Updated at 3:37 p.m.
Kenia Seoane López, a former president of the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia, was recently appointed as a magistrate judge on the District of Columbia Superior Court.
Seoane López is the bilingual attorney negotiator for the court's domestic violence unit. She'll be handling the paternity and child support calendar starting in July, taking over for resigning Magistrate Judge J. Dennis Doyle.
Before joining the court staff in 2009, Seoane López was an assistant attorney general for the District, representing the city in child support cases. She joined the D.C. bar in 2006. "I'm just delighted to continue to serve the District of Columbia residents in a different capacity," she said in a phone interview this afternoon.
In 2010, Seoane López served as the president of the D.C. Hispanic Bar Association. In a statement, current President Lyzka DeLaCruz said that the association "is proud to count Ms. Seoane López among our leaders and pillars."
"Her personal story, track record of mentorship, and tireless service on behalf of the most vulnerable communities show that she will make a significant contribution to the Superior Court and the residents of the District," DeLaCruz said.
According to a court spokeswoman, Seoane López was born in Cuba and emigrated with her mother and siblings at age 8 to the Canary Islands. Two years later, her family received permission to move to the United States and settled in Boston. In high school, Seoane López worked in a local courthouse as part of a youth corps in the courts, and credits that experience with steering her towards the law, according to the court.
A previous version of this article did not include Kenia Seoane López's full last name.