Alexander Cross is a San Francisco native and founder of Alexander Cross and Associates/Oficinas legales de Alexander Cross y Asociado, a law firm that has found a niche in the Bay Area by providing criminal defense for an underrepresented part of the local population. Their goal is to provide high quality, qualified legal services in the criminal sector that is for the Spanish speaking community.

Alexander attended school in East Bay before heading to UC Berkeley and San Francisco School of Law. While there, Alexander saw a need for criminal defense lawyers that could communicate with Spanish speaking clients.

After graduation, Alexander spent a year working with an experienced attorney before moving on to open his own firm. Seizing the opportunity to provide service to the Spanish speaking community, he was able to endorse himself through a live radio broadcast. The broadcast, which continues today, allows the public to ask legal questions and get advice from an experienced attorney. This educational service has been an asset both to the community as a whole and to his team. The relationship that is built through this outreach empowers all parties to have resources they can rely on when the time requires it.

How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?

I had originally considered medicine, but when I was in college, I found myself drawn more to legal and philosophy classes. I took them for fun. I found that being an attorney matched my skill set more so than being a doctor, so I focused on that instead.

While I was in law school, I noticed that any other students who spoke fluent Spanish were going into immigration law. There is a large population of Spanish speaking people in the San Francisco area that need legal representation in things other than just immigration.

I saw a need for an attorney the Spanish population could speak to. They are dealing with legal matters, which is a stressful situation. Not being able to properly communicate with the person representing your best interest just makes the situation that much more stressful. I wanted to provide this service to an underrepresented community.

What is your firm’s specialty?

We focus on criminal law, including DUI, domestic violence, and other crimes. We represent Spanish speaking clients. That makes our firm more unique. I have several attorneys that work for me that have the same background and the same desire to make ourselves available to this part of our community.

Why did you choose to open your own firm?

As an attorney, there are really only a few choices available once you’ve completed your education. You can join an already established firm or you can start your own. I knew from the start that I did not want to work for someone else. I wanted my own business so I could make the most difference. I felt I had the ability to reach a part of the community that needed it. I wanted to make a difference.

What do you find most challenging?

This is law, so all of it is challenging. There is paperwork, court dates, filing deadlines, and all that comes with the territory. Finding the best outcome for the client is a challenge at times, but I enjoy a challenge.

What I find the most challenging overall is the family of an accused person. The district attorney may have evidence against them, but the family knows the accused and they have a belief in them. It takes some time for them to understand that the person they know may have committed a crime. It is hard to watch as that realization or understanding comes to them.

What do you find most enjoyable?

I actually find the radio and online sessions most enjoyable. So many people have questions regarding the legal system, and I am able to educate them through my experience. We offer question and answer sessions on Facebook. We have podcasts and I still do the live radio show as well.

What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?

That’s hard to narrow down, this specialty presents a lot of difficult choices. I think the toughest decisions are when I feel a client is innocent, but the district attorney has just enough evidence to convince a jury otherwise. Many of my clients can’t afford a full jury trial and must settle for a lesser charge, or something else based more on economic hardship.

There is an obvious separation between the wealthy and the poorer communities when it comes to the legal system. It is overwhelmingly the poor who are convicted of or have to plead to the more heinous crimes. It’s important to understand and realize it’s not necessarily because they are guilty, but that they can’t afford another option. That’s always a tough choice. As the attorney, you have to consider all the outcomes of what each decision would have.

What do you think it is that makes you successful?

My firm has more resolved criminal cases than any other in the Bay Area. We have completed over 5000 cases and it is this experience that makes our firm successful. We understand the demographics of San Francisco and we offer a service to a portion of the community that doesn’t have the most options. We are able to provide detailed communication in a way they can’t necessarily find through another firm.

What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

I’ve had several cases that I was able to get dismissed altogether based on lack of evidence or other means. Those are my most satisfying moments.

What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?

I am most excited about continuing to educate the public through radio broadcast and social media platforms. I feel that we reach the most people and do the most good by using these methods. Of course, as our popularity increases it drives more new clients in our direction.

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