Home Faculty Alonso Zavalasoto


Alonso Zavalasoto HeadshotAlonso immigrated to this country after high school from Guadalajara, Mexico when his father found a job as a day laborer working in the fields of California.

After a few years of working hard towards his American dream, Alonso enlisted in the United States Marine Corps after the attacks of September 11, 2001. During his deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

After the Marine Corps, Alonso earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of California Santa Barbara and earned his law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of law in San Diego.

Prior to passing the bar, Alonso worked as a criminal defense investigator at the San Diego Public Defender’s office. As an investigator, he learned the importance of effective criminal defense investigation. His diligent attention to detail proved instrumental throughout many trials including several murder cases some with the death penalty mitigation phase.

Alonso knew he had to come back as a licensed attorney and graduated from the trial program hosted at Thunderhead Ranch.

Alonso is currently working as a felony attorney at the San Diego County Office of the Public Defender. In three and a half years, he has tried 32 jury trials. While other lawyers tell him things like “just plead your client,” Alonso is able to win the unwinnable cases (including serious felony strike cases) by applying the Spence method in every trial. Alonso firmly believes that any trial lawyer willing to use these methods can connect with jurors and change the energy in the room at voir dire, opening, cross examination or closing – to see a client in a different light and to guide juror towards a positive outcome for his clients.

Gerry Spence TEDx

Fighting for the People | Gerry Spence | TEDxJacksonHole

Renowned trial lawyer Gerry Spence reflects on justice in a powerful personal retrospective.


“This is a place where you come to be a human. What's amazing aboout Gerry is that he's one of the most famous trial lawyers in America but he doesn't want people to copy his arguments or to copy how he talks or dresses.”

Arnold Reed AttorneyArnold Reed

“When you go to law school they teach you how to be a lawyer but they don't teach you how to care. Here's the best part of GSM. you will leave different. Not a different person, but a different lawyer.”

Christian Morris AttorneyChristian Morris

“The magic and the transformation that takes place here that I find remarkable is that by becoming better human beings we become better lawyers; by digging deep into ourselves we're better able to sense what may be holding our clients back and we can get at the real story.”

Thomas Burns AttorneyThomas Burns


Gerry Spence Method

3-Week Program 2023

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