The Squire Patton Boggs Foundation honored two Fellowship alumni, Julia Spiegel and Joaquin Gallegos, with the 2021 Distinguished Fellow Award during a recent virtual ceremony. Recipients are recognized for their commitment to justice and addressing the needs of the underrepresented.
“The unwavering commitment to service displayed by our fellows is something for us all to be proud of,” said John Oberdorfer, Foundation President. “Julia and Joaquin are well deserving of this recognition and we are elated to be a part of their journeys.”
An alumna of the Foundation’s 2012 Fellowship Class and a graduate of the Yale Law School, Ms. Spiegel serves as a Deputy Legal Affairs Secretary to California Governor Gavin Newsom. Her portfolio includes consumer protection, privacy, election integrity, and immigration. She is in-house counsel to the Governor and his team, overseeing various state agencies and departments and directing litigation.
Ms. Spiegel is a member of the Foundation’s Advisory Committee and serves on the Fellowship Alumni Subcommittee. During her Fellowship, she worked at the US State Department in legal and policy roles. She served as a clerk to Judge M. Margaret McKewon of the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, who also attended the virtual program and offered congratulatory remarks. From 2017 until her recent appointment, Ms. Spiegel was a Deputy County Counsel for Santa Clara County, spearheading high impact litigation. In 2018, she was named a California Lawyer Attorney of the Year.
“I cannot imagine a more deserving Distinguished Fellow of your worthy foundation, or someone more sure to spend her lifetime advancing your admirable commitments to law, policy and service,” said Former Assistant Secretary of State and Yale Law School Professor Harold Koh of Ms. Spiegel.
“It is a real honor to receive this recognition, and I am in awe of the work of the Squire Patton Boggs Foundation,” said Ms. Spiegel. “I am truly grateful to have this opportunity. I know there is more work to be done and I continue to work each day to make a difference.”
A graduate of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and an alum of the Foundation’s 2016 Fellowship Class, Mr. Gallegos was recently appointed Special Assistant, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs in the US Interior Department. He spent his Fellowship summer serving as a legal fellow to former Senator Tom Udall on the US Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and set his sights on further public service.
Mr. Gallegos served as a law clerk to Judge Allison H. Eid of the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals. Previously, he worked as a legislative staff attorney to the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and a policy fellow to former Senator Byron Dorgan at the Aspen Institute.
“As Joaquin pursues his calling to advance the rights and interests of Native Americans, we are proud to present him with this recognition,” said John Oberdorfer.
“I am honored to receive this acknowledgement,” said Mr. Gallegos. “I am the result of people who have come before me and invested in my success. The Foundation has been pivotal to my success and it’s been a privilege to be connected to such an amazing organization.”
Rooted in a history of civil rights advocacy, the Squire Patton Boggs Foundation originally was funded with lawyers’ fees from a pro bono employment discrimination case. Further information on the Foundation is available here.