Savoring every experience of a long legal career.
Victor Chavez, 81, has been on the bench for 21 years. Ask him what his future plans are, and he'll say he wants to retire in 19 years. He's only half kidding. "I would like to continue working as long as my mind and body hold up. How many people do you know who look forward to going to work every day?"
Given the length of the judge's career, that's impressive. After graduating from Loyola Law School, he defended medical malpractice cases for Farmers Insurance for 10 years. Then he went into private practice for 20 years before becoming a judge for the L.A. Superior Court in 1990. "To me the most beautiful part of being a lawyer was even if you didn't know your opponent, you would respect your opponent and accept their word as they would accept yours."
Victor, who currently works as a civil court judge, finds plenty of time for hobbies outside the courthouse. He's a founding member of the Cowboy Lawyers Association, a group of colleagues who share a love for Western horseback riding.
"The proudest day of my life was the day I took the oath as a lawyer."