School navigation


The Unusual Pathway of Judge Xiomara Torres Mattson ’02

October 09, 2017

Judge Xiomara Torres ’02 was the feature of Oregonian front page story for her unusual path as a former illegal immigrant and foster child. 

“To me, the message to immigrant children and to any immigrant is that you can make the U.S. a better place and you can contribute,” she said. “I want immigrant kids, foster kids, to know that they can go to law school. They can become attorneys. They can become judges.”

U.S. District Judge (and Law School alumna) Anna Brown ’80 mentored Torres as a law student 15 years ago and has stayed in contact since.

“I think it is in character for Judge Torres to share her story so that others will know that tough circumstances do not have to defeat them,” she said.

Gov. Kate Brown, who appointed Torres in spring as a family law judge in Multnomah County Circuit Court, called her smart, funny, fair and fearless.

“She is exactly the judge I would want to appear before, as a lawyer or as a party,” the governor said.


Share this story on


Contact Us