CHBA May 2021 Membership Highlight
The CHBA is pleased to bring you our second edition of the Member Highlight. The initiative aims to bring us closer together as a community within our profession by making it easier to get to know a bit about each other. The CHBA membership ranks are filled with exceptional lawyers, law students, and NCA candidates. Let’s continue to get to know one another!
Membership Highlight – Joaquin’s Journey in His Own Words:
I was born in San Salvador and immigrated to the United States in 1989 at the age of twelve, with my mother and my two younger sisters. After high school, I was unsure what was next for me. I then decided to move to Canada, as some of my mother's family lives in Kamloops, British Columbia where I decided to go.
I worked several jobs because I had to "pay the bills", but I felt that I could do more with my life. After four years out of high school, I went back and attended what is now Thompson Rivers University. From day one I knew my goal was to get into law school, and I worked towards that goal. I continued to work part-time during school and full-time in the summers to avoid taking a student loan.
Life got even busier when my first son was born after first semester in second year undergrad. I had to refine my time management skills, but I was ok with that. It seemed that the busier I got, the better I performed in school. My second son was born in my last semester of undergrad. By that time, I had been accepted to law school at the University of Victoria. My sons, their mother and I moved to Victoria in the summer of 2003. She took a year off and then was accepted into a graduate program at UVic. We had to implement a system to organize our parenting time, household responsibilities and my part-time job. We made it work.
Nonetheless, law school was a shock for me. I was used to being at the top of my class, not so much in law school. The challenge only made me work harder, and I did not mind that.
After graduation, I articled at a full-service firm in Vernon, B.C. I then stayed on as an associate fora couple of years before moving back to Kamloops, B.C. where I started working as an associate at Mair Jensen Blair LLP in 2009. After five years as an associate, I became a partner in 2014.
I am proud of being Hispanic. I am well aware that there are various customs and traditions that characterize the different countries in Latin America. It's my sense, however, that we all have a certain something that unites us. It goes beyond language. That "sabor Latino" and common experience are somewhat hard to explain, but easy to recognize and appreciate.
Although the Hispanic community in the Kamloops area is not large, we have a presence nonetheless, and it is a positive one. I appreciate every chance that I get to assist a fellowLatino in my community facing a legal issue. I do so as much as I possibly can. Although the focus of my practice is Family Law andMediation, at the very least, I try to point members of my community in the right direction when I can’t assist myself. Often, I provide my assistance pro bono or at a reduced rate, depending on the person's circumstances. It is my hope that my guidance can make a significant difference in the lives of people that I assist.
Outside of work, I enjoy and value my time with my two sons and my partner. We love to travel, camp and enjoy the different activities that the Thompson-Okanagan has to offer. As we have 3 dogs, we are always on the lookout for "pet friendly"hotels and patios to enjoy a cold drink.
It is likely we can all identify in some way with parts of Joaquin’s story. The journey from immigrant to lawyer is a path that many of our members walk. Joaquin’s perseverance, adaptability, and professional success is inspiring. We thankJoaquin for sharing his story with us.
Please stay tuned for next month’s Member Highlight!