Legal Practice

Latina Leader: Karla Navarrete

It’s time for another Latina Leader Lunes feature! Today we hear from California attorney, Karla Navarrete. A senior attorney at Coalition for Humane Rights, shares a bit of her work and what motivated her to become a lawyer. Spoiler: what I love most about her story is that she saw the need for more representation of Latinos in the law and then she went for it! And not only is she is excelling, she is leading a path for the next generation.

1.  When & why did you decide to go to law school?

I decided to go to law school as a sophomore at UCLA. I was looking for ways to help the immigrant community as I was heavily involved with the day laborer community. I saw the need to attorneys that represented the needs of our community.

2. What and Where do you practice?

I practice immigration law at the Coalition for Humane Rights (CHIRLA).

3. What is a typical day like?

I am an early bird! I get up at 4:30 AM to get ready. Get my daughter’s ready for day care and I am in the office by 7:00 AM. If it is an intake day I see clients and help other attorneys open cases until mid day. After lunch I do final legal review of all the cases we file. Other days, as a senior attorney, I guide and instruct new attorney on their cases.

4. What attracted you to this practice area?

I am from the borderlands. I was raised in San Diego, CA. My family originally from Jalisco, Mexico migrated to Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico in the 60’s. So I was raised traveling between the two countries and always knew I wanted to help people come to the USA and pursue their dreams of a better life.

5. What do you like most about your current position? And what is the most challenging aspect of your work?

I love mentoring new attorneys into becoming zealous advocates for their clients. I love sharing my legal knowledge and learning from others everyday. The challenge is definitely being an immigration attorney in the era of Trump as we do not know what to expect any given day with respect to immigration law changes and attacks on our immigrant community.

6. If you could give your 1L self advice about law school, what would it be? Do not give up and find like minded individuals to get you through the tough times.

7. What is your best tip for someone in beginning their law school application process? Apply before Thanksgiving! Do not be modest with your personal statements, let the admissions committee know why you are going to be a great Latina/o attorney. Let them know why representation matters and how your life experience will make you an amazing advocate.

8. At Latinas Uprising, we focus on living a life well-lived. What’s something you do (or try to do) to help reduce the stress in your life and create a healthy lifestyle?  I travel and go on outing with my daughters who are one and three years old. I also spend time with close friends enjoying different restaurants in Los Angeles, CA.

One Comment

  • Antonio Hernandez

    Congrats to this new generation of no only beautiful and smarter girls, but brave and powerful, this is the better way to demolish any stupid and ignorant fences.