When is Legal Aid
Attorney, Consumer Rights Project
I am Sophia A. Romero and I am a staff attorney in the Consumer Rights Project at Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada. I have worked on consumer issues since my admission to the bar in 2011. I represent clients in all types of consumer related cases including automobile fraud, illegal repossession, and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act cases, in state and federal court, including the US Supreme Court, on both individual and class action matters.
After graduating law school, I planned to open my own consumer law practice in Las Vegas. In order to gain some experience practicing in Nevada, I applied for a clerkship in the Consumer Rights Project at Legal Aid Center. It was during this clerkship that I learned about Legal Aid Center and all of the amazing work it does. Despite being a licensed attorney, I remained with Legal Aid Center as a law clerk until an attorney position became available because I realized that if you want to practice consumer law in Nevada, Legal Aid Center is the place to do it.
Over my eight years with Legal Aid Center, I’ve helped thousands of Nevadans and had the opportunity to litigate multiple class actions for Nevada consumers, resulting in millions of dollars in debt relief. Nonetheless, it is often the smaller cases that stick with me. I had a case where a client’s stolen vehicle turned up for sale on the lot of a local used car dealership. Despite knowing that the vehicle was stolen, and because the man did not speak English, the dealership refused to give him his vehicle back. I sued for the return of his vehicle and damages to make my client whole. While many of these cases may seem to be considered “low dollar amount” by many in private practice, these amounts are life changing to our clients. Without Legal Aid Center, many people would be left to navigate the court system without legal representation because they do not have the means to hire a private attorney.
Through Legal Aid Center, I participate in community outreach events, teach consumer education classes for the community, and am asked to speak in the William S. Boyd School of Law’s Consumer Law class. I have been quoted in the New York Times, on Good Morning America, MSNBC, and NBC Nightly News on consumer issues, specifically starter interruption devices. I am an active member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates, currently as chair for the State of Nevada.
I obtained my JD from the Gonzaga University School of Law in 2011. As a student attorney in the Consumer Law Clinic, I appeared in both Federal and State court and took an illegal repossession case to the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division III. I am licensed to practice law in both Nevada and New Mexico.
I would tell someone who is considering applying for the Community Justice Fellowship that this is a unique opportunity to get an experience that they will never forget and one that is truly life changing.