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LatinoJustice PRLDEF Mourns Passing of Dean José Bahamonde-González

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
May 24, 2022  

Contacts:
Carolina González | Senior Director of Strategic Communication| [email protected] | 212-739-7513  

Sarai Bejarano | Manager of Traditional & Digital Media | [email protected] | 212-739-7581  

LatinoJustice PRLDEF Mourns Passing of Dean José Bahamonde-González

The LatinoJustice PRLDEF familia mourns the recent passing of Dean José Bahamonde-González, who passed away on May 15 at age 62. 

Bahamonde-González worked for over two decades at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law School as an associate dean for administrative affairs and student services, associate dean for professional education. He had also served as advisor to the Latinx Law Student Association (LLSA) and OUTLaw student groups and had been one of LatinoJustice's long-time partners and presenters at our annual Law Day every Fall. 

Dean Bahamonde-González who had mentored and counseled countless aspiring students in his many years of Law Day participation has long been a champion of increasing access to a legal education for black and brown applicants. Dean Jose as he was affectionately called has always emphasized the importance of making sound, thoughtful decisions on how to finance your law school education and planning for your legal career. He stressed the practical economic impact of pursuing a legal career and repeatedly advised students to consider financial aid when choosing a law school and to take steps to minimize any potential law school debt and live frugally as law students to help expand opportunities when choosing their first job after law school. 

"He always painted an honest and realistic economic picture for law applicants to consider, and help them manage expectations" said Sonji Patrick, former long-time Director of LatinoJustice's Legal Education Programs. "He was hilariously funny, wore his heart on his sleeve, and was always one of the most popular panelists at our annual Law Day event. He always told it like it is." 

Throughout his career, Bahamonde-González was a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion. He served on the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) Diversity Committee; and was a member of the Student Services Section of the Association of American Law Schools. He was a long-time member of the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) since 1992, serving as NALP vice president, chair of the Leadership/Membership Diversity Task Force and the Board of Directors. By request, he also served on law school accreditation teams of the American Bar Association (ABA), Council for Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. 

Bahamonde-González received the Maryland Hispanic Bar Association 2018 Outstanding Achievement Award for his work counseling and mentoring Latinx law students and lawyers. In 2020, he was honored by his alma mater Syracuse University College of Law with the Latin American Law Students Association Legacy Award, for significant contributions to the community and professional excellence where he had founded the first Latino/a Law Student Association "LALSA" at Syracuse law school in 1990. 

Bahamonde-González earned his BS in management from the University of Massachusetts and his JD from the Syracuse University College of Law. He previously served as assistant director for career services and coordinator for minority affairs at the Georgetown University Law Center and assistant dean for the career planning center at the University of Miami School of Law, and most recently was senior diversity, equity and inclusion manager at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP since 2021.

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About LatinoJustice
LatinoJustice PRLDEF works to create a more just society by using and challenging the rule of law to secure transformative, equitable and accessible justice, by empowering our community and by fostering leadership through advocacy and education. For nearly 50 years, LatinoJustice PRLDEF has acted as an advocate against injustices throughout the country. To learn more about LatinoJustice, visit www.LatinoJustice.org