In the Spotlight: Alberto Rodriguez

Alberto Rodriguez

State Bar of Arizona


How long have you been a member of NABE Comm:

I’ve been a member of NABE Comm for seven years—geez, time flies!

When you were a kid, did you dream of being a Bar Association Executive?

No, no I didn’t. However, I did dream of being a bar executive—only it was the kind you drink your sorrows away at or celebrate the job you got at the lawyer kind. I worked several years as a bartender thinking I’d be running my own night club someday. That’s everyone’s dream when they’re growing up, right?

If not, describe how you got to where you are today:

While I really did dream of owning my own nightclub/bar, my bigger dream was to be my own boss…period. I did just that at the end of 2007 when I launched Más Public Relations in Phoenix (at a swanky lounge at that). After two years of busting my behind for clients like Wells Fargo and Donor Network of Arizona, the economy started to tank and budgets were cut. My client and friend from Wells knew I might be looking for fulltime work and sent me the job posting for the State Bar of Arizona’s Communications Coordinator. Ugh. I bit the bullet and applied for the junior position. Lo and behold…here I am more than eight years later working at the State Bar as the Public Relations Manager.

What is the most rewarding part of your job:

I have to be honest … when I first started at the Bar I was bored—out of my mind. Not only that, I didn’t fully understand why the Bar existed. However, once I learned that we were here to serve and protect the public, all sorts of light bulbs started to shine light on my purpose: help, help, HELP people. So, I developed—and partnered with—programs to do just that. Connecting the public with volunteer attorneys at the Annual Law Day Legal Aid Clinics, Abogados a Su Lado Phone Banks, and immigration forums, to name a few, are programs that make my job rewarding.

If you weren’t a bar executive, what would you want to be?:

I want to be my own boss—again. Perhaps opening a restaurant that serves my mama’s delicious Mexican dishes.

What is your greatest accomplishment?:

While at the Bar, my greatest accomplishment is having launched access to justice programs for the Spanish-speaking community, including Abogados a Su Lado (Lawyers on your Side) phone banks with Univision and immigration forums and clinics with volunteer lawyers.

What makes you successful in your position? 

PSA: The following is not an attempt to butter up my boss.

I believe that I am the reason I am successful at the Bar. I have a drive to succeed that helps me accomplish what I set out to do. And here’s where my boss comes in … he’s given (most of) my ideas the greenlight, which has helped me grow personally and professionally. I’m lucky to have a boss and work for an organization that fosters and nurtures its employees’ success!  

What’s your favorite website or app?:

For work: I’m a news junky, so my go-to websites are CNN and Washington Post (sorry, not sorry). I also frequent when I need to double-check my traducciones.

Personally: Photo apps, of course. My current faves are Quick and Typorama.

Favorite quote:

“Hard work is greater than lazy talent.”

Favorite sports team:
What’s a sports team?

Any interesting celebrity sightings or run ins: Shook hands with presidents Bill Clinton at a Hispanic leadership conference in 1999 and Barack Obama during his visit to Phoenix in 2015. Oh, I also thought I saw someone famous on a flight before...after racking my brain, it turned out he was a local attorney who buys tons of TV ads. HA!

Favorite band/album/concert of all time: Sade…All. Time. Favorite. Artist.

Favorite Book: Rain of Gold by Victor Villaseñor

Favorite movie: Coco is my NEW favorite movie. Disney did my Mexican culture right!  Before it came out, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion was my fave (judge me all you want)!

Person you would most like to have dinner with (alive or dead): Mother Teresa of Calcutta