In efforts to foster connections and collaboration among our alumni and current students, we are currently working towards developing new initiatives and ways to strengthen our network.
At the end of the last academic year, our President and our Alumni Relations Chair developed an alumni newsletter, featuring an interview with Raul Pérez, which is recreated below. The full newsletter is accessible here: La Alianza Newsletter 2015-2016.
We would really like to hear from you, please e-mail us at email@example.com with any concerns or suggestions, and please check back soon with information regarding the upcoming Celebration of Latino Alumni at HLS and other updates.
Alumni Spotlight: Raul Pérez ’94
Raul Pérez was Co-Chair of La Alianza and Vice President of the student body during his time at Harvard Law School. Carolyn Ruiz ’16, current Alumni Relations Chair, had the pleasure of speaking with Raul about his time with the organization.
What is your best memory about your experience with La Alianza? Raul reflected on the importance of the activism that he participated in through Alianza, but said, “By far, the lifelong friendships and relationships formed through La Alianza are what I hold dear to my heart, and at the end of the day, those memories are the ones that have stayed with me in the last 21 years.”
What do you wish would have been different about La Alianza during your time at HLS? “La Alianza could have provided much better networking possibilities with the alumni at that time. In retrospect, I believe that was a huge missed opportunity. Two decades later when I realize the level of accomplishments of my classmates, I see the tremendous networking opportunities that could have benefited the students of La Alianza.” “We could have done a much better job of connecting members with job opportunities, internships and even housing while in law school. Maybe we could have helped with academic mentoring. As Harvard students, we have this exterior we put on, we never discuss struggles, whether personal, financial, academic or otherwise. So I don’t know if there were students [in La Alianza] with these type of struggles, but maybe we could have improved on that type of support. I believe it’s in the DNA of Latino students to be tough, and everyone graduates, but there’s a price we pay privately.”
What advice do you have for current members of La Alianza? “Avoid the golden handcuffs. Explain to your parents that in the future you will be on the California State Supreme court or the head of a huge nonprofit, making a significant difference in the community. If being partner at a big law firm is your end goal, that’s a wonderful thing too because we need more Alianza members to be in those partner level positions at law firms, accumulating wealth or influence and sharing those blessings with others. But to the extent you feel you have a different calling, make the sacrifice, resist the temptation and I believe those dreams will come true.”
*** Raul Pérez is a partner and a civil litigation attorney in the Los Angeles office of Capstone Law. Among many other honors, he has previously been appointed as a Commissioner for the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension Board, and to the Board of Commissioners for Los Angeles World Airports (LAX). He has served as the President of the Latino Lawyers Association and been on the board of numerous organizations that help the Latino community. He is currently on the Board of Advisors to the Banc of California, Board of Advisors to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Board of Directors for Beverly Hills Little League, and Board of Directors of the Good Sheppard School.
If you would like to be featured in future newsletters, please contact Carolyn Ruiz at firstname.lastname@example.org.