Yolo County Swears in First Latina Judge, Sonia Cortes

Appointed by Governor Brown roughly two months ago, she was sworn in last Friday.

The ceremony took place before a capacity crowd at the theater of a local high school. Cortes chose a visible venue within the community she is so deeply invested in.

Cortes attended UC Davis before going to UC Berkeley for her law degree. She ended up back in Yolo County in 2002 after taking a job as deputy county counsel to someone who also became a Yolo Superior Court judge, Steven Basha.

Cortes has earned praise for using her legal knowledge to aid underserved communities in her work with Legal Aid of the North Bay, the International Institute of the East Bay, and as an immigration attorney at La Raza Centro Legal. A habit she seeks to continue.

“I intend to use my accomplishments and the law to help support our communities,” Cortés said. “I know that I am standing on the shoulders of those that have sacrificed so that I may have this opportunity today. … And so I say to all of you, we must find ways to constantly give back and share our success with those who are eager to learn.”

More on Yolo County’s first Latina Judge can be found here.