Echartea first Latino appointed 36th District Court magistrate

Most Michiganders will celebrate Valentines Day on February 14. But at 36th District Court it is cause for a completely different celebration. It will be a celebration of historical proportion. Feb. 14, 2011, is the day that attorney Laura A. Echartea will take the bench as the court's first Latino judicial officer serving in the capacity of magistrate.

"It is my intent to have a bench that reflects the makeup of our community as much as possible", said Chief Judge Marylin E. Atkins.

Echartea was licensed in 1989 and currently has her own law firm where she practices criminal, probate, immigration and family law. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Personnel/Industrial Relations from Wayne State University in 1981. In 1988 she earned a Jurist Doctorate from Detroit College of Law and was the recipient of the Myron P. Levin Scholarship and the National Association of Women Lawyers Recognition Award.

"It is an honor and a privilege for me to appoint the first Latino magistrate to our bench," said Atkins. "Attorney Echartea's credentials, experience and professionalism in all she does made it an easy choice for me."

"I am honored to be appointed to such a prestigious position in a court of this magnitude," said Echartea. "My goal is to serve the people with respect and integrity all while continuing to make a positive change within the court and the community."

Echartea was born and raised in southwest Detroit until she was 3 years old at which time her family moved to Detroit's northwest side. Echartea currently resides in the City of Detroit.

"I knew I wanted to practice law since I was 10 years old," said Echartea. "As a matter of fact, in 1989, I first started practicing in 36th District Court as In-House Counsel and in 1994, I started doing immigration and family law. It is amazing how my career started out with 36th District Court and now to be appointed as a magistrate -- it has come full circle. I want to make 36th District Court a better place and help the entire court staff and the public."

She went on to say, "When it's all said and done I want my family and community members to say I did a job well done."

Echartea is a member of the Hispanic Bar Association, Wayne County Criminal Defense Bar Association formerly Recorder's Bar Association Spanish Speaking Democrats of Michigan, MANA de Metro Detroit and Mexican Patriotic Committee of Metro Detroit. She has also served as a Board Member with Latino Family Services and YMCA of Metro Detroit.

Echartea's swearing in ceremony will be held at the 36th District Court at the end of January 2011.

Published: Tue, Jan 11, 2011