Why I Made a Change: Alejandro “Alex” Trevino

Alex Trevino had always dreamed of being an attorney, but he wasn’t able to achieve that dream until later in his career. Read how he went from selling cars to practicing law. 

My dream of becoming a lawyer started sometime around the seventh grade. Maybe I saw a TV show or movie, I can’t be sure. To my 12-year-old self, though, it was my destiny. It turns out I was right, but the path leading to where I am today was a long and winding one.

In February 1994, I walked into a car dealership on my first day as a car salesperson. My family was growing. We were expecting our son, the second child in our family. I knew my most important job was to provide for my young family. My track record to this point had been spotty. A couple of years before, I dropped out of the University of Minnesota. I worked random jobs, including construction, truck and equipment rental, wire wrapping, restaurants, and door-to-door sales. Through it all, I quietly held onto my dream of becoming a lawyer.

The auto industry was very good to me, and I would like to think that I was good to it as well. I spent 20 years in auto sales and finance. In the mid-90s, the Spanish-speaking population in the Twin Cities started to boom. Being fluent in Spanish, I knew I could really help the Latino community. I took great pride in assisting people to learn about building credit, obtaining a car loan, and ultimately purchasing a new vehicle—essential to assimilation.

I restarted my college studies in the late-90s, knowing I needed to finish my bachelor’s degree before even considering law school. As life would have it, I was offered a very desirable position at work. Accepting it would mean putting school on hold. I put school on hold—again.

The next decade brought change. Most significantly, finding myself as a single parent raising my son. Driven by setting a good example, I went back to school and finished my undergraduate degree. The dream was alive, but I wondered how I could achieve it. I had recently learned about vision boards and decided it couldn’t hurt to make one of my own. In the very center of this board was a picture of William Mitchell College of Law.

"I had recently learned about vision boards and decided it couldn’t hurt to make one of my own. In the very center of this board was a picture of William Mitchell College of Law."

Seeing that vision board every day was the nudge I needed to take the necessary steps to apply to law school. Not really knowing much about the “normal” process, I registered for the LSAT just two weeks before the exam. I purchased a tattered study guide at the local used bookstore and took multiple practice exams in preparation for the real thing. Was it possible I was making my dream a reality? I could now see it, taste it, and smell it. I was accepted to William Mitchell.

When I attended an event for admitted students, I realized I would have to do things differently if I was going to succeed. I could not start and stop the way I did for my undergrad. I called my nephew, who has always been an extremely high achiever, asking for advice. How did he do it? How had he been so successful? His response was then, and continues to be, a powerful life lesson. He said, “Keep your eye on the prize, man. Keep your eye on the prize.”

That is what I did. I became involved and invested in law school. Not just in my classes but also numerous groups and organizations. I treated my studies as a full-time job (even while I continued working full-time at the dealership.) I sought out internships, externships, and part-time positions in law. After four years, I did it. I graduated, passed the bar exam, and was sworn into the Minnesota Bar.

My life-long dream is now my reality.

Today, I am a solo practitioner focused on helping injured workers, with much of my practice serving the local Spanish-speaking community. I love what I do, and I wouldn’t trade the long and winding path to get here for anything.


Alex-Trevino-150Alex Trevino

Alex Trevino is the founder of Alex Trevino Law. He is a bilingual attorney who practices in the areas of workers’ compensation, small business, contracts, negotiations, and estate planning.


Managing Editor
Elsa Cournoyer

Executive Editor

Joseph Satter