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  • Writer's pictureCWBA

Professional Spotlight: The Honorable Christine Arguello

Updated: Jan 9, 2021

In 2008, Christine Marie Arguello became the first Hispanic United States District Court Judge for the District of Colorado, attaining with that appointment another of the historic firsts that mark her distinguished legal career. She was the first Latina from Colorado to be admitted to Harvard University School of Law. She was the first Hispanic to be promoted to partner at one of the then “big four” law firms in Colorado and the first Latina to be tenured and promoted to full professor at University of Kansas School of Law. Judge Arguello is respected for her expertise in the Federal Rules of Evidence and is the co-author of a leading casebook on evidence, Evidence: The Objection Method. In 2000, Judge Arguello became the first Hispanic Chief Deputy Attorney General for Colorado. Her service as Senior Managing Counsel at University of Colorado Boulder, her undergraduate alma mater, was interrupted by her appointment to the United States District Court bench, where she works hard to meet the Court’s mission of serving the public by providing a fair and impartial forum that ensures equal access to justice in accordance with the rule of law, protects rights and liberties of all persons, and resolves cases in a timely and efficient manner.

Born in rural Colorado to a large and very poor family, and steeped in a culture where women had subservient positions, Judge Arguello decided at a very young age that education would be the key to breaking those cultural norms. While managing her legal career and her family with her supportive husband and children, Judge Arguello also stresses the importance of giving back to the community. At the young age of 32 she was the first Latina elected to the Board of Education for Colorado Springs School District 11 and served on the boards of Pikes Peak Legal Services and Pikes Peak United Way and the advisory council of SER Employment for Older Americans. She has held leadership positions on both the Colorado Hispanic and Colorado Women’s Bar Associations. Her passion, however, is mentoring students and young adults at all levels. At KU she founded the KU Law School/Lawrence High School Partnership program and was a co-founder of the Hispanic Network of KU. She has mentored numerous high school, college, law school students, and young lawyers, both informally and through programs like the Circle of Latina Leadership Program.

From her passion for mentorship, Judge Arguello launched the Colorado non-profit, LAW SCHOOL...Yes We Can. Through this organization, she seeks to accomplish an important mission with which the legal profession has struggled for years—the cultivation of a legal community as diverse as the population bound by our laws. LAW SCHOOL…Yes We Can is the first law school pipeline program of its kind in Colorado—a program that targets high achieving college freshmen from diverse backgrounds and trains them for four years.  It is unique because it takes mentoring to a new level.  In addition to helping prospective legal professionals meet the challenges their predecessors faced, the program helps these students (1) identify the unique challenges they will face in the future; (2) cultivate the skills and relationships they need to mitigate competitive disadvantages that can accompany those challenges; and (3) perform at their peak academic, professional, and leadership levels while they are still in college.  Through exposure programs, LAW SCHOOL…Yes We Can demystifies the law school application process and gives Fellows access to the legal profession. Four years after its inception, LAW SCHOOL...Yes We Can is celebrating the Fellows who have successfully completed their college education and will begin the next phase of their journey to becoming our colleagues.

Consider joining the mission to make our legal profession more inclusive. Become a mentor today!

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