Today we’d like to introduce you to Cynthia Grande.
Cynthia, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was raised in San Pedro, CA as the daughter of immigrants from El Salvador. My parents are incredibly hard-working and would often work two to three jobs at a time to make ends meet. Despite working so hard, they always made time to encourage me to dream big. I was eleven years old, when my grandmother died in a car crash caused by a negligent driver in South LA. The driver was never prosecuted and it was an eye-opening experience. I realized then that there are many communities who do not have equal access to justice. I became determined to be someone who advocates for those who do not have a voice. It was this determination that led me to starting my own law firm in 2012 in the South Bay.
Today I get to fulfill on my passion to empower others through the work I do in the Grande Law Firm. We work with families and business owners to help them find solutions to some of life’s toughest legal challenges so that they can live life with more freedom and peace of mind on a daily basis.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It hasn’t been, but I’m grateful for every moment of it. I am the first in my family to become a lawyer and I found it challenging to navigate the educational system to even get to law school in the first place. Then there was the bar exam to become licensed as a lawyer, which in California has a pass rate that remains in the 35%-45% range, which I passed in 2009.
As a young Latina lawyer, I found myself often being mistaken as a defendant or assistant by other lawyers, court staff, judges, and even clients despite carrying a briefcase and wearing a suit. Even though it was frustrating dealing with this on a regular basis, I was fortunate to have a great community of people around me to support and encourage me to continue moving forward. They are the ones that gave me the confidence to start my own firm in 2012 and I am thankful to continue to have them in my life.
Please tell us about The Grande Law Firm.
At the Grande Law Firm, we work in the areas of immigration and bankruptcy law. Both of these areas of law can create a lot of stress and anxiety for families and business owners. This is why our commitment is to make the legal process as easy and straightforward as possible for every one of our clients. We believe that every person who works with a lawyer should feel valued, heard, and taken care of. We infuse this belief into every aspect of our work and our goal is for our clients to say that they love to work with us.
I am most proud of my amazing team working with me to fulfill on our mission to bring freedom and peace of mind to our clients. They all have a passion for empowering others and making a difference in their communities. This is what I believe sets us apart from others.
We are based in Torrance, CA and have recently expanded to the Bay Area in Northern California.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
It’s hard to pick just one. The happiest childhood memories I have involve my family, both here in the United States and El Salvador. We would have these big parties around the holidays where everyone would come over to celebrate. There was always great music, delicious food, and people dancing.
In El Salvador, we would visit the homes of extended family members. I loved hearing stories of my parents when they were kids. We would take trips to the beach with family for a day or two. The beaches in El Salvador are so beautiful and relaxing. It felt like we were in a different world.