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Sonia R. Carvalho


18101 Von Karman Ave
Suite 1000
(949) 263-2603

Sonia R. Carvalho is a partner in the Municipal Law practice group of Best Best & Krieger LLP. She currently serves as the city attorney for the cities of Santa Ana and Claremont. She previously served as city attorney of Azusa (1998-2012), Colton (1998-2001) and Yorba Linda (2001-2010). Ms. Carvalho is also the co-chair of the firm's Public Policy and Ethics sub-practice group.

As general counsel to municipal corporations, Ms. Carvalho advises on all aspects of municipal law but specializes in land use, ethics, open government laws and elections law.

Ms. Carvalho attended the University of California at Irvine and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude. She received her J.D. from UCLA School of Law where she served as the editor-in-chief of the Chicano-Latino Law Review. Ms. Carvalho was admitted to the California Bar in 1992.  

In addition, she is a frequent speaker on topics related to ethics, the Brown Act and land use issues. Ms. Carvalho has been an instructor for various Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) land use and real estate courses, and most recently has written and spoken on the topic of medical marijuana and land use regulation.


  • University of California, Los Angeles, J.D. (1992)
  • University of California, Irvine, B.A.

Bar Admissions

  • California (1992)

Court Admissions

  • California (1992)


  • The Best Lawyers in America®, municipal law (2016-2017)
  • Southern California Super Lawyers; State, Local & Municipal Law (2009, 2011, 2014-2016)
  • Orange County’s top lawyers, OC Metro magazine (2009)

Community Involvement

  • West End Legal Aid Clinic (volunteer legal services)


  • Redevelopment Law, authored several articles
  • Howard Jarvis Right to Vote on Taxes Initiative, authored several articles
  • Proposition 218, authored several articles

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