Diaz Law Firm (DLF) exists to provide legal services by way of in-depth analysis and consultations, passionate advocacy and representation in the areas of family law, immigration, and bankruptcy, especially to those who are traditionally treated as outsiders in the legal process. Our very purpose is to bring our clients peace and a better life by protecting their interests in and outside of the court system.
DLF prides itself in being ethical, transparent, and client-centered. We not only know the law, but understand the humanity and social policies behind the law’s purpose. Our office’s core is centered in compassion and anchored in clarity.
We heal and rebuild our clients’ lives by solving their legal problems together, piece by piece, issue by issue, with grace, poise, and greater purpose. We admit, and you should know, that we lead from the heart, and guide our clients to not waste money, time, or energy through creating more hurt, extending a fight, or seeking vengeance just to appease a bitter, broken heart. Instead, we focus our clients on moving on and addressing the most important part – the future – rather than getting stuck in the past. We guide our clients to figuring out what is truly most important, what are the issues, what is the fight really about, and how can we best reach a resolution, closure, and peace.
While we battle across the table with opposing counsel, or before the judge in court, we never lose sight of our humanity and responsibility to our highest selves, our children, and our communities.
As tempting as it might be to hit “below the belt,” to cut corners, or breach the ethical boundaries, we remind ourselves that we fight for the sake of those watching us closely – our little babies, our children, our young ones – to see what the adults will do next now that they are facing difficult times in their lives.
The Noble Legal Profession
California has a population of over 39.5 million people, not counting those Californians living in the shadows due to their immigration status. But, there are only 190,000 licensed attorneys on active status. Finding an experienced, qualified attorney who will also be a good fit can be a daunting task. Finding out what are the office’s professional standards, philosophy and core values will help to see if that office is right for you.
DLF believes that lawyering is a noble profession and as such acts to continuously and consistently bring more dignity to the profession one case at a time. As officers of the Court, our attorneys aim to bring clarity and organization to each court case we handle. As zealous advocates for our clients, DLF prioritizes communication, hard work, and respect for each client so that they always know their options, risks, and plans of action. DLF clients are prepared and knowledgeable because DLF takes the time to know their case, issues, all parties involved, and adversaries to the point that clients and DLF can seamlessly work together to bring their cases to a resolution.
Philosophy and Core Values
As a law office, we have found that we are able to work best with clients who agree with our philosophy and core values.
Diaz Law Firm believes in human compassion; that peace is not a guarantee but something that must be carefully curated; that respect must be complete if it is to mean anything; and that communication, though at times hard, must be open and true. With these beliefs, Diaz Law Firm aims to be the go-to source for trusted legal representation.
In our core, we believe in:
Equality – all people deserve to be recognized and treated as equal. Achieving equality and fairness requires we see eye-to-eye fully, completely, and honestly.
Peace – We fight to create peace, not to keep score or tally vengeance. Peace, to be functional, must exist in our hearts, our pocketbooks, our homes, and our communities. We seek to create, nurture, and protect peace.
Self-Criticism – For relationships to progress and rise to their highest potential, we must look in the mirror and see ourselves as we are and bravely face the areas that need changing. Improving our client service, our office systems, and our law practice requires we engage in this self-criticism and listen to critiques.
Attorney Cheryl Deptowicz-Diaz
Cheryl Deptowicz-Diaz is the daughter of Filipino immigrants, married to a Mexican immigrant, mother to a Mexican Filipino son, and an immigrant herself, having arrived to Southern California, United States at the age of 8 in 1982.
Cheryl is proud to connect her Filipino roots to those roots established in Los Angeles, California. She attended Virgil Junior High and graduated from Belmont High School in 1991. With school records filled with academic honors, leadership positions in student council and school clubs, and positions of captain for both the varsity volleyball and varsity swim team, Cheryl was accepted to and attended University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB). She worked full time during college, participated in a study abroad program in Argentina and Chile, and was active in campus organizing.
In 1996, she graduated from UCSB with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Asian American Studies. That same year, Cheryl received the NAACP Excellence Award, Distinguished Service Award, and the Asian American Studies Highest GPA Award. After college, Cheryl worked as a secretary until multiple and simultaneous personal hardships pushed her to apply to law school.
