LUIS RODRIGUEZ OF L.A. TO BECOME FIRST LATINO TO LEAD THE STATE BAR OF CALIFORNIA

Contact: Laura Ernde 

415-538-2283

laura.ernde@calbar.ca.gov

SAN FRANCISCO, July 19, 2013 – Los Angeles attorney Luis J. Rodriguez was elected today as president of the State Bar of California for 2013-2014. He will be the first public defender and first Latino to hold the office.

Rodriguez, 46, will be sworn in as the 89th president of the 243,000-member organization at the State Bar’s Annual Meeting in October in San Jose. He currently serves as vice president and ran unopposed in the Board of Trustees election. Craig Holden, 43, a partner at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP of Los Angeles, was elected vice president. Heather Linn Rosing, 41, of Klinedinst PC in San Diego was elected treasurer.

Rodriguez, the son of Mexican immigrant parents, was born in Los Angeles and moved with his family to Ciudad Juarez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua when he was 3. About 10 years later, his family moved back to L.A., where Rodriguez attended public schools.

The first in his family to attend college, Rodriguez graduated with honors from Santa Clara University. He received his law degree from Santa Clara University School of Law. He has been an attorney with the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office since 1994.

“Because of the obstacles that I faced and the support that I received from many, I have committed myself to being the voice for those who have no voice,” Rodriquez said.  

Previous leadership roles include president of the Mexican American Bar Association of Los Angeles County, president of the California La Raza Lawyers Association, president of the Latino Public Defenders Association, member of the California State Board of Education and chairman of the State Bar of California’s Council on Access and Fairness.

Rodriguez said that as president he will work to ensure that California courts are adequately funded and to protect the public against immigration fraud by attorneys.

Rodriguez is married and has two daughters.

A photo of Rodriguez is available on request.

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The State Bar of California is an administrative arm of the California Supreme Court, serving the public and seeking to improve the justice system for more than 80 years. All lawyers practicing law in California must be members of the State Bar. By July 2013, membership reached 243,000.