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TJSL Grads Attend La Raza Reception with Federal Judge Irma Gonzalez

July 16, 2013

La Raza Event

Several members of the TJSL community turned out for the Sixth Annual San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association Judiciary Reception, held on July 11, 2013, at the Law Offices of Gomez Iagmin in downtown San Diego.  Among those representing TJSL at the event were:  Professor William Slomanson; Lorena Slomanson ‘03, a past president of the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association (SDLRLA) and a current member of its Board of Directors; Michael Slomanson ’04; Rebeca Valenzuela ’09; Renee Galente ’08, current vice-president of SDLRLA; Daniel Laguna ’10, Jorge Gonzales ‘09 and current TJSL student Jaime (Alonso) Zavalasoto.   

This year’s honoree was Judge Irma Gonzalez, chosen for her historic service to the bench and community. She was the first Mexican-American Latina judge in the country to sit on the federal bench, and is the immediate past Chief Judge of the United States Federal District Court, Southern District San Diego.

“Judge Gonzalez delivered very stirring and emotional remarks,” Professor Slomanson commented. “These included how her father—who passed just last month—was an orphan, raised seven children and managed to graduate from Stanford Medical School in 1953.” 

Her related message to all present was “Si se puede!” (Yes, you can!)       

The judge graciously consented to posing with the TJSL invitees in the law firm’s moot court room, just after receiving various awards for her service. Judge Anthony Battaglia, a fellow Southern District federal judge who is also Professor Slomanson’s law school classmate, volunteered to take photos of the group. 

“Judge Gonzalez, a true trailblazer, has been an inspiration to me and so many other attorneys,” noted Lorena Slomanson. “As the past president of San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association and member of the TJSL Alumni Association board, I was excited to celebrate the journey she shared. Part of SDLRLA’s mission is supporting our Latino judicial community, and we have an active endorsement committee, the same one which was approached by a young Judge Gonzalez years ago.”

In addition to Lorena Slomanson, several TJSL grads have served as president of SDLRLA, including Ruben Arizmendi ’81, Luis Aragon ’82 and Alex Balvaneda ’95.

In Photo: Alonso  Zavalasoto 3L, Daniel  Laguna ‘10, Judge Irma Gonzalez, Professor William Slomanson, Lorena Slomanson ‘03, Michael Slomanson ‘04, Rebeca Valenzuela ‘09, Jorge Gonzales ‘09, Renee Galente ‘08