Manuel is a native San Diegan, born and raised in Barrio Logan. He started his legal career in 1982 as a Deputy District Attorney for the County of San Diego. After several years with the DA's office he joined a civil law firm as a senior associate focusing on litigation. He stayed with the firm for 7 years becoming one of the first Chicano partner's in a medium size law firm (53 attorneys) in San Diego. He subsequently formed his own firm, Ramirez & Rodriguez, LLP, whose employees were all required to be bilingual/bicultural individuals. After several years with Ramirez & Rodriguez, Manuel decided to go solo and created The Ramirez Law Firm focusing on criminal defense and civil litigation.. Manuel has been past president of the La Raza Lawyer Association of San Diego, as well as a past president of La Raza Lawyers Association of California. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society of San Diego, as well as serving and assisting various community organizations.