Class of 1994
Judge, Los Angeles County Superior Court
Undergraduate: San Diego State University
Major: BS in Business Administration (Marketing)
I initially went to law school because I viewed it as a great way to get an education that could serve me in a variety of different ways. In all honesty, I had no idea what I actually wanted to do with that education. Once I got my first taste of advocacy and the criminal justice system, I knew that I wanted to use those skills in the courtroom as a way to serve my community and help people.
Trying and actually making a difference in people's lives. Prior to joining GLW in late February 2014, I had worked exclusively in public service, both as a Navy Judge Advocate and an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA). As a Navy Judge Advocate, I took great pride helping Sailors or Marines with their civil legal problems, defending Sailors or Marines charged with crimes or administrative violations, prosecuting civilians who committed crimes on base as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, and representing the government in criminal cases on appeal. As an AUSA, I had the privilege to work on a variety of cases including several significant money laundering, drug, and gang cases. One case of which I am very proud is my involvement in the Florencia 13 RICO gang prosecution, which helped to transform a South Los Angeles neighborhood by successfully prosecuting numerous violent gang members. I am also very proud of a case that I wrapped up in August 2013, targeting the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, which I understand is having a tremendous influence on the casino community's attitude towards taking federal compliance laws seriously. I approach private practice the same way and view my current position as an opportunity to continue helping people and companies who are facing legal challenges. GLW is a unique firm made up of exceptional lawyers. I am confident that GLW's approach that will allow me to practice law in a way that I expect to continue to be very rewarding.
McGeorge provided me with a variety of professional tools that have served me well throughout my career. Those tools included numerous opportunities to gain courtroom experience through my externship at the Yolo County District Attorney's Office and through my participation in the mock trial competition team. My participation at the Pacific Law Review also helped me hone my legal writing skills which has served me well during my career.
Following the path of several other McGeorge graduates, I went straight into the Navy JAG Corps after law school, where I served for nearly six years. From the Navy I went straight to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles, where I served for just over 13 years, including more than six years as a supervisor. In the Navy I held a variety of positions on both sides of the aisle in the military and civilian criminal justice system. Looking back, I am firmly convinced that working on both the defense and government side was some of the best preparation I could have ever asked for. The ability to critically examine both sides of an argument and "put on the opposing counsel's hat" has helped me to better appreciate the legal and practical positions of opposing counsel throughout my career.
The law is a wonderful, rewarding and honorable profession. Although there are tremendous financial challenges associated with going to law school and considering that the current job market is tough, there are still many different and emerging opportunities for lawyers. I always encourage law students and young lawyers to explore work and volunteer opportunities they actually like and find meaningful. If you can figure out a way to pay the bills, enjoying your work is paramount. I would also strongly suggest seeking out as many different opportunities to gain practical experience as possible in law school, even if it means working somewhere you may not love. I spent a summer at an insurance defense firm during law school and that experience influenced my decision to remain in public service for as long as I did. In other words, I think it can be just as important to know what you don't want to do. Also, never underestimate the importance of developing and maintaining your integrity and reputation as they stay with you throughout your career.