Mexican native who got California law license hopes his achievement inspires immigrants

The first known immigrant to practice law in the U.S. after entering the country illegally has opened an office in Northern California.

Sergio Garcia doesn't practice immigration law as many might expect after he endured a bruising, five-year legal battle to get his California law license. He practices civil litigation, representing clients in car accidents.

Garcia says he hopes his battle will inspire other professionals living in the U.S. without legal permission to follow his example.

Garcia got his license after Gov. Jerry Brown signed a specially crafted bill to let him practice law.

California lawmakers recently passed a separate bill allowing other professionals living in the country without permission — including doctors, architects and dentists — to receive licenses to practice. That law goes into effect Jan. 1.