In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, San Antonio attorney Josué Galván joins the Fast Takes podcast to share his family’s story and how his experiences have shaped his legal practice at Jackson Walker.
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Courtney White: Hi, everyone. I am Courtney White, and this is Jackson Walker Fast Takes. September 15 through October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month. Starting as a weekly celebration in 1968, Hispanic Heritage Month was expanded to a monthlong celebration in 1988. The month starts on September 15 to mark the independence anniversaries of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.
Here at Jackson Walker, we are extremely proud of our Hispanic attorneys and want to celebrate our Hispanic attorneys and allied professionals who have provided leadership and helped shape our firm into what it is today. I asked one of my colleagues to join this podcast episode to share more on their life story and how those experiences have shaped their legal practice here at Jackson Walker.
Josué Galván is an associate in the San Antonio office. Josue, will you please share your story?
Josué Galván: Thank you for having me on Courtney to share my story. I always love having the opportunity to share a little bit about my background and my family and where I come from, because I’m proud of it.
I am a product of the Rio Grande Valley. I was born in McAllen, I was raised in Palmview, I went to grade school in Mission, and I went to undergrad in Edinburg at what is now the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Before going to law school, I was also a teacher in La Jolla. So, I made my way all throughout the Valley, primarily Hidalgo County. But that’s where I’m from; that’s where I’m proud to be from.
My grandparents met as migrant workers – both sets of grandparents did. On both sides, maternal and paternal, one of my grandparents on each side was from Mexico and the other was from the U.S. (Mexican American born in the U.S.). So, my parents grew up in that Mexican American world and grew up as migrant workers, which is how my grandparents met. So, growing up, I heard the stories of them traveling throughout the country, up to West Texas, to the cotton fields, up to Michigan and to Wyoming. Whatever was available for them to do, they would do it, and they would do that during the summers. That’s how they would earn their money to be able to afford clothes and school supplies right before they entered the school year. Although, that was not my experience. I never had the opportunity to do that work; my parents did, and they made it very clear that they did not want me to have to do it. Not because there was anything wrong with it, but because they wanted a different kind of life for me.
I grew up in a single-income household. My dad worked in maintenance for the Texas Department of Transportation and then worked his way up to become an auditor. He was able to do all of this without having a college degree. My mom didn’t have a college degree either. Because of that, that was really something that they encouraged me to do. They wanted me to have a different life. So, they were trying to set high expectations for me, while at the same time encouraging me to pursue my passions and do what I thought that I needed to do to be successful. As a kid, they encouraged me to become a doctor, become a lawyer, become a teacher, become whatever it is that you want to become, and you have the freedom to be able to do that. The freedom that we did not have because our upbringings did not afford that.
It’s interesting, because when I ultimately decided that I wanted to go to law school, that was the first time that I left the Rio Grande Valley. I went up to Lubbock, Texas. I went to Texas Tech – I’m proud Red Raider – and that’s where I graduated from law school. It wasn’t until I got to Lubbock that I realized, as silly as this sounds, that I was a minority. Having grown up in the Rio Grande Valley, which is about 95% Hispanic, I looked and sounded like everyone else, and my upbringing was very similar to everyone else. So, when I left, that was the first time that I really felt like “an other.” It took me a while, if I’m being completely candid, to embrace that otherness, to embrace the differences in my upbringing and the variety of perspectives that I was able to bring to the table.
That was one of the big draws of Jackson Walker for me. As I was going through the interview process, I got to interview with several attorneys who looked like me, who had similar stories to mine. And I also knew that I’d be having the opportunity to work with Spanish-speaking clients. One of the things that I really enjoy I’ve been able to do now is to be able to work with clients who are looking for someone who can understand their perspective, and that’s something that I’m able to do because I’ve been able to live that. There’s a lot of times that there are cultural dynamics that are factoring into litigation sometimes that I can understand, because I can relate to them and those are things that I learned growing up. Over time, I’ve come to learn that my background and what I once felt was an otherness is truly a value-add, and it’s something to be celebrated. It’s something that I’m proud of. It’s something that I don’t shy away from sharing anymore.
“Over time, I’ve come to learn that my background and what I once felt was an otherness is truly a value-add, and it’s something to be celebrated.”
So, I’m proud that I get to work with Jackson Walker, that I get to work with lawyers who look and sound like me, and with lawyers who, even if they have not had those experiences, appreciate that value-add and give me opportunities to do this and to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
Courtney White: Josué, thank you for coming on the show and sharing your story with us today.
Josué Galván: Thank you for having me, Courtney.
The music is by Eve Searls.
The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the firm, its clients, or any of its or their respective affiliates. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
San Antonio attorney Josué J. Galván handles a wide range of litigation matters in state and federal court, including insurance disputes, construction litigation, financial services litigation, and products liability litigation. Josué has been recognized among Scene in S.A.’s “Best S.A. Lawyers” list for Business Litigation since 2019, as a Best Lawyer: One to Watch for Appellate Practice since 2022, and as a “Texas Rising Star” by Thomson Reuters’ Super Lawyers since 2021.
Outside of his practice, Josué serves as a member of the State Bar of Texas Diversity in the Profession Committee and is a director of the San Antonio Young Lawyers Association and the Texas Young Lawyers Association, from which he received the President’s Award of Merit in 2022 for his service to District 18. In 2021, Jackson Walker selected Josué to participate in the Pathfinder Program of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), a professional development program that provides early-career diverse attorneys with foundational leadership skills, career development strategies, and tips on building professional networks and relationships.
To read more about Josué’s story and upbringing, view “Josué Galván Embraces His Roots and Heritage in ‘The Texas Lawbook’.”