Southwest Airlines continues to demonstrate its commitment to the communities it serves by supporting an array of women-focused activities. We are proud of our commitment to women.
We partner with nonprofit organizations that focus on ways to celebrate women and the important contributions they make to our businesses, communities and daily lives. Through our community partnerships, we celebrate Women’s History Month in March, but we continue to honor women throughout the year by celebrating the impact women make in our communities and showcasing the many ways they ensure bright futures for our female youth. We champion diversity, inclusion and the causes that matter most to our Customers and Employees.
In this issue, we celebrate Nadia P. Bermudez, one of our frequent flyers and a stellar litigator who serves as a role model to many young women. Her story is as fascinating as is the impact she’s had in the legal industry.
A New Breed of Lawyer
Women-owned law firms are few and far between. But a minority and women-owned law firm is truly rare in the legal industry. With stellar credentials representing employers and a commitment to assist the next generation of lawyers, Nadia P. Bermudez is a new breed of lawyer and law firm leader. Bermudez is an employment and business litigation attorney with Garcia, Hernandez, Sawhney & Bermudez, LLP, one of the largest Latino-owned law firms in California.
This hard-working Latina is not only a sought after litigator, she also continues to give back to the community through her involvement with various professional and service organizations.
The drive to succeed in the law runs in the family. Bermudez received her J.D. from Stanford Law School in 2001, and her two sisters are also in the legal profession. Eran Bermudez is an attorney at the same firm, Garcia, Hernandez, Sawhney & Bermudez, LLP and a graduate from UC Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law. Older sister Ruth Bermudez Montenegro is a UCLA Law School graduate and is a Superior Court Commissioner in Imperial County. Bermudez understands firsthand why role models are important: “because of the small town we come from in the Imperial County, seeing my sister Ruth have a prosperous career in the law provided me a great roadmap for achievement.”
Bermudez was born and raised in El Centro, California. Her father worked as an ironworker, and her mother as a homemaker. Bermudez credits her upbringing for bringing a practical approach to the way she litigates cases. She comments that: “Being able to relate to people from different backgrounds has allowed me to have success in representing employers with diverse workforces.”
Aside from being a lawyer, a wife and a mother to her 2-year old son Samuel — Bermudez is currently the President of a non-profit charitable organization called the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association Scholarship Fund. The Scholarship Fund awards financial assistance to law students who demonstrate academic achievement, community service and financial need. She tells Giving Back Magazine: “I am lucky because my husband, Sergio Feria, is also an attorney — so we are on the same page about giving back to the next generation of lawyers.”
According to Bermudez, “Many of the Scholarship Fund’s award recipients are the first to attend college in their families, much less a professional graduate school. I feel strongly about supporting the education of law students in order to support a diverse legal profession. Underemployment of minorities in law firms and the reduction of financial aid availability for graduate students, make these scholarship awards even more critical.” Bermudez emphasized the importance of diversity in the legal profession, since it serves as a pipeline for judges, elected officials, and other important decision makers.
In addition to practicing law, she is a local leader. Bermudez is a past President of Lawyers Club of San Diego, the women’s bar association. She currently serves as the Co-Chair for the Diverse Women’s Committee for Lawyers Club, focusing on the recruitment, retention and promotion of women of color in the law.
Bermudez’s community service enhances her professional success, commenting: “being for diversity, means being pro-business. As a professional, you can’t operate in a bubble and expect to be competitive in the marketplace anymore.”
Bermudez’s clients include publicly traded corporations, public agencies and privately held companies. She provides advice and counseling to employers throughout the state of California on everything from sexual harassment avoidance to everyday labor law compliance.
With firm offices in San Diego, Glendale and Oakland, as Bermudez’s firm grows and garners clients throughout the state, she notes that there is a greater demand by clients for efficiencies. Bermudez adds: “With clients all over California and cases filed in various state and federal courts, Southwest Airlines is a reliable and affordable partner in meeting the needs of our clients.”
Bermudez recalls her first experiences with Southwest Airlines: “I remember boarding Southwest flights as I made my trek back and forth from law school. Since then, my colleagues and I frequently fly Southwest as part of building our state-wide practice.”
“Southwest makes it easy to grow my business, be responsive to my client’s needs and enjoy life along the way.”