Bel Air High School will be honoring Oscar Mendez Jr., class of 1994, as their Brenda Sandoval Honored Ex during Homecoming activities this year.
According to BAHS Homecoming officials, Mendez serves his community by example, by establishing himself as a model citizen.
“His journey is one of perseverance where he has utilized his life experiences and academics to achieve where he is today,” officials added.
Mendez set out to conquer the world first by completing his high school degree from Bel Air in only three years. He then attended and obtained a bachelor’s degree from UTEP in interdisciplinary studies in 2005 and subsequently graduated from the Texas Tech University School of Law with his Juris Doctorate in 2008.
During his academic journey at UTEP, Mendez became the legal guardian to his younger siblings, Laura and Daniel, after the unfortunate death of their mother. While pursuing his degree, Mr. Mendez set out to be an example for his younger siblings by being a first generation college graduate. He sought to prove to them that while life may present many obstacles, anything is possible through hard work and dedication. He sought to be a role model to his siblings while helping raise them. His example of academic leadership paved the way, with both of his siblings also obtaining a bachelor’s degree.
During his time at UTEP, Mr. Mendez took a break from academics and work to focus on his mother’s trial where he would be called to testify in court.
During that time, his family’s attorneys, Jim Scherr and Sam Legate, recognized that Oscar had great potential to be an attorney and advocate. Scherr Legate hired him to work for the firm, while completing his degree. After completing his juris doctorate, he returned to El Paso, where Mr. Legate and Mr. Scherr took Oscar under their wing and mentored him into the attorney that he is today.
Mendez has found various opportunities to give back to the Bel Air community through scholarships and mentor programs; providing significant assistance to various philanthropy programs such as the Bel Air Angels and just recently was involved in the donation of a new highlander mascot.
Mendez has helped numerous clients obtain justice through his work. In addition to his service to Bel Air, Mendez’s accolades include being elected as a board member for the El Paso Young Lawyer Association May 2009 to May 2012. He was named Outstanding Attorney of the Year by the El Paso Mexican American Bar Association 2013 and is a graduate of the State Bar of Texas Leadership Academy 2011.
He was appointed to the Texas Pattern Jury Charges, General Negligence and Intentional Personal Torts Committee from 2011 to 2013. He recently was awarded America’s Top 100 Personal Injury Attorneys in South Texas. He is a member of El Paso Bar Association, Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Texas Bar Association, Texas Young Lawyers Association, Mexican American Bar Association, and American Bar Association.
Mendez is a four time winner of the Texas Rising Star award from Texas Super Lawyers as an attorney at Scherr Legate, where he became a partner in 2018. Scherr Legate was founded in 1976 and has received a Tier 1 ranking in the 2014 edition of U.S. News- Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms”.