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201 S. Lake Ave
Suite 302
Pasadena, CA 91101

562-653-3333 fax

12800 Center Court Drive
Suite 300
Cerritos, CA 90703

562-653-3333 fax


  • Stanford University (B.A., with honors)
  • Columbia University School of Law (J.D.)

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • United States Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Pacific Council on International Policy
  • Advisory Board Member, Campaign for College Opportunity
  • MALDEF Law School Scholarship Committee
  • California Voting Modernization Board
  • 2014 Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow
  • Judicial Clerkship—The Honorable Carlos R. Moreno, then U.S. District Judge for the Central District of California, 1998-1999

Gabriel A. Sandoval


Practice Areas

Gabriel Sandoval is a partner in the Pasadena and Cerritos offices of Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo.  He represents universities, community colleges, school districts, charter school management organizations, and municipalities in a wide range of matters, including all aspects of education and employment law, and compliance with federal and state civil rights laws.

As part of his statewide law practice, Mr. Sandoval conducts investigations of employee and student complaints of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation; provides antidiscrimination trainings; and reviews and revises policies to ensure compliance with federal and state antidiscrimination laws.  Mr. Sandoval also assists clients achieve fair and equitable results in connection with investigations conducted by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. 

Prior to joining AALRR, Mr. Sandoval served in President Barack Obama’s Administration as Senior Advisor and Director of Policy at the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.  While in the Obama Administration, Mr. Sandoval also served as Senior Counsel in the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Education—the largest office of the federal government focused exclusively on enforcement of civil rights compliance by our nation’s schools and universities.  As part of OCR’s key management team, Mr. Sandoval worked with the Assistant Secretary and other senior staff in drafting and issuing policy guidance and managing all aspects of complex, statewide complaints and compliance reviews, which resulted in resolution agreements.

Over the course of his professional career, Mr. Sandoval has held significant positions in the private, non-profit, and governmental sectors, including Deputy Legal Counsel to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, where he provided strategic legal and policy advice to the Mayor and his staff on a range of local, state, federal, and international matters, including litigation involving the City of Los Angeles, civil rights, education, economic development, public safety, immigrant integration, trade missions, and legislation.  Mr. Sandoval was also a federal law clerk to the Honorable Carlos R. Moreno, then U.S. District Judge for the Central District of California; an employment and labor associate at O’Melveny & Myers, LLP; Special Assistant City Attorney for the City of Los Angeles; and Special Counsel to the Secretary of Legal Affairs for the State of California.

Mr. Sandoval received his Bachelor of Arts with departmental honors in political science from Stanford University, and earned his J.D. from Columbia University School of Law, where he was awarded the law school’s Human Rights Fellowship and served on the editorial board of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review.

Appointments and Awards
Mr. Sandoval has been appointed to several state and local boards, including the California Voting Modernization Board, State Bar Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation, El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument Authority Commission, and Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, a non-profit charter management organization serving students from the communities of MacArthur Park, Pico Union, the Wilshire Corridor, and Echo Park. 

In 2009, he received the Regional President of the Year Award from the Hispanic National Bar Association, the nation’s largest organization that represents the interests of the more than 100,000 Hispanic judges, attorneys, law professors, and law students in the United States and its territories. Mr. Sandoval is also a 2007 recipient of the American Marshall Memorial Fellowship of the German Marshall Fund of the United States and has been a fellow of its Transatlantic Forum on Migration and Integration since 2008.  Mr. Sandoval is a 2014 Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Speaking Engagements
Mr. Sandoval has provided training to national and regional professional groups on such topics as preventing workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation; understanding and responding to federal civil rights investigations; complying with ethics laws for state and local officials; and advancing equity in student discipline. Mr. Sandoval’s recent presentations include:

