By Juan Villaseñor– Mentor, Assistant United States Attorney, District of Colorado
I met a lawyer for the first time when I was 19 years old. Of all places, it was in traffic school, in San Francisco, California, where we both were trying to keep points off our license for a minor traffic violation! A chance meeting, yet such an important one because he became my friend and mentor, and the reason I went to law school.
It was thus natural for me that to become a mentor for LAW SCHOOL … Sí Se Puede. One of things I enjoyed most with my first lawyer-friend and mentor was that he invited me to his office and to lawyer dinners and other events. This is how I learned about what lawyers do and about their social circles. It helped me understand his professional universe.
With that in mind, I recently invited Jasmine, my fellow, to my office. I gave her a mini-tour and explained how the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office works, the many types of cases we handle, and how cases are assigned. I know we gave Jasmine a lot of information to process! She had no idea about some of the things my office does, and was very interested in the matters we handle. Afterward, we headed to Judge Arguello's courtroom to see a short hearing in a civil case. And we then stayed to visit with her.
Experiences like this make an impression upon and provide valuable information to the LAW SCHOOL … Sí Se Puede fellows. It is good to demystify what a career and a job may look like. My own similar experiences certainly did and allowed me to picture myself as one day holding a career in the law. I hope Jasmine had a similar experience.
“Sí, Se Puede” is a phrase born of farmworkers, who, under the leadership of the UFW, César Chávez, and Dolores Huerta, fought valiantly for equal protection under the law. As a result of the efforts of the UFW, “Sí, Se Puede” has become well known as a call that engenders hope and inspiration in those who face similar battles. We thank the UFW, whom we acknowledge to be the sole and exclusive owner of the Trademark SI SE PUEDE, for granting us a limited license to use“Sí, Se Puede” in connection with our efforts to recruit, in Colorado, students of Hispanic or Latino descent for our law school pipeline program. For more information about the programs offered by the UFW, please see UFW’s webpage (www.ufw.org); UFW Foundation’s webpage (www.ufwfoundation.org); and UFWF’s immigration services webpage (www.sisepuede.org)