In September, SJA Alumnus Alex Gonzalez ' 03 was honored with South Texas College of Law Houston's Young Alumni Award.
He was recognized for his significant leadership and service contributions to STCL Houston and the legal profession in the decade since his graduation. He is an attorney and partner at the law firm of Pacheco Couceiro & Gonzalez, where his practice is dedicated solely to helping people who have been hurt due to the negligence of others. In his 10 years as a personal injury attorney, he has recovered millions for his clients.
Gonzalez graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business before attending South Texas College of Law Houston. While in law school, he was a varsity advocate on the school’s nationally ranked advocacy program. Gonzalez won several awards including the Heart of South Texas Advocacy Award and the Bernardino Agosto Sr. Award.
Gonzalez is a board member and past president of the Mexican American Bar Association of Houston. He also serves as a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors at STCL Houston, where he is the co-vice president of the Career Resources Committee. In that role, Gonzalez frequently brings attorneys to campus to impart first-hand knowledge to students about practicing law in various specialties. He previously served as an advocacy coach for nearly a decade at South Texas, leading his teams to three national championships. “He remains active in giving back to STCL Houston,” said Nick Lanza ’89 in his nomination letter.
Outside of practicing law, Gonzalez enjoys spending time with his wife and family and credits them for all the success he has been fortunate enough to achieve.
Q: What inspired you to become a lawyer, specifically personal injury law?
A: I honestly never considered becoming a lawyer until my older brother, Armando (’00), enrolled in law school. It didn’t seem like something feasible but he showed me it could be done and he was the one who first got me interested in applying to law school. I specifically chose personal injury law because it felt like my true calling—I like helping the underdog and I can relate to my clients who have been seriously hurt. I feel a deep satisfaction representing them and fighting to get them justice.
Q: What advice would you give to future/current SJA students who are interested in law?
A: I would tell them to first learn about law school and the practice of law so that they can come up with their own reason for wanting to pursue law, not the reasons that others might give them. Those who want to become lawyers merely to become rich or other superficial reasons, quickly learn that this is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s a noble profession but it also demands a lot of you. During those difficult times in law school or later as an attorney, it helps to have a good reason for why you want to do this that will carry you past those tough times.
Q: What is one achievement you accomplished while attending SJA?
A: I was quite proud of our baseball team’s achievements during my senior year. Our program was still quite new at the time, but we started the season 7-0, won our district title, and eventually made it to within one game of the state tournament. Along the way, we beat the so-called bigger schools, won a few tournaments, and put together one of the best seasons SJA Baseball has ever had.
Q: In what ways would you say you benefited from attending SJA?
A:The relationships I made at St. Joe have continued beyond the school. There’s a special bond among people who went to St. Joe; whenever I’ve visited to a new city, I’ve found that our alumni seem to find each other naturally and form little friend groups no matter how far away from home we are. Whether it be in Houston, New York or Austin—there seems to be a kind of magic drawing alumni to each other. It’s a special thing.
Q: How has SJA contributed to your success thus far?
A: St. Joe is where I grew up, where I learned some of the important lessons, and created some of the most impactful relationships in my life. So wherever I go, I take St. Joe with me.
Q: What is your favorite memory of SJA?
A: Just playing baseball with my teammates under the Brownsville sun. It’s funny, but I have a recurring dream where I'm back in high school at practice with my teammates. Maybe it’s because that's one my most joyful memories.
Q: In what ways have your experiences at SJA prepared you to succeed in College and in your career?
A: St. Joe gave me the foundation upon which I’ve created my life. It was here that I crafted my moral compass, learned how to strive for my goals, and built relationships that helped me become the man I am today.