A Little Bit About Me
Wendy Raquel Hernandez
Managing Attorney, CEO
U.S. District Court District of Arizona, 1999
Notre Dame Law School
Notre Dame, Indiana
J.D. - 1995
Arizona State University
B.A. - 1992
When I was 12, I decided to become a lawyer. I announced my intention to my friends and family and when they asked why I wanted to be a lawyer, it was hard for me to explain. There was no event or person in particular that had inspired me. All I could point to was a deep desire guiding me in the direction of the law. Because of that, I have spent most of my life pursuing my life’s calling.
I grew up in a mining town in northern Arizona called Bagdad. At the time I lived there, the population was no more than 2,000 people. My Mom and Dad were raised in Bagdad, and they had grown up with most of the people living in the town. Our community was tight-knit; everyone knew everyone, and when something went right for another, we all celebrated. When something went wrong, we came together, and we mourned.
During my high school years, we all saw a new phenomenon begin to permeate our tiny town. It was everywhere, and most of us had seen nothing like it. It was scary. It caused trauma. It created division. It was happening everywhere, and it was real.
This phenomenon was called divorce.
I can safely say that almost every person in our community was affected by a divorce. People I loved were sometimes the victims, and other times, they were the perpetrators of hatred and violence resulting from divorce. Many of my teenaged friends were depressed and scared because of divorce happening to them. When my Mom and Dad would argue, my brothers and I would cry because we were afraid the next step would be divorce.
Back then, divorce was not expected, nor widely accepted. For men, divorce meant that they would rarely, if ever, get to spend time with their children again. For women, it meant they would have to figure out how to raise a family with minimal financial support. At that point in our culture, divorce had not been thought about enough for people to give thought to a “better” way to get it done. It resulted in immeasurable suffering for husbands, for wives and unfortunately, for their children.
As I have progressed through my career, my training to become a lawyer and my teenage experiences with divorce have now “married” one another. My life’s work is to help people struggling with the re-definition of their families. While there is not necessarily one way to navigate the fallout caused by the coming apart of a family, I believe it can be done in fairness, and with honesty, integrity and dignity.
My deepest desire is to help you feel hope when you are feeling fear and see light when you only see the dark. My mission is to remind you that by focusing on the highest good of your family, you will find the way through loss and fear to love. I know that even at your darkest moment, you can choose power.
I will help you.