Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month Spotlight: John Salcedo

Guest Editor: Grace Shuman

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May 6, 2022 9:00am

What does your AAPI heritage mean to you?

I became a lawyer because I believe in the United States’ promise of a multi-ethnic democratic society. My Filipino heritage gives me the insights to contribute to furthering the promise of a multi-ethnic democratic society and bring a wealth of cultural knowledge to the market of ideas.


How do you celebrate or keep your AAPI roots alive in your daily life?

Food! I cook Filipino dishes from time to time and celebrate cultural practices during observances such as Christmas and New Year’s.


Tell me about your law practice at Tyson & Mendes.

I am on the Complex Trial Team representing clients in insurance defense and complex commercial litigation matters.


In what ways does your heritage influence your work?

My heritage influences my commitment to justice for all. As a person of AAPI heritage, I am familiar with preconceived notions and stereotypes and how they impact outcomes in the justice system.  I firmly believe everyone, regardless of their background or the factual circumstances of the case, deserves fair representation under the law. I truly believe the United States’ promise of a multi-ethnic democracy can be achieved through a strong commitment to equal justice for all.


In what ways has your heritage positively guided your decision to pursue a career in the legal field?

Democratic values and rule of law are the founding principles of the Philippines. My family, especially my grandfather, instilled the importance of democratic values in me at a young age. The words ‘justice’ and ‘equity’ are not abstract terms, they are deeply rooted in a person’s lived experience. My heritage informs my commitment to furthering democratic values since they are at the core of human flourishing.


What AAPI mentors have inspired or influenced you and in what ways?

Judge Tani-Cantil Sakauye inspired me to advance my litigation skills in order to become a jurist in my own right. Senators Mike Honda and Daniel Inouye inspired me to use the knowledge my culture and heritage gave me for the advancement of the promise of a multi-ethnic democratic society. Of course, AAPI attorneys along my own journey have encouraged me to continue honing my skills.

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