The Honorable Yvonne Esperanza Campos

San Diego County Superior Court, Department SD-1704


The Hon. Yvonne Esperanza Campos is a judge for the Superior Court of San Diego County in California. She was appointed to the bench by former Governor Gray Davis in 2003.

Campos earned a B.A. in economics and political science from Stanford University in 1985. She then received a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1988.

Campos began her legal career as a legislative assistant to the California State Senate in 1988. During her brief tenure there, she handled criminal, housing, education, and domestic policy matters for State Senator Gary K. Hart.

The following year, she joined Morrison and Foerster. She worked as an associate, practicing real estate, land use, and environmental law. Then, in 1993, she moved to Brobeck, Phleger, and Harrison, where she specialized in real estate as well as land use transactional and governmental counseling.

Campos left the private sector in 1994. She joined the United States Department of Justice as an assistant to the attorney general. In this capacity, she dealt with domestic criminal and immigration matters; international criminal, customs, and security matters; as well as congressional inquiries and budgetary hearings. She then moved to the Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of California in 1995, where she worked as an assistant United States Attorney for the next eight years. She served in its general crimes section as well as its narcotics enforcement section, participating in the prosecution of Operation Tarpit.

Over the course of her legal career, Campos has served on the California Task Force on Court Facilities, the Citizens Advisory Panel of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, as well as the Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department.

Campos has sat on the Board of Trustees of the San Diego Law Library as well as the Board of Directors of California Rural Legal Assistance. She has been a member of the Lawyers Club of San Diego, the California Judges Association, the California Latino Judges Association, the San Diego County Bar Association, the National Association of Women Judges, and La Raza Lawyers Association.

She is a recipient of the Joan Dempsey Klein Distinguished Jurist Award from California Women Lawyers, the Community Service Award from the Lawyers Club of San Diego, the Administrator’s Award from the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Special Achievement Award from the United States Department of Justice.

Campos was born in Oakland, California. Her parents moved to the United States from Mexico City, eventually settling in Grand Prairie, Texas. Her father worked in a tortilla factory as a laborer and part-owner. Her mother worked as a keypunch operator and a real estate agent.

Campos enjoys reading, traveling, and hiking. She has hiked Mt. Whitney, Mt. Baldy, and Mt. San Jacinto.

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