It’s the Community’s College

Alumna Virginia Fuentes is using her J.D. from The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law to fill a vital need: helping small businesses.

Virginia Fuentes

Owning a small business is hard enough. Understanding the ins and outs of contract law, compliance standards, and human resource best practices can be an added headache.

Alumna Virginia Fuentes is using her J.D. from The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law and her previous professional experience in human resources to fill a vital need: helping small businesses comply with legal standards of all kinds.

“I have a lot of compassion for small business owners—it’s not easy to run your business and be a legal expert at the same time,” she says. “I come in, assess their needs, and help with everything from drafting basic business contracts to developing human resource policies, payroll and leave procedures, and safety plans that meet OSHEA requirements.”

Fuentes had learned about the Colleges of Law while working in human resources by watching one of its alumni in action. “I saw the success of this alumna in person,” she says. “It was clear from how she handled her responsibilities at this large corporation that the Colleges of Law prepared her well.”

Today, Fuentes can say the same. While juggling several clients at a time is a balancing act, she knows it’s one the Colleges of Law prepared her well for.

“No lie, law school is challenging,” she says. “But at the Colleges of Law, you learn life skills on top of legal skills.”

Fuentes appreciated the personal attention she received from her professors, the camaraderie she built with her classmates, and the ingenuity she experienced in the classroom.

“One professor created an interactive presentation, like a huge mind map of the entire curriculum,” she says. “Each class had its own section, and we could click through to learn more about a topic. It was a fantastic visual demonstration of the entire landscape of the class, and proved an incredibly helpful study tool!”

She speaks highly of the administration as well. The staff was so supportive that Fuentes and a group of her classmates presented them with an award one term, as an expression of their appreciation.

“The Colleges of Law is a tight-knit community,” she says. “When you are stressing out, someone is always there to help you get through. It’s truly the community’s college.”