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.


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 has done a lot of work for me and I appreciate very much what you’ve done, what everyone has done…Thank you very, very much and I appreciate everything that has been done.
  • I just wanted to thank you so very much for all the work that you’ve done for us. This has allowed me to help my daughter an awful lot…This allowed me to buy her her first home, also put away a savings bond and started a little annuity for her. I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this had you not worked so hard to get the monies that you did. I just want to let you know I really appreciate it.
  • On behalf of myself and my family, I would like to extend our appreciation and gratitude for the way your firm handled my late husband’s case. Everyone that I dealt with was courteous, patient, and prompt in responding to my questions and concerns. Thank you very much for the excellent job, and most of all for your support during the process. Your guidance and the resolution to our case has brought closure to a difficult chapter in my life.
  • When The Brayton-Purcell Firm took my case I had almost given up hope of ever getting before a jury. I had a difficult and long standing case and had already been with two firms. Brayton-Purcell attorney Jason Rose worked closely with me, keeping me updated and giving me access to him which gave me a feeling of having someone truly on my side; a feeling that they were putting their whole effort into my case. Just getting this case a court date was an amazing feat. When we went to trial I met Gil Purcell and watched these two work professionally against great odds. They knew what they were doing, knew how to adapt to issues as they came up and all the while helped me hold up. We received a terrific verdict and are now in the appeal process. I have confidence that the Brayton-Purcell appellate team will be as competent and compassionate for me as my trial team was. Coming together with this firm has brought me a sense of confidence and peace that I wasn’t sure I was going to get a chance to feel.
  • I’d like to thank Brayton & Purcell for all the work your firm has done for me. I have asbestosis and without Brayton Purcell representing me the likelihood of getting compensated by asbestos manufacturers and the material suppliers of asbestos products would be zero. The law partners who run the show already know this, but I am going to write it down anyway. Every contact I had with anyone at Brayton Purcell LLP be it phone, fax, email and or personally, I’ve been treated courteously and promptly by your great employees.
  • From my first contact with your firm, I have been treated with respect, compassion, and in a most professional manner. …Nothing will ever take away this pain of loss but the settlement will help provide since I have health problems and am unable to work.
  • Your work has allowed us to continue to live our lives without fear of financial ruin and to be able to plan a future. . .
  • . . .Thank you for all you have done for me and for Bill before he died. You have been so caring. . .