(Carson, CA) – Maria Villa, a principle for the law firm of Lathrop and Villa in Rolling Hills Estates, CA, and a nationally-recognized advocate for Latinx attorneys, has been elected chair of the board of directors for the California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) Philanthropic Foundation.
Villa, a CSUDH alumna who graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration in 1982, has served on the foundation’s board since May 2018. Her wealth of knowledge, passion, and support for the foundation’s mission will serve her well as chair, leading the active promotion and stewardship of private support for the advancement of the university.
“As an alumna, I know firsthand that today’s CSUDH students are tomorrow’s leaders,” said Villa, who is working to create a pipeline program to law school for CSUDH students. “We, as ambassadors to CSUDH, will use our time, talents, and resources to assist [CSUDH] President Thomas Parham in creating transformative opportunities for our Toros today so that they can be prepared to take on the mantle of leadership tomorrow.”
Villa co-founded Lathrop and Villa in 1992. She has a state and federal appellate practice, and has served in the areas of employment and business litigation and plaintiff’s class action litigation.
She is a co-founder of the Latina Lawyers Bar Association, and a former deputy regional president of the Hispanic National Bar Association. Villa was the first Latinx attorney to be elected to the State Bar Board of Governors, serving as vice president and treasurer, is a founding fellow of the State Bar Foundation, and a member and former president of the Mexican-American Bar Association of Los Angeles County,
Villa was the recipient of the American Bar Association’s Difference Maker Award in 2004, the Latina Lawyers Bar Association’s Mary V. Orozco Trailblazer Attorney of the Year Award in 2004, and the Mexican American Bar Association’s Benito Juarez Attorney of the Year Award in 2002.