Joe Audal For Business Concept
Joe Audal For Business Concept | Foto: Joe Audal For Business Concept

Joe Audal For Business Concept

Por: Diego Cerón

4, January, 2023 en Business Concept

Living the American Dream
Written by Jacqueline Bodnar

Many people rank an attorney as one of the most difficult professions to break into. To get there, it’s going to take at least four years of college, three years of law school, bar exams, and numerous intellectual challenges along the way. There are many barriers to entry, including the amount of time and financial investment it takes to become a lawyer. Yet despite this, some have reached the top of the field, even after a long journey that started from humble beginnings. Joe Audal is one of those attorneys whose story is a living example of perseverance, starting with his hard-working immigrant parents.

Joe Audal For Business Concept
Joe Audal For Business Concept

As a senior legal counsel at a global tech company, Joe hasn’t forgotten where he came from and the hard work it took him and his parents to get there. While his parents have passed away, their legacy of hard work continues to live on and their dream of their children being highly educated has come to fruition. Not only does Joe enjoy a highly respected position within a company known worldwide, he also stays true to his roots and mission of helping others who need equality in the legal field. The more one gets to know his story, the more one can’t help but love the foundation his parents laid.


Humble Beginnings

America was a dream for Joe’s parents because it represented opportunity. They believed it was a place where if someone worked hard and didn’t give up, they could improve their situation. They also believed in education. Their belief in the power of education would become a hallmark in their family, prompting all four of the children to grow up to earn advanced degrees.

Joe’s mother was the first in their family to move to America when Joe was only six years old. In pursuit of a better life for her family, Joe’s mother made the move alone, leaving her husband and children behind in the Philippines. She spent her days teaching at a private school in New Jersey, followed by waiting tables at night in New York City (and later working as a convenience store clerk). Working the two low-paying positions at the same time, she was able to make ends meet. The following year, Joe’s dad joined her, also taking on two full-time minimum-wage jobs: one as a janitor and another as a convenience store clerk.

Joe Audal For Business Concept
Joe Audal For Business Concept

When he was nine, Joe and his siblings were able to join their parents in America. Their parents took education seriously, always instilling in their children the power of it. They believed that becoming educated was the key that would open doors in many areas, and they weren’t wrong. They both continued to work two jobs each so that they could provide for their children’s upbringing, as well as pay for their college education.

“To my mom and dad, the fact that all four of us kids have college educations and successful careers meant that we have achieved the American Dream,” says Joe. “They were huge proponents of education.”


9/11 Inspiration

The day after the tragedy of 9/11, Joe was sworn in as an American citizen. Like millions around the country, he watched as the news stories showed the brave firefighters rushing into danger to help people. Those scenes inspired him to want to become a firefighter. He was moved by how the firefighters were heroic and selfless in their public service. This led him to becoming a volunteer firefighter during his sophomore year in college.

He also spent years as a wildland firefighter for the US Forest Service and then was selected to be a student resident firefighter at UC Davis after a rigorous and intensive recruiting process. He remained a student firefighter until he graduated and also became an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). He graduated college with all the qualifications to become a firefighter/EMT after graduation.


Man Meets Law

One thing most people can agree upon is that there are times when we all need attorneys. And a good attorney can do wonders to help improve people’s lives. During Joe’s last year in college, he volunteered for the legal services program, where he helped practicing lawyers provide free legal assistance to low-income clients. That ended up being a turning point and defining time in his career because he was amazed at the important and meaningful work attorneys could do to help people navigate the legal system.

“It’s like they have a special key because they can unlock the legal system and make it accessible for others,” he says. “That’s when I decided to pivot into becoming a lawyer. I can still help people, similar to being a firefighter, while being intellectually challenged and stimulated at the same time. What can I say–I am a nerd!”

Both of his parents were passionate about education and instilled in their children the importance of going to college because it would help them get ahead. When Joe’s mother was diagnosed with late-stage cancer, she continued to teach. She showed up in the classroom day after day even while undergoing treatments, not wanting to let her students down until she physically was unable to get out of bed to go there. When his mother passed away, she accumulated hundreds of sick days that had never been used.

