MoForever Alumni News Fall 2021

MoForever Fall 2021 | 20 commitment to pro bono work is not just lip service; it’s real.” Note to self: You’re good enough Despite her success, Dena struggled with self-doubt while growing up. Fears she wasn’t smart enough, didn’t come from the right schools, and didn’t have an Ivy League education often occupied her thoughts. But if Dena could write a letter to her younger self today, she said it would go something like this: “You are good enough, and your experience is helpful not only for you, but for those you serve, those you work with, and your clients. Your different perspective makes you unique, but not in a way that means you’re not as good. It’s a plus because your perspective is a unique perspective that others don’t always get. That’s what I would say.” For Dena, serving as a judge in Sacramento—the same community where she grew up and still lives— makes her work especially meaningful. “The people that come before us are people living in the community where we have a vested interest,” she said. “My family’s here, and my children go to school here. When it is your community and these are your people, I think you naturally have an added incentive to make sure you’re providing due process. That’s my role; I’m a public servant to the community that raised me.” “MY MENTORS AND THE PARTNERS THAT I WORKED WITH AT MOFO SHAPED ME INTO THE ATTORNEY THAT I WAS WHEN I PRACTICED AND THE JUDGE THAT I’VE BECOME.”