The Attorneys General
Luis Sánchez Betances
Puerto Rico Attorney General
Appointed: January 2013
Mr. Luis Sánchez-Betances is the Secretary of Justice of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. He was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on June 21, 1947. Early in his childhood, he moved with his family to Puerto Rico, where he attended primary and secondary schools. His higher education was in the University of Puerto Rico, where in 1969 he obtained his Bachelor in Business and in 1972 his law degree, Cum Laude. Part of his law studies were done in New York University School of Law.
During his senior year at law school, Secretary Sánchez worked with the Legal Aid Society of Puerto Rico, a nonprofit organization dedicated to provide legal representation for the poor in criminal cases. His first job as an attorney was as a fellow of the Regional Herbert Smith Community Lawyer Fellowship Program of Howard University, Washington, D.C., assigned to Puerto Rico Legal Services representing legal indigents in civil cases. After that, Secretary Sánchez joined the Environmental Quality Board of Puerto Rico also as a legal counsel. From there, he was appointed as Director of the Business Research Center and the Consumer Research Institute of the University of Puerto Rico, where he taught Business Law at the Business Administration faculty.
In 1976, Secretary Sánchez, began his career in private practice, concentrating in the areas of Civil Law, Commercial Law, Employment Law, Insurance, Torts and Health Law. In 1981, he and two of his classmates established the successful law firm Sánchez Betances, Sifre & Muñoz Noya, P.S.C., where he worked as managing partner until the Governor of Puerto Rico appointed him Secretary of the Department of Justice, a post he occupies since January 2013.
To this date, he is admitted to practice in several jurisdictions including the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico; the United States Court for the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C.; the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit; and the Supreme Court of the United States.
Throughout his career, Secretary Sánchez has written numerous publications, participated as instructor in many professional seminars and in many important organizations and institutions, such as: Editorial Board of the University of Puerto Rico Law Review (member); Legal Education Commission for the Communities (president); Editorial Board of the Bar Association of Puerto Rico Legal Journal (member), American Bar Association (member); Professional Ethics Committee of the Bar Association of Puerto Rico (commissioner); and, Committee on Rules of Civil Procedure (member), of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico.
His vision as Secretary of Justice is structured around three essential principles, namely: (1) no impunity, (2) sensitivity in law enforcement, and (3) improving staff competence and professional development.