Temple alumna Angeles Roca wants to make her mark on the Philadelphia Court System.
Roca, a local lawyer, is running for a seat in Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas, which consists of 93 judges who are assigned to the following three divisions: trial court, family court and orphans’ court.
“I work hard, I’m honest. I’ve strived to do the best I can for the past 12 years and I would continue to do that on the bench,” Roca said.
Roca is the only Latina candidate of 21 attorneys on the ballot who are vying in the May 15 primary for four vacant seats. She wants to be on the bench for the family court division, and she said her bilingual
skills would be an asset to her courtroom.
Roca was born and raised in Philadelphia.
She lived in several neighborhoods, including Spring Garden, Olney and Hunting
Park. After graduating high school, she attended the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico for a year before taking classes at Temple.
Roca later withdrew from Temple and began working at Wills Eye Hospital, an advanced
ophthalmology center. After 17 years of clerical work, Roca yearned for change.
“At that point I decided I wanted to go to law school and have a career,” Roca said.
She returned to Temple, where she spent eight years taking night classes to earn a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. She continued working full time while raising her two children. In 1992, Roca graduated from Temple and set her sights on law school. She enrolled at the Villanova University School of Law fulltime
and left her job at the hospital. Balancing her home life with her schoolwork
wasn’t easy, Roca said. But she was always
there for her children.
“All they knew was that Mom never missed a game, even if I had a book in my hand,” Roca said.
In 1995, Roca graduated from law school and has been operating a neighborhood law practice ever since. Her practice, the Law Offices of Angeles Roca, is located at 5th Street and East Girard Avenue. She specializes in family law and personal injury.
“I love what I do and I service people who probably wouldn’t have an attorney. My fees are very reasonable,” Roca said. It is her love for her local community that helped Roca to decide to move to the next level.
“I’ve decided to run for judge because I want to service the same community, but in a different way,” she said.The campaign has been difficult, Roca said. Her daughter even left her job to help out. Despite campaigning and her hectic schedule, Roca still maintains her law practice.
“It’s a lot of work. It’s triple the work when you can’t quit your full time job,” Roca said.She encourages people to learn about their local judges, adding that most people don’t know which judges they are voting for during the primary election.
LeAnne Matlach can be reached at email@example.com.