Bringing Rotary's "Service-Above-Self" to Marin County DA's Student Programs
Feb 08, 2022 8:00 AM
Otis Bruce, Marin County Asst DA
Bringing Rotary's "Service-Above-Self" to Marin County DA's Student Programs

Otis Bruce resides with his family in Novato and has connections to Marin since 1986.

He has 33 years in Marin County Employment/Civic and Community Leadership:  Volunteer, Student Intern, Deputy District Attorney and now Assistant District Attorney

County Employment

-Assistant DA

-Social Justice, Equity Programs, Community Liaison and Policy Coordinator

-Student-Volunteer Internship and Career Development Coordinator

-Program Director - DA's Office Victim/Witness Services Unit

-Current President Marin Athletic Foundation

-Current Board Director/Chair Youth Programs - Rotary Club of San Rafael

-Current Board Director - California District Attorneys Association (CDAA) Institute for Education and Research

-Current Advisor to the California Lawyer's Association Criminal Law Executive Committee

-Past Board Director/Chair Youth Programs - Terra Linda Rotary Club

-Past President Marin County Bar Association

-Past Board Director, California District Attorney's Association (CDAA); Marin Symphony; College of Marin Foundation

-Past Regional Director, National Black Prosecutors Association (California, Hawaii, Nevada, Arizona)

Otis has received numerous awards, commendations and recognitions for his ongoing community and leadership work in the areas of social justice and civic engagement while serving as a government prosecutor!

Brief biography:  journey to becoming the first African American Deputy District Attorney and now Assistant District Attorney in Marin County's history:

Otis was born and raised in the segregated South (small town - SoSo Mississippi - population approximately 600).  He attended a segregated and all black public school through 6th grade.  In 1970, he was part of the last group of students in his community to experience the desegregation of his school during 7th through 12th grades.

Otis dreamed of becoming a lawyer at the early age of 14.  He was inspired to one day serve the people of his community in SoSo Mississippi.  This vision eventually led him to law school.  After high school, he moved to the Bay Area and started his college education at Merritt College and finished at San Jose State University, majoring in Criminal Justice Administration with a minor in Spanish.   He completed his legal education at New College of California School of Law - attending night law school while working a full-time job supporting his family.  After law school and doing his career research, he decided that he could better fulfill his interest in public service and serve the community as a trial attorney with a District Attorney's Office.  He moved his family to Marin County in 1986 to pursue that goal.

Once in Marin, he discovered that there were no African American attorneys working in any of the Marin County government attorney positions.  Determined to be an agent of change, he started his career in Marin County as a Volunteer Law Clerk with the Marin County Counsel's office.  He was literally a "walk-on county employee" with no connections in Marin County.  He was later hired as a contract Legal Assistant with the Marin County District Attorney's Office in 1990.  In 1995, he was hired as a full-time Deputy District Attorney by then District Attorney Jerry Herman and made history as Marin County's first Black Prosecutor.  He became active in many Marin civic groups and organizations in order to get to know the community better and be comfortable living in Marin with his family. 

He continued his participation and commitment in local, state and national community service, leadership and professional legal organizations for over 30 years.  On January 3, 2011, he was sworn-in as Marin County Bar Association's first African American President - the first ethnic minority President to lead the county's professional bar association in its 76-year history.

In addition to his current work as a career Marin County Prosecutor, Otis continues to serve actively in many Marin organizations.