Two Empire Law School Alumni Join California Judiciary in 2020

January 27, 2020

Two Empire Law School Alumni Join California Judiciary in 2020



SANTA ROSA, CA—Victoria Shanahan, a 2001 graduate of Empire College School of Law, and Paul Lozada, Class of 2007, have recently been appointed to the California judiciary. This marks 16 Empire College School of Law alumni who are members of the judiciary in California (15) and Arizona (1).



Lozada Paul - Empire Alumni Join California Judiciary Victoria Shanahan - Empire Alumni Joins California Judiciary

Paul Lozada and Victoria Shanahan


            Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the appointment of criminal defense attorney Victoria Shanahan to fill a vacancy in the Mendocino Superior Court. Shanahan earned her BA in Environmental Studies from Sonoma State University and worked as an environmental chemist before starting a family and beginning her legal studies. While attending Empire Law School, she interned at the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office as a law clerk and served as chief deputy district attorney at the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office after graduating and passing the bar exam.  In 2007, she was hired by the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office where she prosecuted a broad range of cases including domestic violence, sexual assault, vehicular homicide, and gang cases. She has been a sole practitioner since 2015.

            Paul Lozada has been appointed a Sonoma County Superior Court Commissioner to oversee a new pretrial release program. Lozada has had a 30-year career with the law. In 1984, after completing his enlistment as an infantryman in the United States Marine Corps, he commenced a 20-year career in law enforcement, beginning his career as a deputy sheriff, detective and criminal investigator for the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office. He retired from law enforcement in 2004, attended and graduated cum laude from Empire College School of Law in 2007, and practices family law. He has successfully represented clients with dissolutions, child custody, spousal support, and child support. In 2010 Lozada became an adjunct faculty member of Empire Law School, teaching Legal Research and Writing to incoming law students.

            Founded in 1973, Empire College School of Law has small sections and class sizes that encourage a strong sense of community, accomplished faculty who are practicing attorneys or judges, and an array of clinical education opportunities for students to acquire practical experience applying the law and working with clients. Its alumni comprise approximately 25 percent of the Sonoma County Bar.

For additional information on Empire College or the School of Law, call (707) 546-4000 or visit

One of the things that I appreciate about going to Empire College was that the training was so hands-on.

Yesenia Avalos

Medical Assistant Coordinator, West County Health Centers
Empire Law School provided the instruction, guidance, and motivation that I needed to pass the California State Bar Examination on the first try, despite the rigors of managing a full-time career and family commitments in parallel. I would absolutely recommend Empire Law School to anyone looking for relevant and masterful instruction in the subjects of law.

Chris Van Nuys

Operations Manager, LEMO USA, Inc. (Class of 2019)

By assisting clients at the Self-Help Access Center, students learn about law, human nature, society and challenges people face on a daily basis.

Michelle Brown

Empire Law Graduate

Empire is perfect for individuals seeking a practical, cost-effective legal education taught by committed practitioners. Empire enabled me to grow and learn through experiences with the Superior Court’s Office and the District Attorney’s office as a student and then launch into a rewarding career serving as General Counsel for American Home Shield >Corporation, The ServiceMaster Franchise Group, Graham Packaging Company, and currently, Evergreen Packaging.

Mark Lightfoot

General Counsel, Evergreen Packaging

Walking across the graduation stage already employed with a full-time job was very gratifying.

Nancy Clark

Paralegal, Galanti & Copenhaver, Inc.

I had a lot of friends go through Empire who had a great experience. If you want a solid IT foundation to get out in the workforce, it’s the place to be.

Blake Buchanan

Service Desk Analyst, Davita Medical Group