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Meet Rick

Ricardo 'Rick' Benavides, III, Associate Attorney

How would you describe your role at J. Cruz & Associates?
On a daily basis, I respond to legal questions and provide legal guidance to our various school district and governmental clients. It is also one of my duties, as an associate attorney, to make presentations that educate our clients on the latest changes in education, employment, and administrative laws.

How long have you worked at J. Cruz & Associates?
I have been with J. Cruz & Associates for 11 months. Before joining as an attorney, I worked as a summer law clerk here at JCA while in law school.

What led you to this career?
When deciding the career that I wanted to pursue, I knew that it needed to be something that would allow me to help people. While I was always interested in the legal field, I didn’t always think I would be an attorney. Believe it or not, I initially thought I would be a pharmacist. However, after spending a year in the pharmacy program at my university, I determined that a career in pharmacy was not a fit for my personality. As such, I decided to pursue a career as an attorney. My decision to pursue a career in the legal field stemmed in part from my interest in advocacy and special education. My mother served in various capacities in the special education program at my local school district. First as a diagnostician, then as a Section 504 Coordinator, and currently as a Special Education Coordinator. Due to my mother’s involvement in special education throughout my life, I quickly grew interested in the field. While pursuing a minor in special education, I discovered that there was a need for attorneys that specialized in the area. I quickly decided that if I was going to pursue a career as an attorney, I wanted to practice special education law. Here at JCA, I get to do just that. I consider myself truly fortunate to say that I get to come to work and practice in an area of law that I am genuinely passionate about every day.

What do you think makes J. Cruz & Associates different from other law firms?
First and foremost, the type of law that our firm practices are incredibly specialized. To that end, not many firms in Texas can say that they specialize in an area of law, let alone dedicate all of their legal practice to that one area. Because our firm has been able to practice education law for many years, our attorneys have been able to gain a wealth of knowledge and experience. Another thing that makes JCA different from other law firms is that all of the attorneys in our office are personable and approachable.

Describe J. Cruz & Associates in three words.
Dedicated, Efficient, and Excellence

What’s your favorite movie, tv show, book, or podcast?
I enjoy watching horror movies, even the bad ones. I recently enjoyed watching the Ted Lasso series and cannot wait for the new season. While traveling, I like listening to true crime podcasts such as "Sword and Scale." I also like listening to talk radio podcasts, such as "A Way with Words - language, linguistics, and callers from all over."

What do you enjoy doing when you're not at work?
I enjoy spending time with my wife and cat. While at home I like playing PC games, listen to music, and tending to my plants. On the weekends I enjoy golfing, cooking, and spending time with my friends and family.

Do you have a hidden talent?
Not many people know this, but I’m pretty good at guitar, and I used to be in a rock band.