At an early age Javier Garcia developed a strong work ethic and competitive drive which gave him an advantage in law school. His time spent at Gonzaga Law School taught him how to analyze legal problems, including research and writing, that have helped him become a successful lawyer at Perkins Coie LLP, in Seattle, WA.
Tell us about yourself and your work
I grew up Williams, CA, a small farming town in Northern California. My parents came to the U.S. from Mexico, shortly before I was born. About half of our family came to the U.S. and the other half continues to live in Mexico. Growing up in two cultures and seeing the challenges my family faced, and continues to face, gave me another perspective on life that makes me appreciate and take advantage of the opportunities that have come across my path in life.
I currently am practicing law at Perkins Coie LLP, in Seattle, WA. I represent clients in a wide variety of labor and employment cases, including litigation, union matters, and counseling.
Since graduating from law school, I have been heavily involved in the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) and the Latino Bar Association of Washington, including serving on the boards of both organizations. This past summer, I co-chaired the HNBA’s annual convention, which is the organization’s flagship event, in Seattle, WA. The convention hosted over 600 lawyers, judges, law students, and legal professionals from all over the country and various Latin American countries. The event featured CLEs, networking receptions, and distinguished speakers from across the country.
Why did you choose to attend law school?
I choose to go to law school because I wanted to help people and solve problems. The law allows me to do both of those on a daily basis.
What do you most enjoy about your profession?
I enjoy practicing law because you are always learning something new and doing something different. I am constantly learning, whether it’s about the intricacies of a specific area of law or the facts of a particular case. I appreciate working and meeting new people everyday through my job.
I am constantly working with people to accomplish something, whether its my staff or the witnesses of a particular case. This teamwork and collaboration make my career of practicing law fun.
How has your Gonzaga education influenced your career?
Gonzaga gave me the tools I needed to practice law. I was taught practical skills that I needed in order to break down and analyze legal problems, including research and writing skills which are critical to having a successful legal career.
What is the most challenging aspect of your profession?
These days the most challenging aspect of practicing law is maintaining a healthy work-life balance. The practice of law can consume your life, so taking time to stay connected with your friends and family can be challenging. You have to make it a priority and commit yourself to maintaining strong relationships with the people you care about most.
From a legal perspective, the law’s ability, or inability, to keep up with technology is going to be a challenge for the legal profession. The profession is going to have to keep developing as technology modifies the way we communicate, do business, and the way we live our lives.
What else are you passionate about?
I am passionate about competition; whether it be on the playfield or in the courtroom, the spirit of competition has always “fired me up” and driven me to work hard to accomplish goals and tasks.
When I’m not working, I love spending time with my family and enjoying the outdoors. I love to boat, fish, camp, and snowboard with my family and friends.