repeatedly encouraged me to take on the role and handled childcare duties during meetings and events.
7 I am very proud of what La Raza Lawyers accomplished this past year. But I would be remiss in thinking it was something that was completed exclusively by this year s board. We had, and continue to have, a lot of community support. Our partners in the San Diego County Bar, law schools, firms, and other community organizations have made this possible. The work done by past presidents and past board members has set an example. This is worthwhile work and it is work that I am confident will continue this coming year with our newly elected board members under Rafael Castellanos leadership. I hope you enjoy the evening and look at the valuable contributions San Diego La Raza Lawyers continues to make in the community each year. It is this worthwhile work scholarships, service, professional development that brings us together every year to meet with our colleagues, reconnect and celebrate. Yours Very Truly, Lizzette Herrera 2012 SDLRLA President San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association Past Presidents Hon. Rafael Arreola Manuel Corrales, Jr. Alejandro Balvaneda Hon. Roy B. Cazares George Aguilar Lilia Garcia Nicholas Aguilar Ruben Arizmendi Carlos Varela Elizabeth Bradley Ray Aragón Victor Nuñez Raymond J. Mercado Sergio Feria Virginia Calderón Rosemary Esparza Michael Pérez Clarice Estrada Barrelet Robert A. Garcia Esther Sanchez Lorena Slomanson Richard R. Castillo Alvin Gomez Nadia P. Bermudez John Jiménez Arturo Herrera Eran M. Bermudez Manuel L. Ramirez Luis Aragón
8 San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association Board of Directors Executive Officers Rafael Castellanos, President Renée Galente, Vice President Eran Bermudez, Secretary Jesse Blanco, Treasurer George Aguilar, Judicial Chair Lizzette Herrera, Immediate Past President Directors (One Year Term): Francisco Aldana Rodrigo Guevara Robert C. Rodriguez Lorena Slomanson (Two Year Term): Claudia Arzaga Alara Chilton Pablo C. Palomino Maria Nuñez Joanna M. Solozabal 2012 San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association Scholarship Fund Executive Officers Nadia P. Bermudez, President Angela H. Santamaria, Secretary Sergio Feria, Treasurer Juan E. Zúñiga, Asst. Secretary Directors Eran Bermudez Alara Chilton Renee Galente Lizzette Herrera Enrique Munoz Jake Romero Adriana Sanchez Scholarship Selection Committee Chairperson Juan E. Zúñiga San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association 2012 Annual Dinner Committee Lizzette Herrera, Co Chair Nadia P. Bermudez, Co Chair Renée Galente Lorena Slomanson Joanna M. Solozabal Jamie Simmons (Event Planner) Special Thank You To Special thanks to our sponsors and community supporters. Our event could not have come together without your support. Last but not least, to Simmons Event Planning who handled the organizing and planning of the event. (Program drafted and created by Joanna M. Solozabal)
9 San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association Scholarship Fund 2012 Bar Stipend Recipients For the second year, the San Diego La Raza Scholarship Fund awarded bar stipends to outstanding law students in their final year of studies. We are proud to continue this program next year as a result of generous donations from you. In May 2012, the Scholarship Fund awarded bar stipends to: Yesenia Acosta (California Western School of Law) Dianne Anderson (University of San Diego School of Law) Susana Beltran (Thomas Jefferson School of Law) Elizabeth Knowles (Thomas Jefferson School of Law) Adriana Maldonado (Thomas Jefferson School of Law) Miguel Marquina (California Western School of Law) Anthony Medina (California Western School of Law) Agustin Pena (California Western School of Law) Paulo Ochoa (Thomas Jefferson School of Law) Elysia Tilley (University of San Diego School of Law) 2012 KEYNOTE SPEAKER Thomas Saenz, President and General Counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) Mr. Saenz serves as the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund's (MALDEF) President and General Counsel. Mr. Saenz previously served as MALDEF's lead counsel in the successful challenge to California's anti immigrant Prop 187, and he led numerous civil rights cases in the areas of education, immigrant rights, employment, and voting rights. He also served as MALDEF's lead counsel in two court challenges to Prop 227, a California English only education initiative. Mr. Saenz was also the lead drafter of the amicus brief on behalf of Latino organizations supporting affirmative action in the Supreme Court case, Grutter v. Bollinger. Mr. Saenz was born and raised in southern California. He graduated summa cum laude from Yale University, and he received his law degree from Yale Law School.
