2008 grad seeks justice for the elderly

It wasn’t until she became a teenage mother that her perspective of the world shifted and she developed a passion in helping others to create a better future for her children.

 Diamond Bar High School class of 2008 alumna Rosalie Baladejo worked through law school while taking care of her children to reach where she is today as a plaintiff attorney.

As an attorney specializing in Elder Abuse Law, Baladejo’s goal is to assist and provide a voice for elders and dependent adults who were abused and taken advantage of.

“Elders are such a vulnerable class of individuals that are often overlooked or ignored, and I love being a part of giving the elderly their voice back,” Baladejo said via email.

After graduating from DBHS, Baladejo couldn’t envision herself being too far away from her family. As a result, she attended Cal State Fullerton where she majored in criminal justice.

During her undergrad years of college, Baladejo participated in an internship with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, where she spent time speaking with different deputies and reading case files. She also interned with detectives to observe the roles of a district attorney. But it wasn’t until her pregnancy at the age of 18 that she wanted to become an attorney.

“I got pregnant at 18, which opened my eyes to changes I wanted to see in the world for my child and future children,” Baladejo said. “I had my first child my second year of undergrad, so it definitely changed my perspective and goals as well, so I decided becoming an attorney would be the way I would help as many people as I could.”

Although she was pregnant during her sophomore year of college, this only prompted Baladejo to work harder in order to graduate in four years. After taking the Law School Admission Test in her senior year, she finished school, with a child who was now almost two years old. Having to decide between law school and law enforcement, Baladejo ended up choosing law because she had a passion in arguing and advocating for others.

Baladejo attended Western State College of Law while pregnant with another child in her last semester. Between law school and her graduation ceremony, Baladejo also studied for her California Bar exam. The alumna took the exam while she was seven months pregnant, but did not pass until her second attempt. 

Baladejo became a licensed attorney in 2017. She participated in three internships while attending law school, with her ultimate goal to become a district attorney. While waiting for open applications, she worked at the Legal Aid Society of San Bernardino and applied with a temp agency. Eventually, Baladejo found a job at the law firm of Garcia and Artigliere.

“I ended up enjoying the job so much, when the firm offered me a permanent position, I said yes. I am still with the same firm to this day,” Baladejo said.

Baladejo was mostly inspired to work harder by her family and friends that supported her along the way.

“My support system was everything, I could not have done it without them,” Baladejo said. “Because of my support system, my dream of being an attorney became a reality despite being a teen mom, having a baby during law school and having my third baby by the time I was 28.”

Baladejo said that the road to becoming an attorney was difficult. It took self discipline, sacrifice and determination, as she had to study in law school while also having to balance her time with her family. However, Baladejo enjoys where she is today as an attorney.

“When I get to step into a courtroom and advocate for my client who was wronged, it lights a fire inside me,” Baladejo said. “Winning for my client and getting to play a small part in making families feel whole again or feel a sense of justice is an amazing feeling.”