Charley Velasco Ariza

charley velasco ariza headshot

I am the eldest of three children and the oldest grandson in my family, having grown up surrounded by love and very close to all my relatives. Despite the distance, as they continue to reside in Colombia while I live in California, in the San Francisco Bay Area, I maintain a strong relationship with my family.

Throughout my life, I've been passionate about music. During my high school years, I was part of a small school band where I played the clarinet. After high school, I pursued choral and music classes at La Universidad Nacional de Colombia for over a year.

My interest in law was sparked in 2003, influenced by a cousin who was already a lawyer. She shared the rewarding aspects of her profession and the impact she had on our community, which inspired me deeply. That very year, I enrolled in Law School in Colombia, where becoming an attorney required five to six years of study, depending on the chosen program. In 2005, during my second year, I began working as an assistant in a law office, marking my first foray into the legal field. My experiences expanded between 2006 and 2007, working with companies specializing in real estate trials within the Civil Law Jurisdiction, where I gained significant insights into litigation, courts, and suits.

In 2008, I embarked on a career in the legal aspects of Public and Private Health systems in Colombia at the Ministry of Health and Social Protection. This role ignited my passion for healthcare law and its complexities. Over three years, while continuing my law studies in the evenings, I learned the ins and outs of both private and public health systems in my country.

My commitment to service was exemplified between 2010 and 2011 when I became the lawyer for a non-profit institution dedicated to caring for HIV-positive orphaned children, offering pro-bono legal services in cases related to the health-legal system and insurance.

Motivated by this experience, I pursued further education in 2012 and 2013, specializing in "Insurance and Social Security." My commitment extended to offering pro-bono services, helping those in need to navigate medical services and legal challenges against insurance companies, clinics, and sometimes the government.

In 2014, I earned a certificate as a legal expert in "voluntary mechanisms on mediation, arbitration, and conciliation for conflict resolution," enhancing my skills in negotiation and saving resources for both my employers and those I served pro-bono. My experiences led me to teach about the Colombian health system from a legal perspective at the University "Manuela Beltran" Law School, where I could share practical knowledge alongside legal theory.

Subsequently, I worked for health insurance companies, defending their legal interests and coordinating legal responses to governmental regulations. Eventually, I became the legal director of a clinic, applying my accumulated knowledge while also considering the health system from both business and legal perspectives.

In 2017, I began studying International Business at California State University East Bay, finishing in the winter of 2018. Encouraged by my professors to continue my legal path, I pursued an LLM at UC Berkeley Law School, where I blended my Colombian legal experience with new business credentials. In 2020, I completed my LLM and received a Business Certificate from UC Berkeley Law, after which I practiced law overseas for two and a half years. In 2023, I became licensed to practice law in California.

Throughout my practice in Colombia, I consistently worked within the medical field, handling cases in medical malpractice litigation, health regulatory compliance, and public health planning. Moving to the U.S. in 2017 and entering Business School, I had not envisioned returning to the legal field. Yet, fate led me back to law school and subsequently to joining Brayton Purcell LLP as an associate attorney in November 2023. Currently, I have the privilege of continuing my legal career, assisting clients in personal injury claims due to workplace silica exposure. Reflecting on my journey, it feels as though I have been preparing for this moment my entire life.

What motivated/inspired you to become an attorney?

Helping people is very rewarding. Knowing that my work positively impacts others and that someone's life will be better because of something I can do, gives meaning to my job.

What do you enjoy most about the work you do?

The interaction with clients, hearing their stories, and giving them hope through what we can offer, is profound. As an immigrant, like many of these clients, I can relate to their journey. I understand their background and culture, and there is no language barrier between us. I feel the connection I have with my clients is a gift that I never take for granted, and I continuously work to maintain it.

What are your hobbies and interests? What do you like to do when you're not working?

I like music very much, so I spend time just listening to music that I like. I also enjoy going to the movies, reading, and playing video games.

