MSJDN is excited to announce that the 2015 Professional Excellence Award will be presented to Christina Guerola Sarchio at the Annual Reception on May 6th in D.C. Currently a partner in Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s Washington, DC office, where her practice includes high-profile litigation, Christina has successfully navigated the triumphs and trials of the legal profession, motherhood, and the military lifestyle. Working in the government sector and contributing to her Hispanic community have been part of her journey, along with licenses in four different jurisdictions.
Christina knew she wanted to be a lawyer from a young age, which served as motivation to pursue a quality education. Beginning in the New York City public schools as a native Spanish speaker, she earned a spot in the selective math/science honor program at Stuyvesant High School, followed by admission to Cornell University for her undergraduate studies. While completing her 1L year at George Washington University, she met her future husband, an Army ROTC student. Despite that connection made in law school, Christina forged her own path after graduation. She returned home to New York and began working as a prosecutor with the District Attorney’s office in Manhattan. While there, she prosecuted a broad range of criminal cases, including financial crimes, drug trafficking, and violent assaults, successfully conducting more than eighty hearings and trying more than a dozen jury trials.
Juggling her first job and a full case load, Christina also maintained a long distance relationship with her soldier as he attended JAG school in Virginia and moved to his first duty station in North Carolina. When he received orders to deploy to Bosnia, the couple eloped. Christina remained at her job in New York, while her new husband deployed overseas. Upon his return from the deployment, the Sarchios were reunited at his new duty station in Washington, D.C. Christina was finally able to live with her spouse after spending most of their relationship apart. D.C.’s job market and her husband’s ability to rotate between Active and Reserve assignments in the area allowed Christina to build her career with a certain amount of stability not always available to military spouses. Despite the continuity in her husband’s assignments, Christina is barred in four states, providing her family with options given the frequent instability in the military lifestyle.
Christina has a diverse range of legal experiences. She has worked at four firms and clerked for both the U.S. Attorney’s Office for DC and the U.S. Department of Justice (Civil Rights Division). She has served as President of the Hispanic Bar Association for DC, Vice President for the Hispanic National Bar Association, taught at GW Law, and is a frequent lecturer at legal conferences. She has represented clients such as ExxonMobil (winning a number of courtroom victories for them as lead trial counsel), the National Basketball Players’ Association (helping them terminate their Executive Director, defending them in litigation against him, and identifying a new leader for their organization), the Women’s National Basketball Players’ Association, and a broad range of other top-tier clients in civil and criminal matters. Her successes have not gone unnoticed as Christina has picked up a number of awards and accolades, and she is frequently featured as a top lawyer. Along the way, Christina also had two children, while continuing to work full-time.
Christina has been in the fortunate position to select the diverse range of experience now found on her resumé. However, her varied career path demonstrates how a broad array of experiences create well-rounded attorneys. Christina is convinced that walking such a diverse path helps lawyers take a holistic approach to problem-solving, which today’s clients recognize, appreciate, and value. Her experiences serve as a guide to other military spouses, as well as employers, as to how knowledge of many areas of the law and exposure to people with different backgrounds results in stronger candidates and more valuable team members.
MSJDN is honored to include Christina in our membership. It is with great pleasure that we recognize the path she has blazed for military spouse attorneys with the 2015 Professional Excellence Award. Please join us on May 6th at the Army Navy Club for the presentation and a celebration of all military spouses in the legal profession. Tickets and more information are available at msjdn2015.eventbrite.com.