Hispanic National Bar Association–Co-Chair
Los Angeles, CA
Raul Ayala is the collaborative courts supervising attorney for the Federal Public Defender’s Office in the Central District of California. As such, he has been assigned as the lead deputy federal public defender for each of the Conviction and Sentence Alternatives (CASA) Program courts—two in Los Angeles and one each in Santa Ana and Riverside. In addition, he is a team member of the Substance Abuse Treatment and Reentry (STAR) Program, the district’s post-conviction reentry drug court. Raul has been part of the CASA and STAR programs since 2011 and also serves as the office supervisor for its developing Social Services Unit.
After working several years at a private nonprofit community law firm that he and some law school classmates established after graduating from UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, he became a trial deputy for the Federal Public Defenders Office from 1984 through 1988. During that time, he tried dozens of cases in district court and argued several matters before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In the following 20 years of private practice as a criminal defense lawyer, he tried many more cases in both federal and state courts and remained active in various bar associations and public interest scholarship foundations. He returned as a federal defender for a second “tour of duty” in 2008 and is a regular trainer for the national Defender Services Office of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts in Washington, D.C. Raul is currently chair of the ABA Criminal Justice Section’s Diversion Standards Task Force and serves as a co-chair of the section’s Alternatives to Incarceration and Diversion Committee.
Raul, a recovering alcoholic, has served on the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs and on the board of The Other Bar, Inc. (a California non-profit organization for legal professionals in recovery), and he is currently co-chair of the Hispanic National Bar Association Attorney Wellness Committee.