Hollywood inspired me to become a lawyer and now I’m opening the door to others

When I think about what influenced me to pursue a career in law, I’ll admit it was not because I had a deep understanding of the industry or knew the impact that I could make as a woman in a predominantly male-dominated field. Instead, my initial inspiration came from movies, like “Legally Blonde,” “My Cousin Vinny,” etc. because I was the first one in my immediate family to attend college. Despite learning how different the practice of law actually is, over time, I have come to realize I could be a role model and resource for young attorneys as well as make an impact in our ever-changing industry.

Being a woman of Hispanic heritage, a mother of two young children, and a first-generation college student has made me incredibly grateful for the mentors I have had over the years that helped mold me and supported my dream to become a partner and leader within my law firm. Because of this, I strongly believe in paying mentorship forward and opening the door for those behind you. Otherwise, what is the point if we cannot make our industry better than how we found it? Being able to support up-and-coming attorneys, particularly those of minority groups, is so very critical for further pushing the needle forward on diversity, equity, and inclusion within our legal industry, especially at the highest levels. I understand that systemic, enduring change requires more than a “one and done” approach, and I am dedicated to the long game.

For this reason, I have pursued various DEI efforts both within and outside my firm, including serving as co-chair of my firm’s Women of Robins Kaplan (WoRK) Resource Group, being an active member of the Robins Kaplan DEI Committee, and serving as the firm’s 2023 Fellow for the Legal Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD). I also served in various leadership positions within the Women Lawyers Association Los Angeles (WLALA) as well as the Conference Planning Committee for the California Minority Counsel Program (CMCP), the latter of which is dedicated to creating business development opportunities for diverse attorneys.

In June 2023, I co-planned and served as a panelist for the first diversity program involved with the Loss Executives Association (LEA), a key insurance industry conference attended by seasoned practitioners and clients in the property insurance industry. The program was called, “Fostering and Empowering the Insurance Industry to Attract and Retain New and Diverse Talent,” and it generated energic feedback and responses. I have been asked to help generate ideas for additional programming for the LEA on this critical topic for future conferences.