Joe Audal For Business Concept
Joe Audal For Business Concept

Making them proud parents, Joe graduated from one of the top law schools in the country, Georgetown Law. He has also passed two of the most challenging bar exams in the country: New York and California. His parents were able to see their dedication to education play out as their children all graduated from college and went on to have great career opportunities.

“They taught me the value of education. They would instill into me that education can change our livelihoods for the better, and it is one thing that no one can ever take away from you,” he says. “They said that education can take you to places and be in the same room as people that you wouldn’t have thought would be possible. It levels the playing field with others even if you don’t have any money.”

In law school, he had a lot of classmates whose parents were US Congress members. Much to his dad’s delight, they were all in the same room during graduation. It was a proud moment for his dad–a janitor from the Philippines in the same room as esteemed politicians and influential families.

“He was grinning ear to ear. It was such a proud moment for him,” says Joe. “That’s when he realized that he truly made it.”

Before finding his niche as in-house counsel, he did a stint as a federal prosecutor at the Department of Justice and spent time in a highly sought-after position as a judicial law clerk for a federal judge. As a federal prosecutor, he helped enforce federal criminal laws by investigating and prosecuting cases involving violations of federal criminal laws. This is where he gained significant courtroom experience. As a judicial law clerk, he conducted legal research, prepared bench memos, drafted orders and opinions, and assisted the judge during courtroom proceedings, among other things.


Helping Others

Being in the legal field, there are things he would like to change. Along with his corporate position, he also serves as a board member for the Asian Law Alliance. The organization has a mission he believes in, which is providing equal access to the justice system for Asian/Pacific Islanders and low-income populations in Silicon Valley.

The mission is fulfilled in a variety of ways, including providing legal counseling, community education, and organizing, as well as promoting self-sufficiency, self-reliance, and a better quality of life for all. The organization has helped countless people obtain decent housing and justice through the immigration process, and has provided access to fundamental human and legal rights.

Like his time spent being a firefighter, his work with the Asian Law Alliance allows him to focus on helping others, often in what may be a life-changing way. Those who receive help from the organization would often have nowhere else to turn for assistance and need help navigating the complicated legal system.

“If there is one thing I could change about the legal system, it would be to improve it to be more accessible to low-income populations,” he says. “Perhaps in life, everything is skewed to those who have the means, but legal rights are fundamental rights, and everyone—no matter their socioeconomic status—should have access to them.”


Beyond Work

While Joe’s parents instilled in him great respect for education and hard work, he also knows how to live his best life outside the office. He’s a sports fan that loves to watch the Raiders, Warriors, and A’s, and he’s a music lover that likes to lose himself in some piano or beatboxing. When he’s not working or volunteering, he enjoys having a date night with his wife and spending time with his 6-year-old son. He is also committed to working out so that he can try and keep the “dad bod” at bay.

Joe Audal For Business Concept
Joe Audal For Business Concept

There’s no doubt that Joe is passing down to his son many of the values that his parents taught him. His mother arrived in this country with nothing more than a suitcase, $50, and a dream. She wanted her children to become educated so they could choose the types of careers they wanted to do and make a good living doing it. His parents worked hard and made sacrifices that laid the foundation for how he got to where he is today. He never loses sight of their example of what perseverance looks like.

Today, Joe has the best of both worlds. He followed a challenging path that led him to a career he enjoys, providing him with corporate opportunities and ways to help those in need. The combination of the two outlets allows him to live the lifestyle he desires while still being able to fill the need of helping to make other people’s lives better.


Legacies Live On

Joe’s parents worked so tirelessly to help their children get ahead that the family didn’t get to have a lot of family fun activities. Their focus remained on laying the groundwork that would help their children go on to pursue higher education and lucrative careers. They may not have had a lot of time for pursuing family fun activities, but they likely knew that one day their children would be able to as a result of their hard work and dedication to improving their situations.

Joe will forever be grateful for the sacrifices his parents made and for sharing their passion for education. His parents came to this country focused on what they wanted to pursue and why they wanted it. They never took their eye off the ball, ensuring their kids would end up where they are today.

Some people may listen to Joe’s accomplishments and say he’s just one more lawyer who has made it to the top. Only when they realize his story started with such humble beginnings and endured such long-lasting sacrifice do they know that his story is a true American success story. He’s a shining example of the American Dream that continues bringing millions of people to the country every year.