Dr. Maria-Vittoria "Giugi" Carminati, JD, LLM, JSD
Maria-Vittoria "Giugi" Carminati is an advocate, an activist, an entrepreneur, and a mother of four. She is a vocal advocate for social justice and reform, as well as a pragmatist. She is data driven and results oriented. She has the heart of a fighter, the mind of a scientist, and the courage of her convictions.
Giugi was born in Los Alamos, New Mexico, and returned to the US at 18 with four suitcases (three of which were filled with books) and a boyfriend (who is now her husband). They got married a week after she turned 19. Her mother bought her wedding flowers at the grocery store. Over the next seventeen years, Giugi briefly worked for the Texas ACLU, volunteered for Planned Parenthood, finished college in four years with two Bachelors of Art, graduated at the top of her law school class, and became an attorney in TX, CO, NY and DC. Giugi also co-authored a space law book, obtained an LLM in Space, Cyber & Telecommunications law, and earned a law doctorate in Space Law (JSD). Eventually, she started a social justice firm, The Woman's Lawyer, to represent people fleeing sexual assault and domestic violence. She also had four children and built a life in Texas and in Colorado.
Giugi began attending the University of Houston Honors College in 2001. During her time in college, she worked to support herself and her husband. She worked as a translator, a waitress, a state race volunteer organizer, on a Houston mayoral campaign, and eventually as a Legislative Aide at the Texas State House of Representatives. Giugi also worked for the City of Houston Mayor's Office, focusing on developing a multi-service center in a low-income neighborhood and developing an aggressive environmental legislative plan for the city. Giugi also briefly worked for the Texas ACLU. In that role, Giugi researched and wrote the history of the Texas ACLU. This project included collecting firsthand accounts of harrowing racial injustice and violence. In 2005, Giugi graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Houston, with University Honors. She then attended law school at the University of Houston Law Center from 2005 to 2008.
During her time at UH Law, she interned for two federal judges, won the University of Houston's Hippard Mock Trial Tournament (earning the title of Best Speaker), and graded onto Law Review. After graduating in the top 10% of her class, she joined a large law firm where she practiced Complex Commercial Litigation for nearly five years.
Her practice has been varied and has included the study of Commercial Spaceflight. She co-authored "The Laws of Spaceflight: A Guidebook for New Space Lawyers," ran the North American Regional Round of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition for two years, and taught at the University of Houston Law Center. As an Adjunct, she taught Texas Civil Procedure and the Business of Commercial Spaceflight.
In 2015, Giugi launched her own law firm, becoming an entrepreneur and business owner. Her firm, The Woman's Lawyer, focuses on helping vulnerable populations in situations where the odds are stacked against them. Giugi also continues to practice commercial litigation in a people-focused practice.
Giugi currently serves on the Colorado Community College Systems Board of Directors and is the Colorado Bar Association's Representative to the ABA House of Delegates. She was also Colorado Captain for Lawyer Moms of America, a mobilization of lawyer moms opposing family separation at the border.
Giugi speaks French, English, Italian and Spanish. She is doing her best to learn Portuguese.
Giugi built her life from nothing and she knows, firsthand, the struggles and challenges facing regular people. From student debt to expensive childcare and the demands of making ends meet, she experienced the mirage of the American Dream. She knows it is not accessible to all and she understands the ways Colorado families have to make sense of dollars and cents, while wages stagnate and costs of living skyrocket.
In her own words, "Our community, our state, and our country cannot survive, let alone thrive, if we do not take care of the working and middle classes, as well as of the planet we live on. Colorado, more than many other states, needs its environment for its very survival. We are people of the land, for the land. Your representatives have to know this, in their bones, to properly fight for you.
Our communities need equity, not just equality. There are fundamental inequities in the way our society functions and segments of our society benefit from those inequities. It is time to dismantle what doesn't work and rebuild a state that works for all of us. Not just the lucky few."
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