Cheryl attended the evening program at Southwestern University School of Law while continuing to work during the day as a secretary, accounting clerk, law clerk, and an elementary school teacher’s aide. Her law school highlights include receiving the Writing Achievement Award for the Moot Court Honors Program, and serving as an extern clerk for both the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office and for the Alliance for Children’s Rights. She earned her Juris Doctor from Southwestern in 2006.
She was admitted to the State Bar of California in 2007 after passing the State Bar Examination on her first attempt. She is admitted in all California state courts as well as the Central District and Southern California District of the U.S. District Courts.
She recharges her energy supply by spending time with her husband Jorge, son Diego, and furpup Maxim. They love to read and write together, mimic mindless vegetables in front of the TV, and create memories through play, travel, and adventure. She clears her mind and works out Life’s stresses by doing yoga, journaling, meditation, dancing, and boxing. She connects with her community by writing, performing poetry, and attending community events on various topics aimed at bridging systemic divisions of race, sex, gender, and class.
- 2003 Southwestern University School of Law, Moot Court Honors Program, for outstanding achievement in writing
- 2009 Special Jury Verdict Award of $74M in defamation case
- 2009 First Tri-Media Award in Field of Law, outstanding accomplishments and invaluable contributions to the Filipino-American community
- 2014 Recognition by City of Cerritos, for dedicated efforts in partnership with the City of Cerritos to empower communities through entrepreneurship
- 2015 Super Lawyers Rising Stars, selected by peer recognition and professional achievement
- 2016 Top Women Lawyers of Southern California, for excellence and achievements by the legal community
- 2017 Top Women Lawyers of Southern California, for excellence and achievements by the legal community
- 2020 Top Women Lawyers of Southern California, for excellent customer service and overall satisfaction
Interview by Lyka Gozon of Lyks! Creatives
Three words that describe you and your business:
Tenacious, Tempered, Troubleshooter
Why do you do this work?
As an immigrant, woman of color, and someone from humble beginnings, I know what it’s like to be on the daunting side of the legal system. I know the fears and trauma people are experiencing. Through my profession, I am able to help families. I fight tooth and nail to help others tear down barriers and fears.
Three to five values you believe in:
I believe there is beauty in every person.
I believe that people have the fundamental right to be happy, to have peace, to be free of violence.
I believe in open communication, no matter the ugliness of the discussion.
I believe that no one should have to fear the court system.
I believe that our system of justice must evolve and improve to better serve the people.
Who is your ideal client?
My ideal client is one who, despite the turmoil and turbulence, still knows what they want, haven’t lost their sense of goodness, fairness, ultimate dream and hope for the future. While they are upset, spiraling, and maybe even raging, they can still listen and hear me. They are not so angry that they is spitting out fire against everybody.
My ideal client will allow me to fight fairly and will let me help them. They will take my counsel to get us across the muddy waters.
My ideal client is not looking to scorch the earth, not looking to throw innocent people under the bus just for vain glory and hollow victories.
Instead, my ideal client doesn’t dawdle on the ledge of lovelessness, but instead aims to build dreams, goals, and solutions by closing the chapter on bitterness and anger.
What is your mission statement/story?
My mission in life is to use my knowledge, skill, and energy to serve families by helping them end legal fights and move on to building dreams and better tomorrows.
What is your one key story that you want your client to know/learn?
I come from poverty and pollution, Manila slum and inner-city Los Angeles, and yet, I never for one moment believed that was supposed to be the be-all/end-all of my life. I fought hard to find beauty in everything, see and hear the humanity in every person, and dug deep inside me to fight for my future so I can help others also fight for theirs.
Cheryl is personable, kind, and professional. I always call her when I need legal services or advice. She takes her time, takes and returns my calls, and makes me feel like somebody understands me and has my back. She has successfully defended me in a landlord/tenant dispute and went to bat for me in a messy civil entanglement. I walked away with everything I wanted and my chin up. Cheryl understands BIPOC and isn’t afraid to stand up to systemic oppression in the judicial system. I feel like I have family with Cheryl.