Original publication date: April 14, 2010
The soft, humble yet sage voice of Dr. Lorenzo Trujillo is very descriptive of a man that has worked toward his life goals that transcended the borders of a legal career.
Trujillo announced his retirement as the Assistant Dean of Students and Professional Programs at the University of Colorado School of Law after six years there. A graduate of Boulder himself, he spoke candidly about his experience at the university and how his education has shaped the person he is today.
Trujillo said that, “seeing the focus in diversity in the law school and the increase in diverse students,” is one of his most notable experiences in his current position at CU. He also spoke about the policy areas that he had a hand in influencing such as when he chaired the Trujillo Commission on Online Education, his work on a study on truancy in K-12 schools, and the relationship between law schools and the rate of law students successfully passing the bar exam.
Policy alone is not definitive of Trujillo’s contributions. Trujillo has helped put into place programs from which many law students have benefited.
With his help, the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) was established to provide monetary awards to law students pursuing a career in public interest or with non-profit organizations.
Trujillo also worked with the externship program that allows students to provide legal support to organizations, courts and government agencies. Because of this, law students “better understand the practical aspect of the practice of law,” he said.
With the diverse contributions that he’s made at CU law, it’s fitting that many have referred to him as a “renaissance man” because of his own diverse background.
Not only does he hold a Bachelors of Arts, Master of Arts and a Juris Doctor--all from CU Boulder--but he also earned a Doctor of Education from the University of San Francisco. Asked about his decision to pursue these different avenues, Trujillo said, “I like to have a broad understanding of life. I think life is not one area of study.”
For Trujillo, whose roots come from Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico, music is a true devotion. He is the director of the Southwest Musicians, a family troupe made up of several generations that began performing in 1976. A talented musician (guitarist, violinist, vocalist and overall artist), he has received numerous awards and recognitions such as the 1996 Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Hilos Culturales Distinguished Traditional Folk Artists Premio and has released CD’s “Southwest Musicians” and “A Musical Banquet: From Santa Fe to Denver.”
Though his love of music is evident, Trujillo insists that law is his first passion saying, “law has given me a voice in places where I would otherwise not have a voice to bring out change for the good of people I work with and to be helpful in a meaningful way.”
As for Latinos looking forward to a law school education, Trujillo said, “Law school is like no other education experience a person has ever had or even imagined. It’s like marine boot camp for the mind, it is extremely demanding, rigorous and reshapes the way a person thinks and behaves.”
He had some kind words to say about La Voz saying it “represents a unique perspective and presents information in news of interest to the Latino community.”
Trujillo has forged a path from which many have gained inspiration from because of his many achievements. Although he is retiring from CU, he will still work as a practicing attorney with Sherman and Howard, LLC. With his estimable demeanor, Trujillo said, “I plan to continue my commitment to the ideals of the legal profession that I’ve adhered to all my life.”
Bertha Velasquez is editorial assistant for La Voz and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org