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Ornela DeSeta

Ornela DeSeta is an immigrant, a Latina woman, and a progressive Democrat.

Ornela was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, her family immigrated to the United States when she was a child and she grew up in Florida. When her family moved to the U.S., her parents attended ESL classes to learn English and they sold empanadas and sandwiches in her neighborhood to keep the family afloat. Growing up in a working class family, Ornela appreciated the sacrifices that her parents made to ensure that she and her sister could succeed.

Ornela moved to Austin in 2004 to attend The University of Texas at Austin. At UT, she received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and then went to law school where she earned her Juris Doctorate from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego. When she became a licensed attorney, Ornela returned to Texas to work in Laredo in the Public Defender’s Office as a Writ of Habeas Corpus Attorney. Ornela wanted to work with under-represented, under-funded, and under-served communities to ensure that people in the criminal justice system received excellent representation, regardless of how much money they had in their bank accounts. Ornela came back to Austin where she continued practicing criminal defense. Currently, Ornela works as an Assistant County Attorney at the Travis County Attorney’s Office.

Ornela has served as a public defender, defense attorney, and prosecutor. She has handled misdemeanor and felony cases such as speeding, running stop signs, DWI, assault family violence, criminal mischief, drug charges, aggravated assault, and everything in between. She has worked in Travis County, Williamson County, Hays County, Webb County, Matagorda County, Tarrant County, Jackson County, Wharton County, and Victoria County.

Ornela is fluent in both English and Spanish and understands the importance of having an inclusive and accessible courtroom. Her lived experience drives her to have a courtroom that is open and equitable. The Justice of the Peace courtroom is the “People’s Courtroom” and everyone who goes through those doors will be treated with respect and dignity.

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