  • Presenter, Key Immigration Issues in the Educational Setting: Supporting All Students, Los Angeles County Office of Education, Downey, CA (March 24, 2017)
  • Presenter, The Federal Government’s Impact on California Education and Students: Changes in Immigration Enforcement, California School Boards Association Webcast, Sacramento, CA (March 22, 2017) 
  • Presenter, Immigration Law Briefing for Schools, San Diego County Office of Education, San Diego, CA (March 21, 2017)
  • Presenter, Supporting Immigrant Students and Creating a Safe Campus Environment Under the New Presidential Administration, Community College League of California Annual Legislative Conference, Sacramento, CA (January 29, 2017)
  • Moderator, Workable Solutions to Affirmative Action?, Conference on the Economic and Social Imperative for Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Higher Education—Getting Beyond Affirmative Action in California and the Nation, UCLA Civil Rights Project and The Campaign for College Opportunity, Los Angeles, CA (December 15, 2016)
  • Presenter, Hot Legislation and Compliance Issues, AALRR’s 2016 Education Law Conference—Igniting the Passion to Lead, Cerritos, CA (November 3, 2016)
  • Presenter, Maintaining the Public Trust: Education Policy Makers and the Role of Ethics, the NALEO 11th Biennial National Institute for Newly Elected Officials, Oxon Hill, MD (November 18, 2016)
  • Presenter, Protecting the Rights of Transgender Students: The Current State of the Law and Related Compliance Issues, AALRR Breakfast Briefing, Cerritos, CA (September 23, 2016)
  • Presenter, Title IX and Equal Access for Transgender Students, AALRR Webinar, Cerritos, CA (June 14, 2016)
  • Presenter, Educational Equity: Ensuring Compliance with Our Nation’s Civil Rights Laws, AALRR’s 2015 Education Law Conference - Bridging the Gap: Promoting Equity and Achieving Excellence, Cerritos, CA (November 17, 2015) and Stockton, CA (November 16, 2015)
  • Presenter, Retaliation in the Workplace: Proactively Responding to Federal Civil Rights Investigations, 2015 Personnel Institute, Association of California School Administrators, Costa Mesa, CA (October 8, 2015)
  • Presenter, Title IX and K-12: It’s Not Just About Athletics, AALRR Breakfast Briefing, Cerritos, CA (March 6, 2015)
  • Presenter, Understanding and Responding to Civil Rights Investigations of the U.S. Department of Education, 2014 Education Summit, Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents, Atlanta, GA (October 16, 2014)
  • Presenter, Retaliation in the Workplace: Proactively Responding to Federal Civil Rights Investigations, 2014 Personnel Institute, Association of California School Administrators, Irvine, CA (October 9, 2014)
  • Presenter, Ethical Leadership for Local Government Officials, 31st Annual Conference of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), San Diego, CA (June 26, 2014)
  • Presenter, Be Proactive: How to Respond to Federal Civil Rights Investigations, AALRR’s 2013 Education Law Conference-Rethinking the Future, Stockton, CA (November 14, 2013), Cerritos, CA (November 19, 2013)
  • Presenter, Understanding and Responding to Civil Rights Investigations of the U.S. Department of Education, 2013 Education Summit, Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents, Denver, CO (October 18, 2013)
  • Presenter, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (One Year Later), Unity Conference 2013, California Latino School Boards Association, San Diego, CA (October 4, 2013)
  • Presenter, Retaliation in the Workplace: Being Proactive in Responding to Federal Civil Rights Investigations, 2013 Personnel Institute, Association of California School Administrators, Costa Mesa, CA (October 3, 2013)
  • Lecturer, The Impact of Immigration on Cities, Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY (November 20, 2012)
  • Keynote Speaker, Reaching the Dream Together: Helping AB 540 and Undocumented Students, AB 540 Task Force Inaugural Conference, California State University, Fullerton, CA (September 28, 2012)
  • Speaker/Facilitator, Enriching America through the 21st Century: Increasing Latino Postsecondary Completion, Symposium of the Higher Education Committee of the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (August 16-17, 2012)