10 San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association Scholarship Fund 2012 Scholarship Selection Committee Juan E. Zúñiga, Chair Hon. Irma E. Gonzalez Rachel Cano Daniel Quintero Jose L. Patiño Jake Romero 2012 Scholarship Recipients Vanessa Torres 3L at California Western School of Law Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovzky and Popeo, P.C. Scholar $2,500 Harvard University B.A. in Psychology Vanessa grew up in San Diego and attended Sweetwater High School. She applied and was admitted to Harvard University. She has volunteered in Africa where she had a life changing experience, which allowed her to appreciate even more the opportunities that she had here in America. She wants to be a role model for Latino youth and spends much time teaching, tutoring and mentoring inner city students. She is currently interning with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). She hopes to participate on a global scale in a way that can benefit the international Latino community. Silvia Romero 3L at University of San Diego School of Law Sony Scholar $2,000 Stanford University B.A. in Psychology Silvia is the granddaughter of farm laborers and her story embodies the American dream. While in college, Silvia wanted to give back to the Mexican immigrant community and she did so through the International Institute of San Francisco. She helped undocumented immigrants, who were victims of domestic violence, complete U VISA and VAWA asylum applications. As a law student at the University of San Diego, Silvia is the current Co President of USD La Raza Law Student Association. During her second year of law school she was awarded a CALI Award for being the top student in her Child Rights and Remedies class. She is interested in pursuing a career in child advocacy and this past Spring she became a certified legal intern for Minor s Counsel at the Dependency Legal Group. Ricardo Elorza 1L at Thomas Jefferson School of Law Union Bank Scholar $2,000 University of California, Los Angeles B.A. in Political Science A native of Oaxaca, Mexico, Ricardo has worked hard to ensure a successful future. Ricardo came to this country as a child and through hard work and determination learned the language and excelled in school. His hard work was rewarded when he was admitted to UCLA. He understands that his success is due not only to his commitment to hard work but also thanks to the many mentors he has encountered in his life. Ricardo understands the importance of great mentors, this is why he joined a non profit organization in South Central Los Angeles that enables young people to attend college. Ricardo created the Personal Statement and Resume Review Program where they reviewed high school students personal statements and resumes in preparation for college. He was also recently chosen as the Interim President of this organization.
11 Jose Garza Badillo, Esq Attorney of the Year Jose Garza Badillo is San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association s 2012 Attorney of the Year. Mr. Badillo was born and raised in San Jose, California. He graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.A. in History and a minor in Ethnic Studies in 1996, and obtained his J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law in During law school, Mr. Badillo clerked for the State Public Defender in San Francisco assisting in the appeal of a man awaiting execution on San Quentin s Death Row. Mr. Badillo also worked at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights in the Police Watch Division, providing assistance to victims of police misconduct and abuse. In addition, he volunteered as a youth counselor at the YMCA in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. Upon graduation from law school, Mr. Badillo was employed as a Deputy Public Defender in Santa Clara County representing numerous and diverse clients charged with misdemeanor and felony offenses. Mr. Badillo then joined an AV rated criminal defense firm in San Francisco as a senior trial attorney where he worked under the tutelage of the nationally renowned criminal defense attorney, James Farragher Campbell. In 2005, Mr. Badillo relocated to San Diego and opened the Law Office of Jose Garza Badillo, continuing to specialize in criminal defense. Over the course of his 13 year criminal defense career, Mr. Badillo has handled the full gamut of criminal cases, including murder, rape and unlawful sexual intercourse, child molestation, assault, theft and embezzlement of all varieties, manslaughter, robbery, burglary, domestic violence, hit and run involving serious bodily injury, property damage as well as driving under the influence. Mr. Badillo s passion and dedication to ensuring the best defense possible to all clients, including those whom are indigent, continues today. He currently serves as an attorney for the Office of Assigned Counsel. As a Class 6 