March 29, 2023

Marina Torres, a partner in Willkie’s White-Collar Defense and Compliance, Investigations & Enforcement Practices, was recently featured in a Who’s Who In Law special report by the Los Angeles Business Journal. The feature profiled a number of Los Angeles-based leaders in the legal industry whose specialties range from entertainment to litigation, corporate finance to intellectual property.
In a Q&A profile, Marina discussed her path to becoming a prosecutor, interesting cases she’s led, her previous political appointment and new position at Willkie, and what trends she sees coming up for the legal industry.
On her journey to becoming a lawyer, Marina described watching her parents, who were undocumented, work hard after coming to the US from Mexico. This led her to believe in the promise of a better life through education.  She also got a firsthand view of the criminal justice system when her brother was charged and convicted in an extreme case of prosecutorial overreach: “As a federal prosecutor, I got to be a powerful advocate and role model for those who most needed their voices heard. Whether it was simply pronouncing the defendant’s name correctly, encouraging witnesses to come forward by speaking to them in their native language, or flagging a victim’s immigration issue for the court, it was an honor to represent my community from the government’s table.”
She also discussed the impact of her political appointment in the Obama Administration, where she helped craft the DACA policy, on her career: “These were people who had almost the same story as me, but had just been born on the other side of the border and brought over to the U.S. as young children. It was impossible not to make that job personal. The experience also further reaffirmed the value and versatility of my law degree, which represented all my hard work to get to this point. I was proud to use it to help shape federal policy and help so many others who aspired to achieve their dreams in the U.S.”
At Willkie, Marina has found the law firm environment stimulating and challenging: “It’s exciting to build something from the ground up and tap into a different set of skills than I had before. Willkie has a great reputation, outstanding litigators and a growing team in L.A. that I’ve really enjoyed being a part of since I joined.”
Read the full Q&A here: Special Report: Who’s Who In Law – Marina Torres