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Leonel Fuentes Vargas ‘15 Accepts Post Bar Clerkship at the SD Public Defender’s Office

June 1, 2015

Marine veteran Leonel Fuentes Vargas ’15 secured a position at the San Diego Office of the Public Defender as a post bar law clerk. The San Diego Public Defender’s Office offers one of the most competitive and coveted post-bar Clerkship of its kind in the nation. The program affords a select group of recent graduates the opportunity to experience the rigorous yet highly rewarding practice of a Deputy Public Defender. Fuentes applied for the paid position along with approximately 400 other applicants and was selected as 1 of the 11 post bar clerks. The program begins two weeks after the July 2015 California Bar Examination.

Fuentes has interned at the Public Defender’s Office during his 2L year and his entire 3L year. In the summer of 2014, he worked in the El Cajon Office of the Primary Public Defender, where he conducted preliminary hearings, wrote and argued motions, and conducted parts of a jury trial under attorney supervision. In the Spring 2015 semester, Fuentes worked in the Central Office of the Primary Public Defender, where he worked with attorneys representing individuals charged with serious felonies. As a post bar, Fuentes will be placed on the Central Misdemeanor Unit and under the supervision of a licensed attorney where he will be expected to take on the responsibility of a first year Deputy Public Defender.

Fuentes is very excited and grateful for the opportunity afforded to him. “I am thankful for the opportunity to continue my passion of representing the most vulnerable members of our society. The Public Defender’s office is literally the last line of defense and I am truly blessed to be able to be part of that, especially in my hometown”, said Fuentes. “As a Marine, I swore to defend the United States Constitution against foreign and domestic threats. My oath still stands because, unfortunately, threats to our Constitution continue to exist.”

Fuentes is thankful for all the valuable help he has received during his career path. “I want to thank my trial team coaches for all of their unique knowledge and my teammates as well. The support provided by the law school and my mentors is what made this possible.”