BLOG | Deisy Munoz Viesca
The Odds in My Favor
June 7, 2019
In a room filled with lawyers of who do not look like me, I stand next to a judge who does. The 36th Annual Alumni Awards Banquet for University of Colorado Law School, Judge Arguello was awarded the Richard Schaden “Adopted Alumna” and I was front row to witness it firsthand. Judge Arguello had invited me and four other fellows from the other two LAW SCHOOL...Sí Se Puede classes to join her as her guests when she accepted this award. Of course I was filled with excitementbecause the Judge thought of me to join her on this special night but, more importantly, I thought about the odds of a student like me attending this type of event.
Through Law School Yes We Can (Sí Se Puede), I have been able to participate in various types of banquet-like-events, including the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association and Latinas First Banquet. Not only do I enjoy the delicious food served at these types of events, but also, every time I attend one I think of how fortunate I am to be present at them. The same thought occurred to me as I looked around the room at the Alumni Banquet. I observed all of these important lawyers and judges dressed in their suits and dresses enjoying appetizing bites and networking with one another while they waited for the dinner to begin. The first thing I think about is about how much older than I they look. Then I focus on how un-diverse the room looks. Yes, there are a significant number of women present, but they are still disproportionate when compared to the number of white males in the room. But I see only a handful of people of color at this event, including Judge Arguello and Colorado Law School Dean, Jim Anaya, to whom she introduced me. Nonetheless, Judge Arguello works the room with us Fellows in tow, and introduces us to Colorado Law Alums, like Bill Ritter, the former Governor of Colorado, who is also being honored.
This is what Law School We You Can does.
It first taught us the importance of networking and then it allows people like me, who otherwise would never otherwise be invited to such an event, to gain access into in this important networking system. Perhaps the most significant moment during the night happened when Judge Arguello was giving her acceptance speech. She had only one minute for her speech, and she dedicated it entirely to Law School Yes We Can. She used her platform as an award recipient to give a pitch about what LSYWC is all about and to recruit new mentors for the program. But as I have come to expect with Judge Arguello, there was a price to pay for being one of her guests. She introduced all of the LSYWC Fellows present, including me, and made us stand up to have the entire room acknowledge us. She did this not only to advise the people present of “here’s your future competition” but also to have us imagine ourselves as already a part of the legal community here in Colorado. This to me was beyond what I could have imagined in accomplishing by myself.
“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)