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LLSA Holds Inaugural Conference for Aspiring Latino and Hispanic Law Students

Friday, March 30, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Erin Looney
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Elsie Guerrero, Prof. Lindsay M. Harris, Carmen Diaz Jones, Antonio Camacho, Liana Montecinos, Elisa Hawkins Pedrosa, Alexander Maldonado, Daniel Muñoz, and Dean Shelley Broderick
Elsie Guerrero, Prof. Lindsay M. Harris, Carmen Diaz Jones, Antonio Camacho, Liana Montecinos, Elisa Hawkins Pedrosa, Alexander Maldonado, Daniel Muñoz, and Dean Shelley Broderick.

On Friday, the Latinx Law Student Association (LLSA) hosted the first day of the LLSA Latino Law Conference, designed to help increase Latino and Hispanic representation in the legal field. The organization invited D.C. area high school and college students considering legal careers to speak with current UDC Law students and members of LLSA. In addition, LLSA awarded three students with scholarships to assist them in pursuing their education.

The program started with an energetic welcome from Dean Shelley Broderick, whose support and enthusiasm LLSA faculty co-advisor Professor Lindsay M. Harris described as “palpable.” Current UDC Law students Elsie Guerrero, Carmen Diaz Jones, and Alexander Maldonado shared their stories of life as a law student with guests. They offered advice for overcoming the inevitable obstacles of applying to law school and adjusting to the program, and they shared highlights of studying at a law school dedicated to training some of the best public interest lawyers in the U.S.

Guests also heard from practicing attorneys, professors, and judges from around the D.C. area. One panel featured Lilia Alvarez, Director of Legal Services at CARECEN, Hector Huezo, an elected official in Adams Morgan and Supervising Attorney for the Department of Transportation's honors program, and Dinah Manning, staff attorney with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. The final panel featured UDC Law Professors Rafael Cox Alomar and Jacqueline Lainez Flanagan and D.C. Superior Court Associate Judges Laura Cordero and Hiram E. Puig-Lugo. Lynda Cevallos of CLEO Scholars provided tips for preparing to apply to law school.

Professor Lainez Flanagan said, “I’m so proud of our students for organizing an engaging array of panelists and hosting a wonderful event. It was a joy to interact with such an impassioned group of prospective law students. I also sincerely appreciated Judge Cordero and Judge Puig-Lugo’s thoughtful reflections not only on the importance of diligence in academic pursuits but also of establishing a professional reputation from the outset, including aspects many students may overlook, like the importance prospective employers place on responsible social media use.”

All three scholarship recipients were on hand to receive their awards. Kelsie Otero is a high school student from Virginia; Matthew Yanez and Francisco Preciado are students at California State University, Northridge who are interning on Capitol Hill.

The conference was organized by the leadership of LLSA, including president Liana Montecinos and vice president Antonio Camacho, with the assistance of Jenny Aviles Peñado, Elisa Hawkins Pedrosa, Daniel Muñoz and María Suarez.

Harris said, “It was truly an inspiring event. I will note that many of the students involved in this event took the MPRE the very next morning! For the attendees, it was a wonderful preview to life at UDC Law and a wonderful precursor to Law Day (Spring Open House). Thank you to Professor John Brittain for attending in support, and to ALL of the staff who helped the students execute this vision.”

She added, “I cannot wait to see what this group of students do when unleashed on the world as agents for change with law degrees in hand.”

The second and final day of the conference will be held Saturday, March 31. Led by CLEO Scholars, this hands-on learning session will focus on the law school application process, LSAT preparation and other factors to consider when choosing and applying to law schools.

Liana Montecinos, Antonio Camacho, Elisa Hawkins Pedrosa, Jenny Aviles Peñado, Carmen Diaz Jones, and María Suarez
Liana Montecinos, Antonio Camacho, Elisa Hawkins Pedrosa, Jenny Aviles Peñado, Carmen Diaz Jones, and María Suarez share a laugh at the LLSA Conference.

Alexander Maldonado
Alexander Maldonado talks about life as a law student.

Elsie Guerrero, Carmen Diaz Jones, and Alexander Maldonado
From left, Elsie Guerrero, Carmen Diaz Jones, and Alexander Maldonado talk to LLSA conference guests about law student life.

Prof. Jacqueline Lainez Flanagan, Matthew Yanez, Francisco Preciado, Prof. Lindsay M. Harris, Kelsie Otero, and Professor Rafael Cox Alomar
LLSA Scholarship recipients and UDC Law Professors. From left, Prof. Jacqueline Lainez Flanagan, Matthew Yanez, Francisco Preciado, Prof. Lindsay M. Harris, Kelsie Otero, and Professor Rafael Cox Alomar.

Antonio Camacho, Prof. Jacqueline Lainez Flanagan, Hon. Hiram Puig-Lugo, Prof. Rafael Cox Alomar, and Hon. Laura Cordero
Antonio Camacho moderates a panel with (from left) Prof. Jacqueline Lainez Flanagan, Hon. Hiram Puig-Lugo, Prof. Rafael Cox Alomar, and Hon. Laura Cordero.

María Suarez, Hector Huezo, Dinah Manning, and Lilia Alvarez
María Suarez moderates a conversation with Hector Huezo, Dinah Manning, and Lilia Alvarez.

Lynda Cevallos
Lynda Cevallos presented tips for getting into law school at the LLSA Conference.


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