Law School Students of the Year: Jose "Angel" Guiterrez, Texas Tech

Texas Tech University School of Law 3L Jose "Angel" Gutierrez '20 prioritizes giving back to his school and his community while navigating his final year of law school.

Growing up in a low-income household in Dumas, Texas, taught Gutierrez how important legal aid can be to those who struggle for access to legal representation or other forms of aid.

His experience showed him the significance of pro bono work and led him to volunteer over 200 hours in his first two years of law school. He has volunteered with Legal Aid of Northwest Texas, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), and Texas Law Help online chat. Gutierrez also presides over Lubbock County Teen Court.

In the Texas Bar Blog "Pro Bono Spotlight" highlighting Gutierrez for his work, he remembered being the only volunteer who could assist a Spanish-speaking family in their own language. He said, "I will never forget how relieved and grateful the family was when I greeted them and prepared their returns."

He added, "There are people whose day-to-day lives are improved by doing something as simple as giving up your Saturday morning a few weekends a year, and I think that is pretty special."

Gutierrez leads by example and inspires other students to serve their communities. He serves on the Pro Bono Board at Texas Tech University School of Law, where he participates in a variety of pro bono projects and helps arrange and advertise pro bono opportunities for other students. Gutierrez said, "I firmly believe that participating in pro bono teaches you valuable skills and makes you a better attorney."

In addition to serving his community, Gutierrez is active in service to Texas Tech University School of Law. He is the president of the Intellectual Property Student Association and treasurer of the Hispanic Law Student Association. He serves on the Grade Appeals Council and as a student ambassador. Gutierrez is also a founding member of the Texas Tech University School of Law’s Diversity Advisory Board (DAB).

Though he has devoted many hours to service, Gutierrez has continued to excel academically. He is the Executive Managing Editor of the Journal of Biodefense, Biosecurity, and Bioterrorism and was a quarterfinalist in Board of Barristers' Negotiations, Mock Trial, and Moot Court competitions.

He earned the top grade in Patent Law and has consistently made the Dean's List. He is also in his final year of a master's degree in engineering. After graduation, Gutierrez plans to practice patent and intellectual property law.

Gutierrez has achieved at the highest level in law school while making a lasting impact on his school and community. Just one of these would be a significant accomplishment, but Gutierrez has managed to do both during his time at Texas Tech University School of Law, the school noted in its nomination.

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