Rising Star Latina Attorney Awarded Loyola Law School Prestigious Award

September 10, 2014


Rising Star Latina Attorney Awarded Loyola Law School Prestigious Award

Loyola Law School honors CRLA Regional Director of Advocacy, Blanca A. Bañuelos with the Public Interest Award

Dolores Garay, CRLA Development Officer
415.777.2752    / dgaray@crla.org

Blanca A. Bañuelos

Stockton, CA –Loyola Law School is honoring CRLA attorney Blanca A. Bañuelos with the Loyola Public Interest Award for her dedication and service in public interest law.  Blanca is the Regional Director of Advocacy for California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. where she supervises substantive advocacy and litigation in the Central Valley and the Coachella Region.  She is an alumna of Loyola class of ‘03.  She started working at CRLA in June 2004, as a result of receiving the Loyola Post Graduate Two-Year Fellowship. Prior to CRLA, Blanca held numerous clerkships with social justice organizations.  She is an expert litigator having litigated dozens of cases under California's Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) and California's Unfair Competition Law (UCL).

She represents farmworkers and dairy workers in wage and hour, wrongful termination and sexual harassment cases.  She was lead counsel in the case of Arias v. Superior Court (46 Cal.4th 969 (2009)), which was argued in and decided by the California Supreme Court in 2009. Arias is a significant case for rural Californians and low-wage workers because it grants the ability to bring representative suits against employers without having to meet burdensome class-certification requirements. Low-wage workers and low income individuals typically do not have access to and cannot afford attorneys and firms with experience or capacity to file class action suits, so this decision provides a pivotal venue to seek justice from employers. Blanca is also one of the attorneys in Arias v. Raimondo, currently filed in federal court in California’s Central District, where a dairy worker is suing an attorney for contacting immigration authorities in retaliation for asserting his rights.

I grew up in a farmworker family.  Through my personal experiences and work representing farmworkers, I’ve seen firsthand how growers and big agricultural employers abuse workers because of the language they speak or the color of their skin.  We must provide a voice to those workers who work in the fields and farms where most of America’s food is grown and raised.  I went into law to right the continuous wrongs against people like my parents, my family and communities.  Giving the rural poor a voice is still my goal and receiving this award is an honor and reiterates that I am fighting the good fight. – Blanca A. Bañuelos


Award Presentation at the
50th Anniversary Celebration Service Brunch
Loyola Law School – Burns Lounge
Sunday, September 21, 2014


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