Alumni Spotlight: Elva Castañeda '20

Friday, October 1, 2021
Elva Castañeda '20

What drew you to clerking and what do you like most about your work there?

I knew I wanted to work as a law clerk after finishing an externship with Judge Gonzalez my 2L year. In a short amount of time, I was able to learn a lot of what is expected of attorneys in court and I wanted to keep learning after I graduated. Though I am working with a different Judge, I have liked my job so much that I decided to stay a second year. This has been a constant learning experience. Each case I work on presents a new issue, a new procedure or new case law that needs to be researched. Most importantly, I have gotten a glimpse of what I think is the future of the legal profession. The pandemic has introduced a lot of new procedures and shown us how technology will continue benefiting this profession in the years to come. Even on blue jeans, there are no boring days in court. I have learned a lot from the attorneys I see in court and hope to implement some of those skills when I start practicing. 

Do you have certain memories about law school that you want to remember?

As a 2020 graduate, I would have never thought that I would want to remember the last semester of law school, but it ended up being one of the most enriching experiences. Though virtual zoom gatherings were extremely monotonous at times, it forced me to foster relationships on a deeper level. Sitting face to face – albeit through a screen- encouraged conversations that went beyond small talk that is common during in person events.   I am very thankful for the members of the Boyd community (students, admin, attorneys, judges) that continued to participate in virtual meetings. 

What do you enjoy in your off hours?

A lot of my free time revolves around the Orangetheory Fitness class I plan on taking on a particular day. Now that restrictions are being lifted, I have tried to go to as many live concerts as I can and catching up with friends I have not seen. I also really enjoy working with the Latino Bar Association. Over summer, many of my off hours were spent working on planning the Annual Andale 5K. 

What would be the title of your autobiography?  
Let’s catch up over coffee” Whether it would be a story involving my family, friends, or colleagues I think that a lot of the stories that I would include would involve a cup of coffee. 

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