A municipal attorney for about 25 years, Steve Quintanilla recently formed his own firm specializing in governmental law, representing cities, public agencies, and nonprofits.
He has served as city attorney or general counsel for the cities of Desert Hot Springs, Rancho Mirage, and Moreno Valley, as well as for the architecture juggernaut known as Modernism Week.
“I decided early on in college that I had a very keen interest in representing government and/or doing nonprofit work,” says Quintanilla, a UCLA law school graduate. “This was the area of practice that I was attracted to because it offered work specifically for municipal governments.”
When starting his own firm, he chose Rancho Mirage because, first and foremost, he likes the weather and the people. “I find that the people out here are very open-minded,” he says. “A lot of them are also very community-minded like I am.
“I’ve discovered that people live here because they choose to live here,” he says. “There’s a lot of diversity out here with respect to people’s political views, lifestyle, income levels, and educational levels. I find that very exciting.”
Basing his practice in the Coachella Valley has no effect on his ability to work with clients outside the region. “Nowadays, it doesn’t matter where you live. What matters is how smart you are, how determined you are, and how hardworking you are,” he says.
“In the Coachella Valley, we have a lot of retired professionals from all different aspects of business, and there’s a lot of opportunity to network and to discover areas of business that you had no clue about,” he says of the smart population. What I really enjoy about the profession I’m in is that I’m in constant contact with people. I’m dealing with real issues that affect the community, and I really enjoy the opportunity to help solve problems. I find it very rewarding.”
VIDEO: Steve Quintanilla, Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Quintanilla & Associates