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October 14, 2022 - MoFo Diversity

Celebrating Latinx Heritage Month 2022

MoFo Celebrates LatinX Heritage Month

From September 15 to October 15, Morrison Foerster is pleased to take part in Latinx Heritage Month as part of the annual celebration of the history and culture of the Latinx community. Throughout the month, MoFo took time to honor the contributions and experiences of our Latinx lawyers, including presentations and entertainment sponsored by the Diversity + Inclusion Group and the Latinx Affinity Network.

In honor of Latinx Heritage Month, we asked some of our Latinx lawyers to share their thoughts on the month-long celebration, which Latinx individuals they admire most, and how their identities have shaped their careers.

Meredith Angueira is an associate in the Litigation Department in MoFo’s San Francisco office. She was previously a summer associate at the firm for two summers, one of which as a Wetmore Fellow, and received her J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Q: How has being Latinx made you a better lawyer?

A: By virtue of being Latina, I bring a unique perspective to corporate law. My perspective as a Cuban‑American was born out of the sacrifice, resilience, and hopes of those closest to me. When I was growing up as a daughter and granddaughter of Cuban exiles, topics of law and righteousness were everyday themes. My family impressed upon me from a very young age the significance of education and advocacy as tools to empower ourselves and those around us. These experiences and lessons allow me to bring a different outlook to problem-solving and decision-making. They also continue to shape my character and integrity as a lawyer.

Veronica AscarrunzVeronica Ascarrunz is of counsel in the Litigation Department of Morrison Foerster’s Washington, D.C. office. She is an intellectual property litigator with more than a decade of experience litigating patent, trademark, and trade secret matters in federal courts, at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and at the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC).

Q: What advice would you give to encourage more Latinx individuals to pursue a career in law?

A: A career in the law offers endless areas and opportunities to work on issues that you are passionate about. Latinx attorneys have a powerful voice, deep passion, and richness of experience that can contribute greatly and make a legal career personally rewarding.

Nate Mendell Nate Mendell is a partner in Morrison Foerster’s Boston office and a member of the firm’s Investigations + White Collar Defense Practice Group. He is a former acting U.S. attorney for the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts. He represents companies, financial institutions, boards, and executives through all phases of investigation and litigation involving allegations of corporate healthcare fraud, securities and other financial fraud, public corruption, criminal intellectual property theft, and international money laundering.

Q: Is there a Latinx individual you admire that you know personally or professionally whose achievements within the Latinx community you would like to recognize?

A: A Latina whom I know personally and whose achievement I’d like to recognize: my own mother. She came here as a Cuban Exile and followed my father to—of all places—Buffalo, New York. Not the easiest climate for somebody from Cuba. Also not the easiest place to live if you have a heavy Cuban accent. But, facing that adversity, she became a leader in the Hispanic community and at the college where she was a professor of Spanish. She mentored many people who went on to professional careers—some to elected office. That’s an achievement worth recognizing, and I’m proud to be her son.

Q: How has being Latinx made you a better lawyer?

A: Being Hispanic has helped me as a lawyer because, by virtue of being bilingual and bicultural, and having to navigate some class and socioeconomic differences, I’ve learned an adaptability and a flexibility that are very useful in analyzing problems. I’ve also learned that the assumptions people make—the assumptions we all make from time to time—are often incorrect, so they’re worth challenging, and that kind of thinking is at the heart of being a good lawyer.

Lauren NavarroLauren Navarro is an associate in Morrison Foerster’s San Francisco office. She is a member of the firm’s Investigations + White Collar Criminal Defense Group and the FCPA + Global Anti-Corruption practice. Lauren’s practice focuses on complex white-collar criminal matters, including defending clients facing U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enforcement proceedings and conducting internal investigations with and without parallel government investigations.

Q: What advice would you give to encourage more Latinx individuals to pursue a career in law?

A: To any Latinx individual looking to pursue a career in law, my advice is to dive in and believe that you belong. This month we celebrate the strength of the Latinx community and the diverse experiences and viewpoints that our Latinx attorneys bring to the table; know going into it that the legal profession is better off with your participation and your voice and opinions matter.

Samantha RoseSamantha Rose is an associate in the San Francisco office of Morrison Foerster and a member of the firm’s Corporate Department. Her practice focuses on advising clients on domestic and cross-border corporate matters, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, minority investments/venture financings, and corporate governance.

Q: How has being Latinx made you a better lawyer?

A: As a Latina, I bring a unique viewpoint to solving problems and leverage my background to implement creative and innovative solutions for our clients.

Camila TapernouxCamila Tapernoux is an associate in the Litigation Department of Morrison Foerster’s San Francisco office. Her practice focuses on complex litigation with an emphasis on class action and commercial litigation.

Q: What does Latinx Heritage month mean to you?

A: For me, celebrating Latinx Heritage month at MoFo provides an opportunity to recognize the contributions of our Latinx attorneys and staff, as well as reflect on where we are succeeding and where we need to continue to work to improve our D+I efforts, from recruiting and retention to pro bono activities in our community.

To learn more about MoFo’s commitment to diversity, please visit our Diversity page.