December 21, 2023

Andrés Cantero Jr., associate in the Real Estate Practice Group in the firm’s Los Angeles office, was profiled for the University of Southern California Gould School of Law’s Alumni Spotlight.

The profile discussed Andrés’s pioneering nonprofit organization Los Angeles Room & Board (LARNB), which provides affordable transitional housing to community college students with housing insecurity. Andrés co-founded LARNB in 2019 with the mission to help California students realize their post-secondary goals. He discussed the opportunity to use his law degree and commercial real estate experience to fuel his passion for social impact. 

The profile detailed Andrés’s path to becoming a lawyer, from his childhood as the eldest son in a Mexican immigrant family to his community service experiences as an undergraduate and in law school. While volunteering in the family law facilitator’s office of a county courthouse, Andrés said that he “saw an overwhelming majority of our clients were Latino, yet no one spoke Spanish. Very rarely did I see a Latino attorney.” 

Upon graduating from USC Gould, Andrés was awarded the highest university-wide graduate student honor for community service, and Tipping the Scales named him one of the top law school graduates of 2016. Andrés remains involved at USC Gould School of Law as a lecturer in transactional law, and he plans to continue to address the California student housing crisis through LARNB and other university-based real estate capital projects. He explained that such projects are “facing the same issues and conflicts as some of my commercial deals – need of financing, tight turnaround times, negotiation with investors and approval bodies.”

At Willkie, Andrés has worked on various community-driven ventures, including the first fully accessible homeless housing project in the world. He outlined the pro bono work that the Willkie real estate team in L.A. has done alongside complex commercial real estate transactions, such as building parks, recreation centers, university buildings and housing for women experiencing domestic violence.

Read the full article here.

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