The California Young Lawyers Association (CYLA) is pleased to announce that Gilberto Vera is the recipient of its 2021 Jack Berman Award of Achievement. CYLA annually confers the Jack Berman Award of Achievement to recognize a new or young lawyer within their first eight years of practice for their distinguished service to the public, the judiciary or the legal profession. This year’s pool of nominees was extremely competitive, and we thank and recognize everyone who submitted nominations.
About Gilberto Vera
Mr. Vera is a Senior Attorney at the Legal Aid Society of San Diego where he manages a staff of four attorneys, two advocates, and one case manager on the housing team. Before the start of the pandemic, Mr. Vera’s practice focused on unlawful detainer defense, representing families facing housing insecurity. At the start of 2020 and through 2021, Mr. Vera transitioned his practice to address COVID-19 and the ensuing economic impact and housing crisis. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Vera connected residents to rental assistance, legal representation, and bilingual access to eviction moratorium information that proved invaluable to 1,466 individual households in San Diego County. In addition to direct work with clients, Mr. Vera led trainings in English and Spanish on various local, state, and federal eviction moratoria, and became a sought-after subject matter expert on new legislation by elected officials.
Mr. Vera holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a law degree from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. A first generation Mexican-American, Mr. Vera is a South San Diego native and has dedicated his career to public service with the mantra “to give his community a voice.”
About the Jack Berman Award of Achievement
CYLA established this prestigious award in 1992 in memory of Jack Berman, a young attorney who performed outstanding service to both the public and the profession before he tragically died in a shooting in San Francisco. The Award honors Mr. Berman’s dedicated service to issues of concern to the profession, especially to young lawyers.
In conferring the award, the CYLA Executive Committee considers projects or service to the public, the judiciary, and/or the legal profession that the nominee has taken part in or spearheaded. To be eligible, an awardee must be an active California attorney in their first eight years of practice. The projects or services may be – but need not be – pro bono. The award is intended to recognize an early-career lawyer for their individual achievements and contributions.
The 2021 Jack Berman award will be conferred to Mr. Vera by the CYLA Executive Committee later this fall.