Senate Confirms Mónica Ramírez Almadani as United States District Judge for the Central District of California

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On November 9, 2023, the United States Senate confirmed President Joe Biden’s nomination of Mónica Ramírez Almadani to serve as a federal district judge for the United States District Court for the Central District of California.  Ramírez Almadani will preside over matters in Los Angeles in the Court’s Western Division. 

Since 2021, Ramírez Almadani has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the pro bono law firm Public Counsel, the nation’s largest provider of pro bono legal services.  At Public Counsel, she oversees the work of over 130 staff that engage in direct legal services, impact litigation, and policy advocacy work.  Before joining Public Counsel, from 2019 to 2021, she was a visiting clinical law professor and co-director of the Immigrant Rights Clinic at the University of California, Irvine School of Law.  She taught and supervised law students representing indigent clients before federal and state courts, immigration courts, and other administrative agencies in removal defense, civil rights, and workers’ rights matters.

From 2017 to 2019, Ramírez Almadani was Special Counsel at Covington & Burling LLP where she primarily focused on white collar defense in addition to maintaining a pro bono practice involving civil rights and immigration matters.  From 2015 to 2017, she was appointed to serve as Special Assistant Attorney General of California.  In that role, she helped oversee the California Department of Justice’s Criminal Division and Division of Recidivism Reduction and Reentry as well as key aspects of the department’s work on civil rights and criminal justice.

Between 2009 and 2015, Ramírez Almadani served in several roles in the United States Department of Justice.  From 2012 to 2015, Ramírez Almadani served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Central District of California.  During that time, she worked in the office’s General Crimes and Public Corruption and Civil Rights Sections, investigating and prosecuting a broad range of federal offenses from pre-indictment investigation through appeal.  From 2009 to 2012, Ramírez Almadani served at the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., first as Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division from 2009 to 2011, and then as Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General from 2011 to 2012. 

Prior to the Department of Justice, from 2005 to 2009, Ramírez Almadani worked at the national American Civil Liberties Union Foundation’s Immigrants’ Rights Project where her practice focused on complex civil rights and immigration litigation in federal court.  Throughout her career, Ramírez Almadani has been active in several bar associations, including serving as a Trustee of the Mexican American Bar Foundation since 2017.

Ramírez Almadani received her Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard University in 2001 and her Juris Doctor degree from Stanford Law School in 2004.  Following law school, she clerked for the Honorable Warren J. Ferguson of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  Ramírez Almadani was born in Los Angeles, grew up in Huntington Park, California, and graduated from Huntington Park High School in the Los Angeles Unified School District.   

Ramírez Almadani fills the vacancy that arose when District Judge John A. Kronstadt assumed senior status in April 2022.  Including the appointment of Ramírez Almadani, the Central District of California has 28 authorized Article III judgeships, one of which is currently unfilled.  The Central District of California is comprised of the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo.  It serves more than 19.3 million people, nearly half the population of the State of California.