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Sen. Kaufman Questioning at Judge Sotomayor Confirmation Hearing

SOTOMAYOR: Well, actually, it's a continuation of what I explained to Senator Klobuchar. I had, in the D.A.'s office, realized that in the criminal law system, we couldn't affect changes of opportunity for people. We were dealing with a discreet issue and applying the law to the situation at hand. But if there was going to be an increase of opportunity for all people, that that had to involve an increase in economic opportunity and in economic development for different communities.

SOTOMAYOR: And so that, in combination with my desire to broaden my own personal understanding of as many aspects of law as I could, I decided that I should change my focus and concentrate on commercial matters rather than criminal matters.

It also guided some of the -- much of the pro bono work I did thereafter, which also involved questions of finances and economic opportunities.

And so I served on the New York State mortgage board, and that -- the New York state mortgage office was involved in giving individuals affordable housing or loans for affordable housing. I was a board member of the New York City Campaign Finance Board.

Those activities were motivated in large measure because of my growing belief that economic opportunities for people were the way to address many of the -- of the -- of the growth needs of communities.

KAUFMAN: Can you tell us a little bit about your commercial practice? What actually were you dealing with as a litigator?

SOTOMAYOR: It was a wonderful practice, because, unlike some of my law school friends, I very much wanted to go into a small law firm where I could have hands-on practice.


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