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HSF Alumni

Yvonne Esperanza Campos

  • Gender: Female
  • Major: Economics and Political Science
  • University: Stanford University
  • Post Graduate Degree: Juris Doctor
  • Hometown: Grand Prairie
  • Organization: Superior Court of California, County of San Diego
  • Position Title: Judge

Judge Campos was born in Oakland, California, the eldest of six children. Her parents emigrated from Mexico City to California, ultimately settling in Grand Prairie, Texas. Her father worked his way up from laborer to part-owner of a tortilla factory. Her mother started as a keypunch operator, and later became a real estate agent.

Yvonne recalled that they always stressed the importance of education. “My parents understood education was key for economic advancement,” she said. In addition to frequently taking their children to the public library, they “always made a point of finding some money for us to purchase books.”

The foundation was laid, and she went on to attend Stanford University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science. She then earned her JD from Harvard Law School, and was awarded three HSF Scholarships in the process.

Looking back with pride, she said that her parents “now have six college-educated children, and all but one have advanced graduate degrees, including JD, PhD, MBA, MA, and MFA.”

Judge Campos began her career in private practice as an Associate with Morrison & Foerster and then at Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, where her focus was real estate.

She later became a White House Fellow under President Clinton and served as an assistant to Attorney General Janet Reno, before becoming a United States Attorney, a post she held for several years, and which earned her numerous awards. (US Attorneys represent the United in legal cases.)

She was appointed a judge in the Superior Court of the State of California in 2003 and, today, continues to serve in its Appellate Division in downtown San Diego. In this role she reviews both civil and criminal misdemeanor appeals. During her tenure, she also presided over criminal trials.

Yvonne enjoys giving back to her community. When she is not on the bench, she has served as the Chair of the San Diego High School Mock Trial Competition, supported local specialty bar associations, served on the San Diego Public Law Library's Board of Trustees, mentored law students through Latinas in the Law, and participated in other civic groups throughout San Diego.

Judge Campos received the Joan Dempsey Klein Distinguished Jurist award for 2015 from professional and advocacy organization, California Women Lawyers.