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Santa Clara County in Calif. Appoints 27-year-old Sikh American as Deputy District Attorney

Santa Clara County in Calif. Appoints 27-year-old Sikh American as Deputy District Attorney

  • Harjot “Harry” Dhillon began his career at the same office as a law clerk in 2018.

The Santa Clara County has appointed a new Sikh American prosecutor: Deputy District Attorney Harjot “Harry” Dhillon,.The DA’s office announced the Sikh America’s appointment in a press release issued late last month. 

Dhillon, 27, began his career at the Santa Clara District Attorney’s office as a law clerk in 2018 “where he drafted opposition motions and translated witness statements,” the press release said. After a year break, he returned to the office as a 2L honors law clerk. In that position he conducted a misdemeanor jury trial, six felony preliminary hearings, and a motion to quash a search warrant hearing. He also prepared, evaluated, and pleaded out eight misdemeanor cases. In 2020, he was an honors post-bar law clerk working on motions and conducting hearings under SuDDA Leigh Frazier and DDA Alaleh Kianerci.In 2016, he was an intern for Paskevichyan, Piloyan & Associates, LLP in Sacramento.

His interest in the law began as a young boy, watching a family member face repeated criminal prosecution. “I lived in a household marked by mental illness, domestic violence, and police intervention,” Dhillon says in the press release. “But it is my past which motivates me to keep pushing.”

Recalling attending a criminal court hearing, Dhillon says: “I was the kid in the back of the courtroom.” After the hearing the prosecutor explained to Dhillon the ethical role of prosecutors within the criminal justice system. “That conversation made me appreciate the necessary candor and honesty involved in representing the people,” he says in the press release. “And now it has given me the ability to understand that each file I touch, no matter the charge, has ramifications for not only that person but that person’s family. I grasped the importance of enforcing the laws at the root of our social system, while also remaining cognizant of its power over the lives of others.”

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Fluent in Punjabi, Dillon is a volunteer for the Sikh Sports Association. Since 2014, he has helped the SSA organize local sports tournaments and track meets for underprivileged youth in the greater Bay Area.

The Bay Area native graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Irvine in 2017. He received his law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law in 2020. While there, he was a member of the South Asian Law Student Association, a research editor for the National Black Law Journal, and a member of the Fall 2018 Mock Trial Internal Competition Honorary Prosecution Team.

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