Featured Lawtina: Cecilia Rodriguez And Co-Founder of Level Up Latina
Cecilia is Mexican and was born in Hayward, California
She attended UC Santa Barbara during her undergraduate career and earned her Juris Doctorate from University of La Verne, College of Law. She passed the California Bar exam.
Cecilia was the first in her family to attend and graduate college. She was also the first to attend graduate school, and the first lawyer in her family. She hopes others in her family follow in her footsteps to become lawyers. Cecilia says that “MBEs were a huge challenge for me in passing the CA Bar Exam. I studied those like there was no tomorrow by writing and rewriting the law into flashcards.”
When asked what her advice to others is, she says, “don't feel defeated if you don't pass the bar exam. Keep at it, determine your weakness and create your plan of attack.”
Something that Cecilia is very proud of is an arbitration award she received for a case she arbitrated last December. The case involved a car collision in which a woman was rear ended during working hours. The woman required shoulder surgery and continuous medical care. Cecilia litigated the case for 4 years. Prior to arbitration, the defense offered $133,000 to settle. The arbitrator awarded $1,087,000 days before Cecilia took a break from practice. The client was delighted.
We asked Cecilia what she is currently doing, and she said, “I practiced workers compensation law for 6 years and loved every minute of it. The majority of my clients were Latino Spanish speakers who work in the construction trades. I felt a deep connection with them, and it was an honor to represent them. In January of this year, I decided to take some time off from practicing law to care for my 2-year-old twin daughters. I felt I was missing out in their lives by having a nanny care for them instead of me. I am now enjoying spending time with them and taking them to various activities like ballet class, swimming lessons and museums among other things. I recently co-founded Level Up Latina, a service for women wanting to level up their career, motherhood and/or selfcare. I felt this type of service was necessary in our community because as a working professional you just work, work, work; with little to no leisure time. We need a balance in life and need to take care of ourselves in order to excel at work, at home, with your spouse/partner and as a mother.”