Tell me something special or interesting about your background before you went to law school?
Unsurprisingly, I have been involved in student government since middle school, through high school and college. I really enjoy being involved in advocating for students and in advancing policies that better support students.
Why did you decide to go to law school?
I am a first generation American; my parents came to the US from Nicaragua and they instilled in me the value of working to improve myself and my community. I saw how my mom was treated by her employer when I learned that her employer was not complying with employment laws, I became frustrated by not being able to do anything about it. Enrolling in the Women’s Employment Rights Clinic (WERC) I have come to appreciate the power my law degree will give me to work for enforcement of the laws intended to protect workers.
The legal profession has not yet achieved enough diversity. It is important that our society has lawyers with different perspectives and backgrounds to ensure that those who seek access to the justice system have a lawyer who can empathize with their situation. I take very seriously my position as a role model and seek to encourage more to achieve greater diversity.
Tell me something special or interesting about your law school experience.
At first, moving from Los Angeles to San Francisco was a big adjustment for me, but I quickly fell in love with GGU. I have made many very good friends and have learned a lot from faculty, especially working with Professor Hina Shah in WERC. In particular, I have learned a lot about the practice of law, working with clients and how to provide effective representation. Professor Shah also helped me and other students start a new student group, Labor and Employment Law Association (LELA). Although I still root for LA sports teams, I love the Bay Area.
What is your greatest source of motivation/support as you work towards your JD?
My family. They have supported me and encouraged me to be a role model for the Latino/a community. The legal profession has not yet achieved enough diversity. It is important that our society has lawyers with different perspectives and backgrounds to ensure that those who seek access to the justice system have a lawyer who can empathize with their situation. I take very seriously my position as a role model and seek to encourage more to achieve greater diversity.
In sports, people often talk about “leaving it all on the field” and I encourage you to approach law school and your legal career in the same way — over prepare, focus on achieving your personal best, 100%, all the time.
What is your favorite thing you do when you are not at law school?
I like to play and watch sports, especially basketball. Playing basketball is a good stress reliever. It may even boost my career. I recently got an elbow jabbed near my eye. A partner at Hanson Bridgett, where I am working this summer, asked me how I got a black eye and when I told him it was from playing basketball, he invited me to join regular pick-up games with Bay Area lawyers at 7:00 am on Fridays!
What message/advice do you have for your fellow law students?
No matter what you are trying to — getting a job or preparing for an exam — give it your all and do your best. In sports, people often talk about “leaving it all on the field” and I encourage you to approach law school and your legal career in the same way — over prepare, focus on achieving your personal best, 100%, all the time. My advice for first-year students is to get involved but don’t over commit. Talk to other students about ways to get involved and select what aligns best with your strengths, passion and career goals.
If not in law school right now, what would you be doing?
Politics. Before law school, I was involved in fundraising for the Obama campaign and more recently, if I were not in law school I would have been working for the Sanders campaign. I might eventually get back into politics.
Josue Aparicio finishes his term as the Student Bar Association president this April and will be graduating with a Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) degree in May. Currently, he is Judicial Extern for Presiding Justice Ruvolo at California Court of Appeal.
About the Interviewer
Dean Rachel Van Cleave has devoted her career to legal education. She has taught at six law schools and has been at GGU Law since 2004. She has served as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for four years and is in her fourth year serving as Dean. Dean Van Cleave loves GGU Law’s mission and history and enjoys getting to know students and learning how we can best support their success. In particular, Dean Van Cleave appreciates partnering with students, faculty and staff to enhance all that we do to cultivate lawyers who will be a part of building a better and more just society.
Dean Van Cleave is an avid SF Giants fan but enjoys attending games with Josue and other students who have different baseball loyalties!