People ask me, "Why are you running?"
Because I like being a judge and I'm good at it.
When I was young, I wanted to become a teacher. I come from a family of teachers--my maternal grandparents were teachers and my mom taught middle school for 27 years. My dad was an educator for a short time before he became a businessman. So, after I graduated from college, I became a teacher at the same elementary school that I attended when I was in second grade.
Then, life took a turn. I got married and divorced. That was one of the toughest times in my life. I saw how expensive litigation could be and I was turned off by the demeanor of the attorneys that handled my case. I thought to myself, "I could've done a better job." That began my path towards the law.
Although I was accepted into other schools and offered a full scholarship, I chose to attend William S. Boyd School of Law at UNLV because Nevada offers opportunities that no other place does. I feel that I was destined to be here.
I graduated from law school in 2007, at a time when the economy was at a dismal low. House prices had plummeted and attorney jobs were scarce. I was seven months pregnant when I passed the bar exam. I was afraid that I would end up working for a firm with a practice area that didn't interest me. I went to law school so that I could work on family law matters. I wanted to help people with their divorce and child custody issues. I didn't want circumstances to prevent me from accomplishing my vision, so I decided to open up my own law firm with a fellow attorney who is also my current husband.
On January 7, 2008, our daughter was born and, coincidentally, the business filing for Andrade Law, LLC was approved on the same day. Over the last 12 years, my partner and I have dedicated our practice to Family Law. We've helped hundreds of clients get through the process of divorce, child custody, child support, and visitation matters. Without compromising the caliber of our representation, we purposefully kept our rates and payment plans reasonable so that our clients could afford to have proper representation in court.
Seven years after becoming an attorney, I was appointed to be a Judicial Pro Tempore, or a Pro Tem Hearing Master in Family Court. Since 2014, I've had the privilege of sitting on the bench to preside over thousands of cases and make tough decisions regarding domestic violence protection orders. I completed hundreds of hours of domestic violence training, including but not limited to training through SafeNest, SAFE House, the Jean Nidetch Women's Center at UNLV, the Eighth Judicial District Court, the Family Law Section's annual conference, the Nevada Council for Prevention of Domestic Violence, and the Clark County Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team.
I am skilled, I am versatile, and I am compassionate. I bring all my diverse experiences to the bench. People of different cultures and generations can relate to me, renewing their confidence in the judicial system. Colleagues have repeatedly expressed their respect for my courtroom management and style. I take pride in knowing that so many parties and attorneys felt like they got a fair shake after I presided over their case. For years, people from the community have told me that they would love to see me become a full-time district court judge.
So here I am today, running for a new, open judicial seat in family court. There are currently 20 judges in Family Court. They are in departments A through T. Last year, lawmakers decided to add six new departments in family court: U, V, W, X, Y, and Z. Clark County, Nevada residents will vote in 2020 on who will become the judge for each of these new departments. I, Maricar "Rica" Andrade, am running to become the judge for Department Y.
Y am I running? Because I firmly believe that this is my calling, that my experience, passion, and commitment make me the perfect candidate, and that I will make an excellent Family Court Judge.