classification, Mr. Badillo is the youngest attorney qualified for appointment to handle murder cases in San Diego County. He is only one of two Latino private attorneys on the panel qualified at this classification. This year alone, he has garnered significant trial victories in complex and high profile cases. Mr. Badillo is one of the founding members of JUSTICIA Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. It is an organization of criminal defense attorneys dedicated to reaching out to the Latino community, particularly in the area of mentorship and gang intervention. Future plans include establishing relationships with local law schools to provide students interested in criminal defense practice mentoring and practice opportunities. Mr. Badillo is admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of California, the United States District Court for the Northern and Southern Districts of California. Mr. Badillo is a proud member of SDLRLA. His other professional affiliations include: the State Bar of California, the San Diego County Bar Association, Criminal Defense Bar Association of San Diego, National College for DUI Defense, California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, California Public Defenders Association, Office of Assigned Counsel and the American Civil Liberties Union. Mr. Badillo has also been awarded membership as Barrister of the College of Master Advocates and Barristers. Mr. Badillo is married and has two young children. Ricardo wants to be role model to other Latino youth who face the same challenges he has faced and overcome. Rosibel Mancillas 4L Part time at University of San Diego School of Law Latinas in the Law Scholar $2,000 University of San Diego B.A. in Political Science Rosibel came to the United States when she was only six years old. She worked for seventeen years helping her mother deliver newspapers at 2:30 in the morning. She continued to help her mother throughout college, while at the same time working full time and carrying a full course load. Now in law school, she continues to work full time and attends law school part time. Even with a full time job and her law school course load she finds the time to give back to the community. She volunteers one day a week with Legal Aid Society of San Diego, handling family petitions, permanent resident card renewals/replacements and naturalization cases. She has also volunteered with the Holy Family Church in Linda Vista and the San Diego Organizing Project. Through these volunteering opportunities, Rosibel has been able to assist with the needs of the Latino community in Linda Vista. Rosibel also has found time to mentor a young teenage Latina through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. She is committed not only to her education but to the empowerment of others. Gisela Acevedo 3L at California Western School of Law Silvia Garcia Scholar $2,000 University of California, San Diego B.A. in Political Science As the president of CWSL s La Raza Law Student Association, Gisela focused on guiding Latino first year law students, the San Diego Latino community and the community in Tijuana. During her tenure as president, she led the organization in a fundraiser for an Orphanage in Tijuana and volunteered at various Latino based events in San Diego. She has had to overcome tragedy in her family and financial struggles but through it all she pushes forward using her father s example and her mother s battle against cancer and her driving forces. She has had many internships, among them Casa Cornelia Law Center, Office of the City Attorney, City of San Diego Domestic Violence & Special Victims Unit, Community Law Project and Employee Rights Center. Through her various internships she has been able to assist other Latino and underserved people of San Diego. Rafael Hurtado 3L at California Western School of Law Scholarship Recipient $1,500 University of California, San Diego B.A. in International Studies, Political Science Rafael understands the importance of having the support of a community, particularly a community that shares and understands your background. As the first of his family to attend school at a graduate level, Rafael struggled with finding someone who could help him through the law school process or could offer support. Fortunately for Rafael, during his first year of law school he found the support of a new family, CWLS s La Raza Law Student Association. He is currently the Treasurer for the La Raza Law Student Association and the President of the International Law Student Association. Over the summer, Rafael interned at the Ministerio Publico de Chile in Santiago, Chile, where he researched and co authored an article regarding the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations as an individual right. He looks forward to using his legal education to help the Latino community and motivate those who may feel lonely in higher education.
