Latinas in the Law Presents Hit the Ground Running Preparing Your Plan For Achieving Your Dream Job

Latinas in the Law Presents Hit the Ground Running Preparing Your Plan For Achieving Your Dream Job

This event occurred in the past

Date and Time

  • Thursday, October 26, 2017 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.


Warren Hall, Grace Courtroom

5998 Alcala Park San Diego, CA 92110




Join Latinas in the Law of San Diego, University of San Diego School of Law, and La Raza Law Students Association for a panel of judges and seasoned attorneys for starting a plan for success and achieving it. The panelists include: Hon. Amalia Meza (Judge of the San Diego Superior Court), Marcy McLaughlin (San Diego County Deputy District Attorney), Danaly Barajas (San Diego County Deputy Public Defender), and Pablo C. Palomino, Esq. (Private Practice). The panel will be moderated by Judge Irma E. Gonzalez (Ret.). To attend, please RSVP to Judge Rachel Cano.  


Irma E. Gonzalez, Judge (Ret.) 

Judge Gonzalez, a retired United States District Judge, is presently a neutral with JAMS.  She was appointed to the United States District Court for the Southern District of California on August 12, 1992, becoming the first Latina of Mexican heritage to be appointed to the federal bench.  She served as Chief Judge of the District Court from January 2005 to January 2012.  Judge Gonzalez previously served as a judge on the Superior Court, San Diego County and as a Magistrate Judge, Southern District of California. She retired from the federal bench in October 2013. 

Judge Gonzalez graduated from Stanford University in 1970 and received her law degree from the University of Arizona School of Law in 1973. She served as a law clerk to United States District Judge, William C. Frey in Tucson, Arizona. Next, she  served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the criminal division of the United States Attorney’s Office in the District of Arizona and the Central District of California followed by private practice as a civil litigator in San Diego. She is a founding member of Latinas in the Law and is on the Lawyers Club Advisory Board.  She is on the Board of Trustees of California Western School of Law and is on the Judicial Advisory Board of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers.  She is also a Master of the William B. Enright Inn of Court. Awards have included Outstanding Jurist by the San Diego County Bar Association, the Joan Dempsey Klein distinguished Jurist award by the California Women Lawyers, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hispanic National Bar Association, and the University of Arizona, James Rogers School of Law, Lifetime Achievement Award. 


Hon. Amalia Meza, Judge of the San Diego Superior Court

Judge Meza has been a Superior Court Judge for 16 years, appointed to the bench by Governor Gray Davis in August 2001. She presides over a criminal trial department and conducts civil settlement conferences in the Central Division.  She has presided over a juvenile delinquency department in Juvenile Court and a general trial department in the North County Division. 

Before becoming a judge, Judge Meza was an Assistant United States Attorney (1987 to 2001), a civil litigation attorney in private practice (1981 to 1987), and a staff attorney with the Legal Aid Society (1979 to 1981). She earned a law degree from Stanford Law School in 1979 and an undergraduate degree from Yale University in 1975. She was born and raised in Los Angeles.      

Marcy McLaughlin, San Diego County Deputy District Attorney

Marcella (“Marcy”) is the child of Mexican immigrants, one of six children. She was born in Santa Clara, CA in 1970. She attended community college before enrolling in the University of California, San Diego, where she majored in Political Science. After graduating with a B.A. in political science, she took some time off to work in the non-profit sector. She was an inaugural member of then-President Clinton’s “Americorps” program and assigned to the Mid-City area of San Diego, a very diverse community with a significant immigrant population. She went on to attend California Western School of Law in San Diego. She began her legal career as a Deputy City Attorney for San Diego, where she was specially assigned as a Neighborhood Prosecutor serving the communities of Golden Hill, Logan Heights, and Grant Hill. 

Next, she was hired as a Deputy District Attorney for the County of San Diego. She prosecuted felony cases in South San Diego, Juvenile and Superior Court (central) divisions, Major Narcotics Division, and the Appellate Division. She was specially assigned as a Deputy Attorney General, handling felony appeals in the state appellate court.  She currently serves as the District Attorney’s Office’s Ethics Coordinator. Marcy was elected as a Director on the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association Board, and in 2013 she served as the first Latina President of the San Diego Bar Association. 

Danaly Barajas, San Diego County Deputy Public Defender

Danaly Barajas has been a Deputy Public Defender for almost 6 years.  She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she began pursuing her current dream job by volunteering at the Public Defender’s Office in Santa Barbara.  She then went on to receive her law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law, where she interned with the Employee Rights Center and San Diego Public Defender’s Office.  Her dedication to indigent defense was well recognized by the San Diego Public Defender’s Office, who immediately hired her after she passed the Bar.  She is now a felony attorney in the office handling serious cases, including homicides, violent felonies, and other life-top cases.  She is currently the President of Justicia Criminal Defense Association and she volunteers for the Clean Slate Expungement Clinic in her community.

Pablo C. Palomino, Esq., Private Practice

Pablo Palomino is the Principal and Founder of Legacy, APC – a Law Firm solely dedicated to the preservation, protection and distribution of Trusts and Estates. He launched his private practice in 2006. Pablo graduated with double majors in Economics and Rhetoric from the University of California at Berkeley in 1998 and received his JD from the University of Southern California in 2002. 

Pablo is fully bilingual and uniquely skilled to serve Spanish-speaking clients. He has conducted scores of seminars and workshops in collaboration with many top-tier financial institutions and numerous independent financial Advisors. Pablo is highly regarded by his peers and clients and has been Ranked a “10” on since the inception of the rating system in 2011. He is a member of the exclusive American Academy of Estate planning attorneys and is actively involved as a professional advisor to the San Diego Foundation. He has served on many local boards including: San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association; La Jolla High School Foundation; Reality Changers; InterAmerica College; and ALIANZA. 

Pablo is a proud father of twin girls. He grew up in San Diego and is a native of Puerto Vallarta.  In his free time, he maintains vitality by practicing Yoga and is a mentor to many aspiring attorneys.

Post Contact

USD Law External Relations


Contact Us

Phone: (619) 260-4527

View Directory

83° 61°

Visit Campus

Warren Hall, Room 201
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110