M. Lorena González is a shareholder and trial attorney at the Seattle law firm of Schroeter Goldmark & Bender. Lorena focuses her practice on representing individuals who have been victimized by people in authority positions--employers not giving workers the pay and benefits owed to them, nursing home workers abusing or neglecting the elderly and sexual aggressors preying on those unable to defend themselves. She is a 2005 honors graduate of Seattle University School of Law.
Lorena is a native Washingtonian who grew up in Washington’s Lower Yakima Valley, where she and her family worked as migrant farm workers. She is the first and only attorney in her family. Lorena is the daughter of immigrant parents from Michoacán, Mexico. Her parents first immigrated into the country in the early 1960s without proper documentation. Both adjusted their status in the early 1970s but lived in the shadows as undocumented workers until such time. Lorena’s mother eventually became a naturalized U.S. Citizen in 1996.
Lorena is a Past President of the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington’s (LBAW) Board of Directors and was a member of that board from 2003–2008. In 2004, she was the recipient of LBAW’s Outstanding Member of the Year award and was the youngest member and the only law student in the history of LBAW to receive that award. In 2009, the Hispanic National Bar Association recognized her as one of seven Top Lawyers Under 40 in the country. Washington Law & Politics has recognized Lorena as a Rising Star in Employment Law from 2010-2013. In recognition of her exceptional leadership and devoted service to civil rights law, the WSBA’s Civil Rights Section awarded Lorena with its Distinguished Service Award in 2010. Lorena was also the 2011 recipient of Seattle University’s School of Law Alumni Service Award. In 2012, Lorena was honored by the Thomas C. Wales Foundation at theirNight Among Heroes for her extraordinary work in the courtroom and community. In 2013, Lorena was the recipient of the Seattle University School of Law and Latina/o Law Student Association’s La Justicia (The Justice) Award recognizing her contributions to the legal community, the greater community at-large, as well as unwavering dedication and commitment to the advancement of the law school. Most recently, Seattle University awarded Lorena with the 2014 Community Service Award.
As an attorney at SGB, Lorena forged a partnership between SGB, LBAW and El Centro de la Raza to institutionalize a free monthly bilingual legal clinic for low-income individuals living in the Puget Sound. The legal clinic program is now in its fifth year and has provided over 1,000 people with free legal advice.
Lorena serves on various local, regional and national non-profit boards, including the National Council of La Raza, Northwest Area Foundation and Washington State Association for Justice. She’s also a founding member of the National Advisory Committee for the Latino Victory Project – a national movement that builds power in the Latino community so that the faces and voices of Latinos are reflected at every level of government and in the policies that drive our country forward. The Seattle City Council also appointed Lorena as a Commissioner on the Seattle Ethics & Elections Commission. She is currently serving her second year in that role.