12 Aldo Gallardo 1L at Thomas Jefferson School of Law Scholarship Recipient $1,500 Northwestern University B.A. in Sociology Aldo has dedicated himself to the Latino community dating back to his college years. While at Northwestern University he was elected president of the University s Latino Student Alliance. Through this organization he fostered a safe space for Latinos, organized educational events for both the University and the Evanston community, and he volunteered his time to increase minority enrollment on campus. Before law school, he directed a multicultural resource center that assisted monolingual, low income immigrants in Rogers Park, one of Chicago s most diverse neighborhoods. During his time there he coordinated an education forum and college fair for undocumented immigrants and organized an HIV/AIDS awareness event focusing on communities of color. He also served on the executive board of the Latino Alumni Association of Northwestern University. After law school, Aldo hopes to advise businesses and individuals on how to navigate immigration laws and continue with anti discrimination work. Veronica Carrillo 2L at Thomas Jefferson School of Law Scholarship Recipient $1,000 San Jose State University B.S. in Justice Studies As the Vice President of the Thomas Jefferson La Raza Student Association, Veronica is committed to supporting its members so as to ensure that they all succeed as law students and can therefore some day be in a position to contribute to the community. Veronica has been committed to helping those in need since her college years. During her junior and senior years of college she was a volunteer with AmeriCorps. She volunteered over 600 hours preparing legal documents for self represented litigants in family and civil court at the Santa Clara County Superior Court. Currently, she is a volunteer with the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program where she works with lowincome domestic violence victims. Veronica hopes to pursue a career in public interest to help those who are less fortunate. Edith Polanco 1L at Thomas Jefferson School of Law Scholarship Recipient $1,000 Willamette University B.A. in Spanish and Sociology Originally from Zapopan, Mexico, she immigrated to the United State as an infant with her parents. During her college years she pondered the question of where she belonged. With time she has been able to overcome her struggles with her cultural identity and has come to realize that she is not limited to one culture, but instead has chosen to embrace both the Mexican and American cultures. She has spent much of her time involved with the Latino community. As a member of CAUSA, Oregon s Immigrant and Civil Rights Coalition, she had the opportunity to lobby at the state capitol and make a presentation about the DREAM Act at a MECHA conference. She looks forward to helping the Latino community with their immigration needs in its native language. Adriana Quintero 2L at California Western School of Law Scholarship Recipient $1,000 University of California, Berkeley B.A. in Political Science and Spanish Born and raised in San Diego, Adriana has seen first hand the effect of cross border issues like immigration. Since high school, Adriana has been involved in her community, from volunteering at a local elementary school to providing care for orphans at Casa Cuna in Tijuana, Mexico. This past summer, Adriana interned at the Employee Rights Center in City Heights and helped many indigent clients with immigration issues. She has also participated in several of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium workshops. Her commitment to the Latino community led her to assume the position of President of the La Raza Law Student Association at California Western School of Law. She is interested in pursuing a career in immigration and criminal defense so that she may help those underrepresented and often disadvantaged minorities. Just because the party is over that does not mean our work is done. The San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association Scholarship Fund has awarded the scholarships for 2012 to some very dedicated and inspiring law students, but our mission goes on and we would like to remind you that we will be continuing to accept donations throughout the coming year. The SDLRLA Scholarship Fund is an independent, non profit corporation created by the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association to carry out educational and scholarship activities. The SDLRLA Scholarship Fund scholarships are not limited to persons of a Latino/ Latina background, instead the scholarships are awarded to law students from a variety of backgrounds who have contributed to the betterment of the Latino community. The recipients of the scholarships are law students who have met criteria of community service, financial need, hardship and academic achievement. The SDLRLA Scholarship Fund is qualified as a charitable, tax exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (Tax ID # ), and as 2010 draws to a close, it is time to think about getting that charitable contribution in so you can claim a tax deduction for this year. Putting San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association Scholarship Fund on your year end giving list is a great way to show your support for the hardworking efforts of scholars and future leaders of the legal profession who have made a commitment to the betterment of the Latino community. For more information regarding donations to the SDLRLA Scholarship Fund and additional sponsorship opportunities, please contact Juan E. Zuniga at: or visit us online at: