VICTORIA’S COMMUNITY SERVICE
Victoria believes that we have a duty to stand up for those without a voice. That’s why Victoria has long been involved in advocacy and community organizations. Victoria’s interest in serving others started from a young age. In fact, Ursuline emphasized and instilled in Victoria its motto of “Serviam,” the Latin term for the phrase “I will serve.”
Growing up, Victoria would regularly organize and volunteer in community service projects which would help low-income families, women, and children. Victoria was involved in a civil rights advocacy organization and traveled to high schools across Dallas ISD, Garland, and the surrounding school districts organizing students. Victoria was also elected as LULAC National Youth President and served on the National Board of the nation’s largest and oldest Latino civil rights organization.
While in high school, Victoria also volunteered for two political campaigns, one of which was Regina Montoya Coggins’ Congressional race. Victoria recruited some of her friends and went block-walking for Regina’s campaign in East Dallas.
Victoria was elected to serve as Vice President of the UTD Student Government Association. As SGA VP, Victoria advocated for students and served on various committees with faculty and university administrators. Victoria also served on the U.T. System Student Advisory Council which was composed of the Student Government Presidents and Vice Presidents for each UT Campus and where the leaders discussed system-wide policies and legislation affecting students.
Victoria also served as an intern for Texas State Representative Rafael Anchia in House District 103 where she interacted with constituents and community leaders.
In law school, Victoria served as Chief Justice of the Board of Advocates. Victoria also organized and helped lead a week-long, on-campus hunger strike calling for comprehensive immigration reform. Victoria helped establish a mentoring program at Jack Yates High School in the Third Ward.
Victoria participated in Weil’s public service program where she worked pro bono for one year with two non-profit organizations. During this time, Victoria served as a pro bono civil rights attorney, where she, among other things, mediated and facilitated meetings with numerous governmental entities including, school districts, police departments, and local municipalities; provided counsel regarding potential litigation on a myriad of legal issues; successfully represented multiple low-income families; and helped design a dropout prevention program which won a $20,000 grant. Victoria also served on the board of directors for a senior citizen center for low-income elderly residents in North Texas and co-chaired an elderly conference, co-sponsored by Legal Aid of Northwest Texas, which educated over 150 senior citizens on their legal rights.
Victoria also worked with a team of Weil attorneys, pro bono, to secure increased compensation for a Texas inmate who was wrongfully convicted of and imprisoned for a crime he did not commit.
Victoria also served as Weil’s 2012 Lend-A-Lawyer to the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program, where she devoted a three-month period to representing indigent clients on a pro bono basis in various areas of the law, including, family law, probate, and consumer rights cases.
Victoria has been recognized in the legal community for her pro bono work:
- Pro Bono Award, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, 2011, 2012
- Lawyer of the Year, Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program, 2013
- Estrella Award, Dallas Hispanic Bar Association 2013
- Access to Justice Pro Bono Champion, Texas Bar Journal , 2013
Victoria’s service to the community and public speaking is extensive. For example, Victoria served as Vice President of and Pro Bono Counsel to a non-profit which serves the elderly population of the city of Dallas. She helped organize a conference and led sessions teaching senior citizens about their legal rights concerning wills and powers of attorney.
Victoria was selected to the 2012 Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Leadership Class and the State Bar of Texas SBOT Leadership Class in 2013-2014.
Victoria also served on the Board of the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association, chaired the Pro Bono Committee, and has helped organize for the past few years a free legal clinic which teaches the community about their legal rights.
Victoria has served on the Dallas Civil Service Commission and has chaired a Chamber of Commerce.
Victoria also served on the Dallas Police Department’s Community Support Coalition and as National General Counsel to the National Latino Law Enforcement Organization.
Victoria has worked with local and national Jewish organizations to help build bridges and helped organize the Dallas Jewish-Latino Leadership Coalition.