Denver native serves agency that used to serve her

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Lawyers sometimes get a bad rap. Images of lawyers in popular culture have them aggressive, no-nonsense, reinforcing your need to question their motives, rarely on “the up-and-up,” and have you on your guard around them in case you incriminate yourself for something.

But RTD in-house counsel Marisela Sandoval doesn’t fit that bill. She’s a sweet, quiet, kind and thoughtful young woman who has worked for RTD for two and a half years.

Sandoval was looking for a new opportunity, and an ad for a position within RTD’s Legal Department piqued her interest.

“I interviewed and enjoyed everyone I met,” Sandoval said. “This job was something that spoke to me professionally. RTD provides an important service to our community and the community I grew up in. I’m from Denver and grew up with RTD. I wanted to give back and do something meaningful with my career, so it feels like everything’s come full circle.”

Sandoval knew she wanted to be a lawyer from a young age. In high school, a law class taught by a lawyer left her interested in learning about and understanding the profession.

“I wanted to learn about it to help and serve others through my knowledge of law, and I’ve pursued that ever since,” she said. “Law is a great match for me because I have an analytical and critical thinking mind to be passionate about it and understand it.”

Now that Sandoval is practicing law, it’s fulfilling for her to know that her work is vital to the community and impacts people’s daily lives by helping them get to where they need to go.

“I know how important RTD is to the fabric of the Denver community,” she said. “It is so rewarding to know that now my work is helping move others safely and reliably throughout Denver and its surrounding areas.”

Sandoval also enjoys her position at RTD, she said, because of the work and her colleagues across the agency.

“We are always working on something new and challenging – and that is exciting,” Sandoval said. “The people I work with are all passionate about their work, about public transit and about serving the community to the best of our abilities.”

In her time at RTD, Sandoval’s most memorable moment was the long-awaited opening last year of the G Line, the agency’s newest commuter rail line that runs through Denver, Adams County, Arvada and Wheat Ridge.

“Before working for RTD, I did not appreciate the countless hours of hard work and dedication that go into opening a line,” she said. “To witness the hard work of my colleagues come to fruition, and to be a part of that celebration, was gratifying.”

And as far as the stereotype of the aggressive lawyer, Sandoval says she can be aggressive when it’s necessary to protect RTD.

“The role of a lawyer is to serve,” she noted. “You have to think about why you became a lawyer. It’s important to always be respectful when pursuing the interest of your client.

“I am proud that my work helps protect RTD’s legal interests and ensures that RTD can continue to provide critical public transit service to the community.