After five years as an attorney with Rodriguez & Associates, Danay Gonzalez reflects on how she has followed in the footsteps of her mentor Daniel Rodriguez to become the voice for many in her community.
Danay’s family ties to Bakersfield and Lamont have created a natural bond between her work and her community. From a young age, Danay was drawn to helping others. In an area where there was much fear surrounding immigration laws and deportation, she remembers times when her peers struggled to speak up for themselves. She quickly became the person they turned to for help and advocacy. Inspired by Daniel’s success and visibility throughout Lamont’s Hispanic community as well as his dedication to helping others defend their rights, Danay pursued her interest in the law.
“I grew up knowing Daniel as a big part of the Lamont community. Everyone has a lot of respect for Daniel. He is a pillar in our community and a strong voice for the Hispanic population. I feel honored to be working at the same firm that inspired me to be a lawyer.”
Now, as a trial attorney with Rodriguez & Associates, Danay finds a similar calling in supporting clients through some of the most difficult moments of their lives. She says, “Being a trial lawyer is such a satisfying experience because you get to tell the client’s story. There is no better feeling than telling my clients’ stories and seeing how it affects the jury. Creating that connection with the jury is what makes a case successful… Knowing that I am helping my community and making a difference, makes it all worthwhile.”
Community remains a driving force in the success of Rodriguez & Associates. Danay considers that the deep connection the team has to each other and to the area allows them to connect with locals and become the firm that people turn to when they need help.
“We truly treat our clients like family – that’s what makes us so special. That touch of detail is what makes our firm different. We are able to maintain relationships after the fact and see [our clients] be able to move on from traumatic experiences.”
Danay also recognizes the firm’s determination to create successful outcomes for some of the most difficult cases that other firms would have turned down. She says Rodriguez & Associates is known in the community for taking on those challenges and finding ways to make it work as a team. They are not intimidated to take difficult cases to trial, no matter the amount of work that is required.
Danay is building a successful career as a trial attorney alongside Daniel Rodriguez, Chantal Trujillo, and Patrick Benitez, who she credits with developing the strong, collaborative work environment at the firm. In the last year, she helped her team prepare significant cases that went to trial including the wrongful death of a 71-year-old man that obtained a $4 million verdict and a school sex abuse case in which her team ultimately settled during trial for over $2 million against the school district.
She says of her experiences with the team, “I have learned so much in the last five years. I really feel like I belong here and this is what I was meant to do. I am more confident, more vocal, and have a greater understanding of the law. I am excited to keep learning. I am truly thankful for Daniel – he has helped mold me into the attorney I have become. His mentorship has given me a lot of confidence and tools to become successful.”
While Danay thrives on the achievement of success in the courtroom, she sees the everyday pain that her clients face and understands the sensitive nature of the types of cases she brings to trial, especially those involving children. She expresses the importance of building trust with her clients and having patience and empathy for everyone she represents.
Danay is an ambitious and hard-working attorney who wears her heart on her sleeve. She has made a tremendous impact on the firm and in her representation of clients from within the Bakersfield community. We are extremely proud to have her as a member of the Rodriguez & Associates family.