Mary Orozco '61

Attorney at Law, Retired 

The daughter of indigent Mexican immigrants, Orozco never imagined she could be a lawyer. In high school, however, two attorneys gave her a job as a legal secretary, and her road to earning her J.D began. Orozco was Loyola Law's first Latina Aluma and the first Latina in California history to pass the State Bar. She returned to her community, knowing that Latinos needed a capable, bilingual lawyer. "I went out, bought myself a typewriter, rented a room and put up my own shingle," she recalls.

Even with her own practice, her life was not easy-Orozco faced a severe discrimination as a woman and as a Latina . Once, a bailiff assumed she was a criminal in custody. After a half-century of practicing law, the now retired Orozco credits a higher power for giving her the endurance to forge a successful career.

"I think it was a gift from God that I was able to get through all those obstacles," Orozco said.