"[N]o stander above men and women or apart from them." -- Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, Song of Myself 24
I'm a blue-collar guy in a white-collar world. Or maybe I'm a t-shirt guy in a collared-world. Either way, I am who I am, a man and a lawyer.
I come from humble roots. After I was born in Bogotá, my parents picked up at a stop in a warm, tropical town on the bus ride back to Manzanares a wicker basket, which was my bed in those first months of life.
Later, back in the States, from age 2 to age 11, my family lived in a 2-bedroom apartment in Matawan, NJ. I can recall, even at that age, being aware that all my classmates in the g&t program lived in suburban houses with front and back yard, and even this new thing called cable tv.
Neither my mom nor my dad is a lawyer. Unlike some of my peers, neither of my parents is a judge. My mom is a high school graduate. My dad is a college graduate (though he didn't receive his degree until he officially completed a foreign language requirement a few years after leaving school). I am not entitled and I have no pedigree, and yet here I am.
Sometimes I feel like I've scratched and clawed to get where I am, and it's probably true. There have been times in my life when I was so completely dedicated to something that I worked my ass off at all cost to know that no onewas going to out-work me and I was going to squeeze every ounce of God's gifts to me in whatever endeavor I was committed to. On top of that, knowing where I come from, I've also had the attitude of when you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose.
Even with all that being said, I know that it's not all me. I've got my family to thank. And like anyone else, I've had help along the way, from teachers to mentors to friends. I thank all the people who have ever believed in me.
And now, I thank my clients, who show me time and time again the true meaning of resilience and determination and pride. Know that I'm no better than you, I am one of you and I am with you.