Tag Archive for: Paralegal

Meet Paralegal Andrea Rios

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 through October 15, we are highlighting stories from DA employees and what inspired them to pursue a career in public service. Meet Paralegal Andrea Rios.

Andrea was born and raised in San Diego, where she grew up in Chula Vista. She graduated from San Diego State University and obtained her Paralegal Certification from the University of San Diego. Prior to working at the DA’s Office, she worked at a private law firm that specialized in Business Law, Civil Litigation, Construction, Real Estate, Product Defect, Transportation and Wrongful Death claims. In March 2022, she joined the DA’s Office and is currently a Paralegal II in the Superior Court Division. Her job includes assisting with Preliminary Hearings and Felony Jury Trials by obtaining all supporting documents and evidence, communicating with victims/witnesses, as well as all law enforcement. She also assists in arranging travel and transportation for out-of-town witnesses/victims. Lastly, she provides trial support for the Deputy District Attorneys both in and out of the courtroom. “During my time at the DA’s office, I’ve also been fortunate to work with some great people, who have helped to develop my career,” she said.

In her spare time, Andrea enjoys attending concerts, traveling, watching baseball games at Petco Park, trying new restaurants in San Diego, and spending time with her friends, family, and her new little fur baby, a puppy named Simba.

What inspired you to choose a career in law enforcement/at the DA’s Office?

“I always knew I wanted to work in law enforcement in some capacity, my father retired from SDPD after 32 years of service and he’s been a big inspiration.”

What is your favorite part of the job?

“My favorite part of the job is being able to help and find the missing puzzle piece to each case. Each case is unique with a different set of facts, and I am glad that I can help make a difference in serving justice, especially for our victims. It’s definitely very rewarding.”

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you? Why is it important?

Hispanic Heritage Month is important to me because it’s a celebration of who I am. As a first generation American, I’m appreciative of the sacrifices my parents made to give my siblings and I access to better opportunities. It’s a time to learn about our roots, values, and accomplishments so that I can pass them on to my children in the future. It’s also a time to celebrate our amazing culture through art, music, dancing, and great food!”

Meet Paralegal Elyse Emge

In honor of Black History Month, which is celebrated throughout the month of February, the DA’s Office is featuring stories of employees and their contributions to our community. Meet Paralegal Elyse Emge who started her career at the DA’s Office in April of 2022. Prior to coming to the DA’s office, Elyse worked as a Child Support Officer at the Department of Child Support Services. Read more about what inspired her to pursue a career at the DA’s Office, below.

Why did you choose a career at the DA’s Office?

“I have always had a passion in the criminal field. I moved from Pennsylvania to California in 2018. From 2016 – 2017, I worked for the York County DA’s office as a Confidential Secretary and Extraditions Coordinator. In 2017, I was recruited by the State and went to work for the Governor’s Office of General Counsel as a Criminal Justice Specialist. In this role, I handled statewide extraditions, interstate compacts, and worked on capital cases post appeals.

I went through and witnessed a lot in my adolescence. These hardships instilled in me a desire to do what I could to work against injustices; to advocate for those who need a voice; and to do what I can to ensure the process is fair and transparent. It’s important that those responsible are held accountable for their actions and/or get the help they need.

I’d have to say the favorite part of my job is the shared sense of camaraderie amongst my colleagues. We’re working towards the same goal. I also feel like I’m part of something bigger than myself. It’s a humbling experience.”

Why is Black History Month important to you?

“Black History Month, like many months of recognition, are important because they bring awareness to the continued struggles of marginalized people. It’s important to bring awareness and remember the history of where we, as a people, have come from; to see where we are now; and continue to grow and learn from that history. It’s also important to teach the true, unadulterated facts of our past so we do not repeat those mistakes.”

Meet Paralegal Chanté Prettyman

In honor of Black History Month, which is celebrated throughout the month of February, the DA’s Office is featuring stories of employees and their contributions to our community. Meet Paralegal Chanté Prettyman, who has been working at the DA’s Office for almost seven years and is a paralegal within the Major Violator’s Team, which is part of the Superior Court Division. Read more about what inspired her to pursue a career in criminal justice, below.

Why did you choose a career at the DA’s Office?

“To be completely honest, I just happened to apply for a Departmental Clerk position after college and the DA’s Office called me for an interview and offered me the position. Once I came on board, I saw how everyone within the office had such a great passion for the safety of San Diego County and ensuring victims were most importantly heard throughout all stages of every single case our office laid hands on. I am beyond thankful and blessed that the DA’s Office has chosen me to be a part of this unstoppable team. The passion that I have developed for victims and their stories, truly touches my heart every single day, knowing that the DA’s Office puts them first is extraordinary.”

Why is Black History Month important to you?

“Black History Month is important to me and should be important to all, because Black History is American history. Therefore, to have a full month dedicated to Black Excellence is truly special, as this is a time to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions our Black Conquerors have achieved throughout history. By honoring historical Black People from all periods of history, within every area of their lives, struggles and successes, shines the necessary light that Black People are truly magical. Black History is being made every single day and it’s amazing knowing that when we come together and celebrate Black History, we are celebrating and amplifying achievements that are everlasting.”