September 22, 2023

Eddie Jauregui Shares How His Hispanic Heritage Has Been A Strength in His Legal Career

Holland & Knight Hispanic Heritage Month Spotlight Series

Holland & Knight's Diversity Council and Hispanic Affinity Group are proud to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and pay tribute to the generations of Hispanics who have enriched America's history and continue to play a role in its future success. Since last year, we have taken time to speak to some of our Hispanic attorneys, who have shared their stories with us. We now present the 2023 video series showcasing some of these conversations. We hope that the stories conveyed in these videos inspire those struggling with recognizing their roots and shine light on the contributions that Hispanics have provided to the United States.

In this video, Hispanic National Bar Association member Eddie Jauregui, a partner in our Los Angeles office, shares how drawing from his Mexican heritage has been a strength in his legal career. He also discusses the importance of never losing sight of your Hispanic culture.

More Videos in This Series

Episode 1: Frances Guasch De La Guardia Shares How Staying Rooted in Her Culture Has Inspired Her to Give Back

Episode 2: Eddie Jauregui Shares How His Hispanic Heritage Has Been A Strength in His Legal Career (You are currently viewing Episode 2)

Episode 3: Monica Vila Castro Discusses the Importance of Embracing Your Background and Learning from It

Episode 4: Wifredo Ferrer Shares How Embracing His Roots Has Helped Him Grow Professionally and Personally

Episode 5: Jessica Gonzalez Discusses Recent Hispanic Representation in Mainstream Media and Its Impact on Culture

Eddie A. Jauregui: I am the son of Mexican immigrants who immigrated to the United States in the 1960s. My parents both immigrated to Los Angeles, Southern California area, and I was born and raised here. So, I am very happily a native Angelino. Being Mexican and, you know, being part of the Latino community has always been a big part of my identity and my culture and my background. I've been involved in organizations that have been Hispanic or Latino or Mexican-American organizations as far back as I can remember. Certainly, when I was in high school, when I was in law school, I was an active member of the Latino Law Student Association. As a professional, I've been involved in a number of organizations that are dedicated to the advancement either of people of color generally or of Latinos and Hispanics.

It's extremely important to me to have other people of color and Latinos specifically be part of the legal profession, occupy positions of leadership in the legal profession, be well represented in law firms in government, etc. So even before I joined Holland & Knight, when I was a federal prosecutor, it was a very important part of my job, I felt, to make sure that my former government office was recruiting and retaining people of color and Latinos. I was very much involved in that effort there, and I continue to do so here as a partner at Holland & Knight.

For the past couple of years, I've been a professor, adjunct professor at USC, where I created and teach a class called Los Angeles Latinos in the Law. I am a very big, you know, lover of legal history, of history generally, and most importantly of Los Angeles. Our community has played some very significant roles in the development and advancement of the law. What I saw was an opportunity to bring that knowledge and information to many generations of young people, and so I've been teaching this class at USC for the past couple of years that's dedicated to teaching young people about these cases. It's been an absolutely wonderful, wonderful experience for me and sort of my passion project outside of the practice of law.

My family is very proud to be Americans. I have so many siblings, cousins who have served in the United States military. I personally served as a former federal prosecutor, as a law clerk to a federal judge. We have a tradition of service to our country in my family that we're all very proud of, but we never lose sight of our own Mexican-American and Mexican heritage and our Latino heritage. I would encourage anyone, you know, as you get further along in your American story, to never lose sight of the beauty that exists in all of our Hispanic cultures and heritage, most importantly, the sense of family, but also the language, the foods, the traditions. There's just so much that there is to be proud of when it comes to being a Hispanic American, a Latino American, or for me specifically as a Mexican-American. I love seeing other Mexican-Americans and Latinos thrive.

Early on in my legal journey, I had an opportunity to be an extern for Sonia Sotomayor when she was a judge on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. She is a personal hero of mine, not only for her career achievements, obviously, but for her own life journey, overcoming adversity and for what she represents to so many of us in the Latino community. Because she is a role model to me, I think what I would say is what I think Justice Sotomayor would say, which is that first and foremost, you have to put in the work. You have to show up day in and day out. If you face adversity, you can't let it define you. You can't let it overcome you. You can't let it overwhelm you. You just have to keep going and invest in yourself, invest in your skills, learn from other people whose careers you want to emulate and just don't give up.

You can find fulfillment in your legal career. You just have to understand that it's not an easy job, and you just have to keep going.

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