SWLAW Blog | Awards & Honors

Angelica Gonzalez - George and Katrina Woolverton Public Service Award Recipient

May 2, 2023

Angelica Gonzalez Awarded the 2023 George and Katrina Woolverton Public Service Award

Please join us in congratulating SCALE II student Angelica Gonzalez on receiving the George and Katrina Woolverton Public Service Award! 

She was selected for the Award for her extraordinary dedication to public interest law activities at Southwestern. The Woolverton Award is in the amount of $10,000. Only one student is chosen for this prestigious honor annually.

Meet Angelica Gonzalez

Angelica Gonzalez - George and Katrina Woolverton Public Service Award Recipient

What is the most satisfying aspect of public service for you?

The most satisfying aspect of public service is amplifying the voices of individuals who often lack the resources or knowledge, but once given either, they light up and shine! I have loved being able to make sure people are being heard and assisted by compassionate individuals. I have also loved being a part of growing Southwestern’s public interest community and acting in solidarity with one another. From first-hand experience, if members of my community had the means and more equitable access to resources, many more of us would be lawyers and great advocates, including my mother. My public interest experience at Southwestern would not have been as great without the fantastic lawyers I have met, including those in the making pursuing this field and continuing to dismantle the barriers put up against our clients. 

What have been some of your favorite highlights of your service involvement during law school?

One of my favorite highlights was working as a law clerk with ACLU SoCal when Dobbs was released. It was one of the most surreal moments to grieve, process, and feel together. There was no better feeling than being with a group of people across the nation who might feel sadness at the moment but know that we can band together and are not hopeless. 

Another favorite memory was serving as a MIALS sub-committee member that produced the successful speaker series, “Ending Mass Incarceration,” and working as part of an incredible team, including Amrita Patil, Katelyn Marshall, and Lauren Espina. We had initial challenges with the first event, but together, we were able to create a new panel in a matter of hours and create a “Bridging the Gap” event. It was so stressful at the moment, but we did such a great job addressing the hiccup and being able to create something else just as great! I think this shows how, similarly, our careers may not go as perfectly as we’d like, but when we face the challenge head-on, we can turn it around and make it even better.

What words of advice would you have for future Southwestern students?

Get involved, and do not be afraid to email a professor and chat! As a SCALE student, I know how difficult it can be to make time for extracurriculars, but when you make time to attend an intimate Story Telling Project event with the Writing Center, Safe Space Series events, or faculty office hours, you get to know your colleagues and professors on a personal level. I also recommend doing this for any professor whose field of work you wish to pursue, but especially for those in public interest as they want to see us succeed with all the tools in our pockets. When much of our work intersects, it’s great to have resource guides and contacts prepared. Also, find peace in knowing that not everyone will understand you – we all come from diverse backgrounds, and that is what makes us, us. It does not make you any less than anyone, and you should not have to shapeshift to others’ liking. Those who get you will love you and be there for you always.

Congratulations on receiving the George and Katrina Woolverton Public Service Award! Feel free to share a personal note with those you’d like to thank for supporting you during your law school career.

A huge thank you to George and Katrina Woolverton for providing this Award and supporting future Southwestern leaders working in the public interest; I am so grateful for this opportunity. Thank you for creating a fund that recognizes the importance and need for public service. 

I am also endlessly grateful for the community built here at Southwestern that has supported me these two years:

Professor Isabelle Gunning, thank you for your mentorship and kindness over the last two years while I struggled with hearsay all the way to talking about post-bar and life!

Michelle Takagishi-Almeida, you have been such a rock during law school in offering PSP opportunities, listening to me when things felt like they were not working out, and being a mentor in public service and life.

To my attorney supervisor Melissa Camacho, I look up to you in many ways and appreciate you allowing me to be a part of your summer externship cohort and beyond.

To all my SCALE and elective professors for teaching me the law, being patient with me as I asked a million questions, and allowing me to grow! Notably, thank you to Professors Cristina Knolton, Professor Joe Trigilio, and Professor Scott Johnson for sitting down with me to talk, connecting me with opportunities, and allowing me to pick your brain. I have learned so much from you and hope to join you in the fight in the near future.  

Big thanks to the SCALE Office, Dean Rolnick, Kim, and Margaux for always being here and answering any questions I had and likely will continue to have in the future! 

My SCALE community, thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge and friendship throughout this two-year journey; I cannot wait to see what we do.

Thank you to Professor Judy Sloan, Professor Jennifer Rodriguez-Fee, and Professor Ronald Aronovksy for entrusting me to be a teaching assistant and giving me the confidence to teach others.

The MIALS and LLSA community, I could not have done it without you!

To my public service warriors and friends, THANK YOU for inviting me to opportunities, hosting events, and to changing the future! You have always been a safe space to float ideas and culture and share space together. I cannot wait for what the future of these organizations holds!  

My friends and loved ones, thank you for supporting me, keeping me afloat during law school, and always being soundboards when I needed to vent. 

A mi mama y papa gracias por tener la confianza en mi cuando yo no la tenia y por siempre empujarme a ser la major version de mi mismo.

Angelica Gonzalez with family
Angelica Gonzalez with her family.


 Congratulations on your well-deserved award, Angelica!