Andy Camacho '03, Proud LEO Alum with a Distinguished Governmental and Private Sector Career
A legal degree from Seton Hall Law is transformational. It opens doors and opportunities for students to pursue their passions, to effectuate change, and to transform the trajectory of their lives. For nearly 43 years, the Seton Hall Law Legal Education Opportunity (LEO) Program has created pathways for talented students to attend law school, many of whom have surmounted incredible personal and educational hardships. This pathway expands the reality of a legal education to a broader swath of students who show great promise to be future lawyers. Perseverance in the face of these circumstances has produced some of the most transformational legal professionals. LEO alums have served successfully in a board range of high-profile capacities, such as managing partners of prominent firms, members of the state and federal bench, business executives, governmental leaders, and so much more.
Andy Camacho ’03 is a proud LEO alum with a distinguished governmental and private sector career. Over the past 12 years, he has served the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in a variety of roles. He is currently the Resident Legal Advisor (RLA) for Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, and in 2018 he served in a similar role as the Intermittent Legal Advisor (ILA) in Colombia. As an RLA, he is on assignment in Buenos Aires as a DOJ policy advisor and coordinates anti-money laundering and terrorist financing efforts in the region. Camacho received the 2020 Meritorious Honor Award from the Department of State, Bureau of Counterterrorism, for advancing counterterrorism policies through justice sector capacity building in South America. As an ILA, he created an international trial advocacy program in Bogota, Colombia to implement legal reform in several Central and South American countries. Prior to these roles, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Miami garnering an impressive trial record while prosecuting a wide scope of cases from money laundering, fraud, tax evasion and other financial crimes to drug and firearm trafficking, and foreign and domestic public corruption. Previously, he represented the United States in civil tax litigation in district and bankruptcy courts. He successfully engineered multimillion-dollar tax settlements and litigated numerous cases.
Upon graduating from Seton Hall Law, Camacho earned a coveted clerkship opportunity with Justice Jaynee LaVecchia of the New Jersey Supreme Court. Camacho then pursued an LL.M. in Tax Law and Taxation at NYU Law. Following these experiences, he spent three years in private practice with McCarter & English and Latham & Watkins before entering public service.
Camacho is currently on assignment in Argentina and he spent a few minutes with us to share more about his current position and the role the LEO Program played in shaping his career. He offers some words of wisdom to current LEO Fellows and explains why he chose public service.
Can you describe more about your current role and responsibilities?
As the Resident Legal Advisor for the Tri-Border Area, I represent the United States in providing assistance to Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay with the goal of strengthening relationships on criminal justice matters, including with international money laundering and counterterrorism. I am also responsible for working with government officials in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay to plan and implement an effective framework to combat money laundering and financial crimes, to provide training in the areas of financial fraud, public corruption, and organized crime, and to improve international exchange of information and cooperation on criminal matters.
How did the LEO Program influence your legal career?
If not for the LEO Program, I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today. The LEO Program, and the Seton Hall community as a whole, provided the tools I needed to develop as a law student and later as a professional. I was part of a community which supported me and ensured that I was on the right track, from LEO alumni who mentored me and served as role models to the LEO Program faculty and Seton Hall professors who guided me on which classes I should take, which summer internships I should consider, and which career opportunities I should pursue. I am who I am as a professional thanks to the LEO Program, and I will always appreciate the opportunity given to a kid from Miami who had big dreams.
What advice do you have for current students in the LEO Program?
You should always remember that you were selected to be a LEO Program Fellow because several very smart professionals recognized your extraordinary talent. You deserve to be where you are, and Seton Hall Law is lucky to have you. Take advantage of the opportunity provided to you as a LEO Program Fellow and most importantly always pay forward all the mentoring, guidance and support you have received. You are well on your way to becoming the professionals you have dreamt of.
Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in public service?
I came to Seton Hall Law believing that I would become a corporate tax attorney. The bright lights of New York City were calling me or so I thought. Along the way, I learned a lot about what made me Andy and what motivated me. I was encouraged to take classes I thought I liked and also encouraged to broaden my horizons and explore other areas. That introspection led me to an internship at the United States Attorney’s Office. While serving as an intern, I was assigned to work with an AUSA on a medical malpractice case against a government medical facility. The case settled despite the fact that the government had viable defenses. When I asked why the government settled, the response was simple, “it was the right thing to do, justice demanded it”. I was sold, then and there, and I knew then I would come back to public service because I want to be on the side of exceptional professionals who do the right things because that’s what justice calls for.