Jose Refugio Gonzalez
With a wife and child to support, and already working full time while earning his undergraduate degree, Jose Gonzalez saw Southwestern's evening program as ideal for his situation. He was determined to provide a better future for his family through higher education and a profession, and had a long-held interest in the law. This interest was reinforced during the several years that Jose served as a social services worker, implementing the Welfare to Work program for Los Angeles County. Jose said he was aware of "many social injustices and a lack of Latino lawyers to represent minorities and the poor." But without role models to provide direction (he was the first in his large family to go to college), Jose had to establish contacts and learn all he could about law school on his own.
"I like the camaraderie among the evening students. We are very supportive of one another since we all have something in common - balancing work, family and law school!"
At Southwestern, he has been able to maintain his full-time work schedule due to the flexibility offered by the part-time program. And, his current job as a law clerk at the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office during the day helps not only to support his family, but also brings him one step closer to his goal of becoming an attorney.