Mark Gonzalez doesn’t resemble the typical lawyer. Gonzalez, profiled in The Washington Post, is a district attorney from Corpus Christi, TX and despite representing the very conservative Nueces County, he’s a Democrat and self-described “Mexican biker lawyer” covered in tattoos.
At 18, Gonzalez found himself in a courthouse as the defendant in a drunk driving case. He pled guilty and was sentenced to both community service and probation. However, he stayed in the courtroom to watch the cases following his own. And to his amazement, he watched a lawyer get a client off the hook for the same charge. This was an aha moment for Gonzalez, who decided to pursue a career in law at that moment. And despite struggling throughout college, law school, and the bar exam, he went on to develop a legal practice before running successfully against the incumbent Democrat.
Gonzalez may be America’s first heavily tattooed district attorney, however, he’s one of many professionals who proudly display their tattoos in civic settings. Marisa Kakoulas is one of the most well-known tattooed lawyers in America, working both as a New York attorney and founding the tattoo blog Needles and Sins. In recent years, tattoo acceptance in the workplace has also spread to a number of other traditional disciplines, including law enforcement, nursing, and teaching.
Gonzalez, and the many other tattooed professionals breaking this new ground prove that it doesn’t matter what’s on your skin, but instead what’s in your heart and your head. People of all backgrounds get tattooed in 2019 and in the future, we expect that there will be many more changemakers proving to the skeptics that tattoos won’t necessarily hold someone back in their professional career.