Education

University of California Berkeley 

  • LL.M. - 2020

California State University East Bay 

  • International Business Diploma - 2018

Universidad Colegio Mayor de Cundinamarca 

  • J.D. – 2011

Universidad Colegio Mayor de Cundinamarca 

  • Certificate as a legal expert in "voluntary mechanisms on mediation, arbitration, and conciliation for conflict resolution" - 2014

Universidad de la Sabana 

  • Insurance and Social Security Specialist - 2013

Bar Admission

  • California, 2023
  • Colombia, 2011

Current Employment Position

  • Associate

What Our Clients Say

  • Brayton Purcell ha hecho mucho trabajo para mí y aprecio mucho lo que has hecho, lo que todo el mundo ha hecho... Muchísimas gracias y agradezco todo lo que se ha hecho.
  • Solo quería agradecerles mucho por todo el trabajo que han hecho por nosotros. Esto me ha permitido ayudar muchísimo a mi hija... Esto me permitió comprarle su primera casa, también guardar un bono de ahorro y comenzar una pequeña anualidad para ella. No habría podido hacer nada de esto si no hubieras trabajado tan duro para conseguir el dinero que obtuviste. Solo quiero que sepas que realmente lo aprecio.
  • En mi nombre y en el de mi familia, me gustaría extender nuestro aprecio y gratitud por la forma en que su bufete manejó el caso de mi difunto esposo. Todas las personas con las que traté fueron corteses, pacientes y rápidas al responder a mis preguntas e inquietudes. Muchas gracias por el excelente trabajo y, sobre todo, por su apoyo durante el proceso. Su orientación y la resolución de nuestro caso han puesto fin a un capítulo difícil de mi vida.
  • Cuando el bufete Brayton-Purcell tomó mi caso, casi había perdido la esperanza de presentarme ante un jurado. Tenía un caso difícil y de larga data y ya había estado con dos bufetes. El abogado de Brayton-Purcell, Jason Rose, trabajó en estrecha colaboración conmigo, manteniéndome actualizado y dándome acceso a él, lo que me dio la sensación de tener a alguien realmente de mi lado; una sensación de que estaban poniendo todo su esfuerzo en mi caso. El simple hecho de conseguir que este caso tuviera una cita en la corte fue una hazaña increíble. Cuando fuimos a juicio, conocí a Gil Purcell y vi a estos dos trabajar profesionalmente contra grandes adversidades. Sabían lo que hacían, sabían cómo adaptarse a los problemas que surgían y todo el tiempo me ayudaron a aguantar. Recibimos un veredicto excelente y ahora estamos en el proceso de apelación. Confío en que el equipo de apelaciones de Brayton-Purcell será tan competente y compasivo conmigo como lo fue mi equipo de juicios. Reunirme con esta firma me ha traído una sensación de confianza y paz que no estaba segura de que iba a tener la oportunidad de sentir.
  • Me gustaría agradecer a Brayton & Purcell por todo el trabajo que su firma ha hecho por mí. Tengo asbestosis y sin Brayton Purcell representándome, la probabilidad de ser compensado por los fabricantes de asbesto y los proveedores de materiales de productos de asbesto sería cero. Los socios legales que dirigen el espectáculo ya lo saben, pero lo voy a escribir de todos modos. Cada contacto que he tenido con cualquier persona en Brayton Purcell LLP, ya sea por teléfono, fax, correo electrónico o personalmente, he sido tratado con cortesía y prontitud por sus excelentes empleados.
  • Desde mi primer contacto con su firma, me han tratado con respeto, compasión y de la manera más profesional. … Nada me quitará este dolor de pérdida, pero el acuerdo me ayudará a proveer, ya que tengo problemas de salud y no puedo trabajar.
  • Su trabajo nos ha permitido seguir viviendo nuestras vidas sin temor a la ruina financiera y poder planificar un futuro. . .
  • . . . Gracias por todo lo que has hecho por mí y por Bill antes de morir. Has sido tan cariñoso. . .