I'm a Toro

Maria Villa-Lathrop — B.S., Business Administration, 1982

Photo of Maria Villa Lathrop

I Advocate for Change

Maria Villa is a principal of the Lathrop & Villa law firm in Rolling Hills Estates, California, which she co-founded in 1992. She has an active state and federal appellate practice and has practiced in the areas of employment and business litigation, and plaintiff's class-action litigation. Villa got her J.D. from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, and in 1999 became the first Hispanic attorney elected to the California State Bar Board of Governors, for which she has also served as vice president and treasurer.

The eldest of seven daughters, Villa immigrated to the United States from Mexico at the age of two, and was raised in Redondo Beach. She obtained her U.S. citizenship in 1979. Villa is a founding member of the Latina Lawyers Bar Association, as well as a member and former president of the Mexican-American Bar Association of Los Angeles County. Villa believes in the importance of “keeping the doors of opportunity open” for students following in her wake, through active mentoring and scholarship donations.