Taking Legal Empowerment to the Next Level
By Nichole Naoum

Lawyers are in a unique position to help both individuals and businesses address and resolve their legal problems to further the public good. Launched in 1979, the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association (SDLRLA) serves the community by empowering Latino and Latina attorneys to excel in their respective areas of legal expertise. Currently, George A. Rios III serves as the organization’s president and co-chair of LEAD (Legal Enrichment and Decision-Making), an educational initiative that aims to encourage fifth graders to make positive life choices. Rios shared with us where he is today, how he plans to advance SDLRLA’s goals, and how he balances it all.

GB: What inspired you to pursue a career in law?
GR: The Latin motto “unitas, veritas, and caritas,” meaning “unity, truth, and love,” has really been a driving force in all my career decisions. Those were the values instilled in me during my formative years at St. Augustine High School here in San Diego, and for which I still strive to live by today, especially since stepping into the role as president of the SDLRLA. When I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from San Diego State University, I was still unclear on how I would apply those values to my career, let alone what type of business I wanted to manage. Law school was the next step, and I am glad I took it. I have been fortunate enough to represent people in a wide variety of legal disputes, spanning business transactions, employment relationships, personal injuries, construction defects and more.

GB: How do you plan on furthering SDLRLA’s mission?
GR: SDLRLA is a community of Latino and Latina attorneys with over 250 members including lawyers, judges and partners. Each member is dedicated to justice, equality, and the empowerment of the community at large, as well as promoting diversity through education, advocacy, and service. My role as president this year has focused on accepting the realities of COVID-19 while still pushing forward with advancing our mission. One way I have done this is to surround myself with an extraordinary team of diverse individuals who strive to support, mentor, and challenge each other to become phenomenal leaders within the San Diego legal community and beyond. This year, SDLRLA has taken large strides and it all has to do with the amazing team I have behind me.

GB: How do you prioritize your focus as a multi-passionate lawyer?
Attorney wellness is a big topic these days because it is easy to take on too much and become overwhelmed. I try to stay well-rounded by taking care of my physical, spiritual, social, and emotional well-being on top of my career. With that being said, I try to exercise daily and spend as much quality time with family and friends as I can.