  • Presenter/Facilitator/Organizer, White House Hispanic Community Action Summits, Livermore, CA (July 26, 2012); Silver Spring, MD (June 16, 2012); Arlington, VA (June 9, 2012); Philadelphia, PA (June 2, 2012); Los Angeles, CA (June 5, 2012); Milwaukee, WI (March 24, 2012); Durham, NC (March 17, 2012); San Antonio, TX (March 9, 2012); Cleveland, OH (February 18, 2012); Tampa, FL (February 3, 2012); Tucson, AZ (January 30, 2012), Phoenix, AZ (January 28, 2012), San Jose, CA (January 21, 2012) Miami, FL (December 2, 2011), Albuquerque, NM (November 12, 2011),  Riverside, CA ( November 5, 2011), Denver, CO (October 29, 2011), Las Cruces, NM (October 27, 2011), Las Vegas, NV (October 1, 2011), Orlando, FL (September 9-10, 2011)
  • Panelist, Mis Derechos, Tus Derechos: Protecting the Civil Rights of the Latino Community, National Council of La Raza Annual Conference, Las Vegas, NV (July 8, 2012)
  • Respondent, Federal Agency Roundtable: Knowing Your Constituents’ Rights, Annual Conference of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, Orlando, FL (June 23, 2012)
  • Speaker, Forum on Transforming Education Outcomes for Hispanics, the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics with the Offices of Governor Lincoln D. Chafee and Mayor Angel Taveras, Providence, RI (January 25, 2012)
  • Panelist, While Congress Sleeps, the DREAM Lives On: Improving Access to Education for Immigrants, 8th National Low-Income Immigrants’ Rights Conference, National Immigration Law Center, Crystal City, VA (December 8, 2011)
  • Presenter/Facilitator, Immigrant Integration Roundtable, New Americans-Citizenship & Integration Initiative of the White House Domestic Policy Council, The California Community Foundation, Los Angeles, CA (August 5, 2011)
  • Presenter/Facilitator, White House Hispanic Policy Conference, Washington, D.C. (July 11-12, 2011)
  • Panelist, Building the Future: Ensuring Latino Students’ Success, League of United Latin American Citizens’ National Convention and Exposition, Cincinnati, OH (June 30, 2011)
  • Facilitator, National Conversations on English Learner Education, Office of English Language Acquisition, U.S. Department of Education, Charlotte, NC (May 9-10, 2011), Seattle, WA (March 7-8, 2011), Chicago, IL (February 10-11, 2011)
  • Speaker, Developing a Future Research Agenda for English Language Learners, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C. (April 4, 2011)
  • Panelist, From Capitol to Campus: Obama Officials’ Call to Action, California State University, San Bernardino’s Second Annual Latino and Education Advocacy Days Summit, Washington, D.C.  (March 28, 2011)
  • Keynote Speaker, Deconstructing the School-to-Prison Pipeline, The Journal of Law in Society Symposium, Wayne Law School, Detroit, MI (March 25, 2011)
  • Speaker, Closing Session Special Remarks, 2010 Office of Migrant Education Conference, U.S. Department of Education, Philadelphia, PA (November 17, 2010)
  • Speaker, Opportunities for Improving Urban Schools, 23rd Annual NAACP State Convention Luncheon, Oakland, CA (October 23, 2010)
  • Facilitator, National Education Summit and Call to Action, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, Washington, D.C. (October 18, 2010)
  • Presenter, A Reinvigorated OCR, Federal Technical Assistance Workshop in partnership with the National Indian Education Association Convention and Trade Show, U.S. Department of Education, San Diego, CA (October 6, 2010)
  • Panelist, Where the Rubber Meets the Road – Challenges and Opportunities in the K-12 and Workforce Services Fields, Symposium on Charting New Directions: Addressing Language Access Policy, Program Management, and Funding Challenges in the Coming Decade, Migration Policy Institute, Boston, MA (September 29, 2010)
  • Speaker/Panelist, Alternative Approaches to Conflict Resolution, National Convention and Exposition of the League of United Latin American Citizens, Albuquerque, NM (July 15, 2010)

Contra Costa College Board Makes ‘Sanctuary’ Status Official,” Mercury News (Jan. 11, 2017)

Ensuring Equity in Education,” CSUF News Center (April 28, 2016)



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