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Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! The United States has been celebrating the history, influence, and culture of past generations that came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America for more than 40 years.
In 2019, about 60.5 million people of Hispanic origin lived in the United States. According to statistics from the Hispanic National Bar Association, Hispanics make up about four percent of American attorneys. For Latinas, this figure is about two percent of American attorneys. Although there remains a disparity in Hispanic attorneys, The Carlson Law Firm is very fortunate to have one of the brightest, strongest, and kindest of all, partner Edna Elizondo.
“Count your blessings, be kind, work hard, and enjoy life.”
This was the response of personal injury attorney and The Carlson Law Firm’s partner Edna Elizondo when asked what her personal motto is. Edna works out of the firm’s central office in San Antonio, dedicated to helping clients through some of the most difficult times in their lives. Many clients have relied on Edna to defend their rights and obtain the most favorable outcome in their lawsuit.
When Edna is not defending her clients’ rights, she loves spending time with her children and family. “We love inviting family and friends to come together to enjoy each other’s company. Unfortunately, the pandemic has hindered that aspect.”
Partner, Edna Elizondo
Looking back on her childhood, Edna would say that she had a great upbringing. Born and raised in Laredo, TX, Edna has always considered her family life important. “I grew up in a mobile home and didn’t lack anything any necessities. If something was missing, I don’t remember it because I have nothing but great memories of my childhood. ”
As the daughter of migrant workers, she and her family lived in Sunnyvale, CA, for some time during the school year for her parents’ work. Some of her fondest memories are when it was payday and she and the other children would go eat fruit from the huge pallets.
Edna comes from a line of working women. Not only was she fortunate to have parents who set an example of what it means to work hard, but Edna had a whole family of individuals who had a strong work ethic. Another great role model in her life was her grandfather, who was the owner of his own convenience store. “His work ethic was very impressive. He was always respectful, but strict, and always helped someone in need. He instilled that in me. ”
Edna sometimes helped her grandfather at his store, and she was able to learn about hard work through that experience. “My grandfather had a very militant vision of work. He would not allow us to be late or miss work. If we missed work, it was because we were ill. I do not mean, ‘My stomach hurts.’ We had to go to work no matter what. My grandfather took great pride in his work and it showed. ”
In addition to the great role models who taught Edna her work ethic, she was fortunate to have a close-knit family that taught her the importance of good company and good food. Every Sunday, Edna’s family would gather behind her grandfather’s little store, with good music and food. “Rain or shine, my grandfather was always there and, in turn, if he was there, the family was also there.”
Coming from a Hispanic family, many traditions have been passed down. Edna’s family reunion is during the holidays, which includes another tradition, the preparation of the famous dish, tamales. During the family get-together, all the members of her family brought something that could serve as a garnish. “We love to eat! Although I was never an active participant, I clearly remember that all my aunts and my mom would gather at my grandmother’s house to make tamales during the Christmas season. I was the taste tester as I was too slow to spread the batter on the cornhusks and was not very good at it. Frankly, I was happy with my task of eating the tamales.”
Growing up, she believes that the reason why education was hard-pressed on her family is that her mother was unable to continue her education. “They demanded education from us. My mom always told us that if there was something she could give us that no one could take from us, it was our education. My mother is a very strong and demanding woman, that is why we listen to her. ”
Edna took those words seriously when she graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with her Bachelor of Arts degree and later earned her Juris Doctorate from St. Mary’s University School of Law. She is involved in various legal organizations, including the elected president of the Mexican American Association Bar.
Law school is tough enough, but there are additional challenges when you are a first-generation law student. One possible challenge is imposter syndrome, which leads Latino students, as well as other minorities, to question the idea that their success is a function of their intelligence and hard work. “The biggest obstacle I’ve had to overcome has been myself. I have to try very hard to express my achievements. I have had some doubts about myself in many phases of my life and I have had to work hard to overcome that doubt. Self-promotion can be difficult for some people, for example, me. ”
Fortunately, this did not stop Edna from continuing her education. However, if there are other students wanting to join the legal profession who might struggle with thoughts of doubt, Edna encourages young students to overcome that doubt and do so. “It will not be easy but it is worth it. You have so many different practice areas where you can be successful; you just have to find what your passion is and follow it. I love helping people and I love what I do.
Edna not only plays a crucial role at The Carlson Law Firm but also with the country when it comes to representation. Despite the increasing Hispanic population in the United States, there is still a demand for Hispanic attorneys in the field. According to statistics from the National Hispanic Lawyers Association, Hispanics comprise about four percent of American attorneys, with Edna included in this percentage.
“I have been very lucky to work for a company that puts everyone at the same level. The Carlson Law Firm has always recognized different talents that different people can bring and embrace those talents, “says Edna.
The Carlson Law Firm is very fortunate to have attorney Edna Elizondo as part of the family. She is resourceful, helpful, and kind to everyone she encounters.