Rafael Bernardino, Jr.


Former Police Commissioner for the City of Los Angeles, Rafael Bernardino, Jr. has extensive trial experience in both civil and criminal law.   Rafael was born and raised in Los Angeles, where he attended the University of Southern California, earning a B.A. in Economics and his law degree from the USC Gould School of Law where he was on the Law Review.  After earning his Law Degree, Rafael was law clerk for the Honorable Manuel L. Real, then Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.  Thereafter, Rafael served as attorney-advisor with the United States Department of Justice, Office of Intelligence Policy in Washington D.C., where he advised two Attorneys General on Intelligence Policy.  Returning to Los Angeles, Rafael served as partner in several law firms, recruiting and representing major clients such as the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power,  the Walt Disney Company,  JM Eagle, the Presbyterian Synod of Southern California and Hawaii, the Christian Broadcasting Network and Pacific Gas & Electric Company.  He is the former editor-in-chief of Sheppard’s California Environmental Law Reporter and author of numerous legal articles.  Committed to the Mexican-American community, Rafael has been a member of the Mexican-American Bar Association, Hispanic National Bar Association, and the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund.  He is a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s “Speaker’s Cabinet.”  Active in civic affairs, in addition to being Police Commissioner, Rafael was previously Pension Commissioner on the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pensions Board and currently serves as Commissioner on the Los Angeles Proposition Q Citizens Oversight Commission.

Representative Clients (Past & Current): Air France, Alcoa, Inc., Asbury Environmental Services, Atlantic Richfield Company, Inc., The Presbyterian Synod of Southern California and Hawaii, California Pacific Holdings, Inc., The Christian Broadcasting Network, City of Cudahy, City of Los Angeles, Department of Water & Power, City of South Gate, Du Pont de Nemours and Company, Helen Grace Chocolates, Inc., JM Eagle, Koch Industries, Inc., Mercedes Benz of North America, MGM/UA Communications Company, Multicoat Products, Inc., Pacific Gas & Electric Company and The Walt Disney Company.


University of Southern California, Gould School of Law
Los Angeles, California
J.D., 1984
Member, Southern California Law Review

University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California
A.B. Economics and Political Science, 1981

Prior Government Service

Attorney Advisor, United States Department of Justice, Office of Intelligence
Top Secret and Secure Compartmented Information Clearance
Washington, D.C. 1987-1989

Law Clerk to the Honorable Manuel L. Real
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Los Angeles, California 1984-1985

Community Affiliations

Asian American Bar Association
Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Filipino American Service Group (Board Member)
Hispanic National Bar Association
Italian American Bar Association
Mexican American Bar Association
Mexican American Legal Defense & Education Fund
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Philippine American Bar Association
Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association
University of Southern California Alumni Association


Editor in Chief, Sheppards California Law Reporter
Santa Monica, California 1991 – 1992