Growing up in East San Jose, Marcelo Lopez dreamed of the day he would no longer need to worry about where to live or how to get enough to eat. Thoughts about a career were far from his mind.
After his mother died, Lopez, then 15, went to work as a laborer to support himself and two younger sisters. Gradually, he worked his way up to office jobs, most recently in human resources.
Today Lopez, 36, is on his way toward becoming an attorney. A novel state program helps lift those like Lopez from hardscrabble backgrounds toward law school and, ultimately, passing the State Bar.