Post Cover: Be a Lawyer. Make a Difference



As a lawyer, you can work for justice. You can create change and right the wrongs you see in your community. You can help people who need a passionate and effective advocate. Truth is, lawyers can work in just about any field. You can have a career in politics, business, education, healthcare, environmental or criminal justice, sports, entertainment, or any combination.

In government, lawyers write laws as legislators or their staff, apply and enforce them in executive branch departments, and interpret them as judges. The possibilities are endless.

Think a law career is out of reach for you? IT IS NOT.

All sorts of people, from all walks of life, become lawyers. Undocumented immigrants. Rap musicians. Creative people. Passionate people. Lots of people just like you. Becoming a lawyer takes hard work and dedication, but it’s possible!

Worried about the cost? Don’t let that stop you.

Check around, there are lots of ways to become a lawyer, and many organizations offer financial support and resources to help students with the grit to study the law.

Okay, so what do lawyers actually do?

  • Defend our rights to be treated fairly at work, to be free to assemble and protest peacefully, and against unlawful search and seizure
  • Help people achieve U.S. citizenship
  • Negotiate deals with musicians, actors, and athletes
  • Protect our communities from pollution and keep them safe and strong
  • Write or change the laws by running for office or working with an officeholder, or decide what the laws mean by becoming a judge or a research attorney
  • Develop new businesses and create new opportunities for yourself and your community
  • Help people stay in their homes and get public assistance when needed
  • Fight to make sure everyone gets equal rights and the wages, benefits, and protections they deserve
  • And more!
Vector icon of a blue arrow

Meet some of California's inspirational lawyers

Vector icon of a blue arrow
Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye: social media post

Tani Cantil-Sakauye

Chief Justice of California

Born in Sacramento. Attended public high school, community college, and university. Mother planted the idea of law study. Now the 1st Asian Filipina-American and 2nd woman to serve as Chief Justice of California. Impassioned about social justice and empowering students through civics.

David Kelly: Then vs. Now

David Kelly, Chief Legal Officer Golden State Warriors

Born in Chicago. Attended Morehouse College and the University of Illinois College of Law. Before settling into a law career, was a rap musician and founder of a record label and music producer, releasing eight albums and touring internationally. Established a successful practice in corporate and sports law before joining the Warriors in 2012.

Lisa Cisneros: Then vs. Now

Lisa Cisneros, Deputy Attorney General California Department of Justice

Raised in Salinas. Grew up loving to read and play sports. Attended Brown University and UC Berkeley School of Law. Worked at California Rural Legal Assistance Inc., leading its LGBTQ Program, a model for similar programs nationwide. Appointed by Governor Brown to the Fair Employment and Housing Council. Joined the Civil Rights Enforcement Section in the California Office of the Attorney General in Feb. 2019.

Alicia Valencia: Then vs. Now

Alicia Valencia, Esq. Litigation Attorney, CNA Insurance

Born in Central America (El Salvador). Raised in the Bay Area. Firsthand experience of the immigrant struggle inspired study of law. Attended UCSB as an undocumented student. Went on to USF law. Internship in immigration and judicial externship in domestic violence before graduating and continuing on to a career in insurance litigation.

Alexander Chen, Founding Director Harvard Law School LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic

Alex’s parents escaped political persecution in China. Their journey, as well as Alex’s own experience growing up in Southern California and Hong Kong as a transgender American, inspired him to fight for civil rights. He studied his way to Harvard, Columbia, and Oxford, clerked for judges in California, and now leads a clinic at Harvard protecting LGBTQ+ rights.