LaLSA is a student org. that sponsors academic, cultural, social, and community service activities to promote understanding of the Latinx community.
The Columbia Law School Latino & Latina Law Students Associaton
Operating as usual
🔥Our Member Crush Monday is Iris Carbonel! 🔥
Iris is from Boston, MA (the City of Champs). She went to NYU for undergrad, where she created her own concentration titled “Social Justice, Power Structures, and the Politics of Race.” (wow!) She also minored in French.
Iris is interested in litigation, racial and economic justice, immigration, and community organizing. She is a Sagittarius ♐️ who can’t sit still too long, so who knows where she’ll end up long term, but immediately following law school, she plans on going back home to Boston!
For Iris, social distancing has included a lot of sleep, binge watching Netflix and Hulu (btw she is currently accepting new recommendations), staying in touch with friends, and trying to maintain study habits while at home! 👏🏽
This week’s #3LThursday is Kathy Garcia! 🥰👏🏽
Home for Kathy is in Arcadia, California. She went to Pomona College for undergrad and double majored in Sociology and Politics. She will be working at Pillsbury, Winthrop and Shaw’s sunny LA office after graduation, and hopes to eventually work in the field of crimmigration! What a star 🌟
She’s adjusted to social distancing by increasing the length of her runs, doing yoga, and video chatting with friends 🏃🏽♀️ 🧘🏽♀️ 💭
🔥This week’s MCM is Lilia Jimenez! 🔥
Lilia was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She moved to the UWS to attend Columbia University for undergrad where she majored in psychology. After graduating in 2017, she was a full time nanny while studying for the LSAT because she loves kids ☺️
Last summer she was apart of SEO Law where she worked at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. She will be returning to Skadden for her 1L summer (assuming we have flattened the curve by then). Lilia plans on staying in New York City forever since all of her family is here.
To adjust to social distancing and staying at home, she has been baking lots of chocolate chip banana bread and cookies! 🍪 👩🏽🍳 👏🏽
We are extraordinarily proud of this group, who represented Columbia Law School at the National Asylum & Refugee Law Moot Court Competition hosted at UC Davis this past weekend. 🤍 @ Davis, California
This week’s Member crush is Delia M. Arias De Leon. Delia is from Tampico, Mexico and attended Wellesley College for undergrad.
In between undergrad and law school she worked at White & Case, DC as a paralegal, focusing on international arbitration and worked a lot as a liaison with the world bank! This is also where she first got a taste of asylum work, and often assisted in pro bono immigration cases.
Delia is interested in white collar investigations, particularly in the region of Latin America, but adds that “I love asylum work (spoiler alert: the Immigrants' Rights clinic is THE place to be!)”
Last summer Delia worked at Debevoise & Plimpton, LLP, where She will be returning upon graduation.
Her recommendations: “I HIGHLY recommend taking a clinic, particularly the Immigrants' Rights Clinic, while at Columbia. Having real clients, appearing in court, and working on real, substantive cases has provided me with an experience unlike any other, and really helps remind me why I came to law school in the first place. I also recommend taking family law! Am I ever going to practice that? Unlikely, but it's fun, and interesting, and relevant!”
Her wisdom: “I cannot emphasize enough the hurdle you ALREADY crossed by coming to Columbia. You don't need to focus solely on class work to do well! Focus on making connections with your classmates. Also, get a dog.”
Today’s social justice panel on the Latinx vote and election law was a huge success! We are so thankful to Myrna Perez and Jose Perez for sharing their insights, wisdom and tips with our comunidad. @ Columbia Law School
This week’s #MCM is Patricia Rojas! A Los Angeles native, Patricia attended Brown University, B.A. Political Science, Class of 2015 #EverTrue 🐻
After graduating from Brown, Patricia worked in Washington, D.C. in political consulting, focusing on increasing Latino voter turnout. ✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿✊
Patricia is interested in Family Law, Property Law (Real Estate and Trust & Estates), and Immigration Law
Her NYC staples: “it might sound cliché, but my favorite place in NY is Central Park.”🌳🐿🌝
Her CLS experience and recommendations: “As a 1L, I was in the Williams Institute Moot Court. As a 2L, I was on the Columbia Human Rights Law Review, a Research Assistant for Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw, and the Communications Chair for LaLSA. My favorite part of CLS has been being a part of the Immigrants' Rights Clinic. I started in Fall 2018 and stayed as an advanced student from Spring 2019 until now. My clients teach me so much about the resilience of the human spirit.” 🖤♥️
Her wisdom: “Support and uplift each other. I didn't seriously consider going to law school until after college, when I met Latina lawyers who strongly encouraged me to apply and helped through every step of the application process. Now that I'm about to graduate, I know I wouldn't have survived law school without my Latinx community. Structural inequalities keep Latinxs underrepresented in the legal profession to the point where Latinxs only make up about 4% of lawyers, while Latinas account for less than 2%. Support networks are crucial to increasing Latinx representation and success as lawyers, so celebrate each other as much as possible. ❤”
BLSA Gala 2020 ♥️
This week’s MCM is Kim Mejía-Cuéllar!!
An Oakland, CA, native, Kim graduated from Yale in 2016.
After graduating, Kim worked at the Department of Justice, Antitrust Division as an Honors Paralegal. Kim spent her 1L summer at a human rights organization in Tokyo, primarily researching immigration and labor issues in Asia. 2L summer, Kim will be splitting between two law firms in San Francisco. Her CLS involvement includes serving as a staff editor on HRLR. As part of the human rights clinic, Kim works on the Clooney Foundation for Justice’s TrialWatch project, which monitors criminal trials abroad and trains trial monitors around the globe on international fair trial standards. So far, Kim’s favorite class at CLS was Professor Pozen’s Constitutional Law course.
Her one piece of advice: Carve out time to recharge and do something fun. Whether it is meditating, hanging out with friends, or trying out a new food spot, making “me time” will improve your mental health and happiness.
This week’s 3L Thursday is Gabe Anaya! 🌍🌟💫
Gabriel Anaya is a 3L who was born in Long Beach, California, but has been moving around his whole life. He attended Long Beach City College, where he swam and played water polo before transferring to UCLA. After graduating, he spent two years interning for a state senator, working as a fitness consultant, and doing stand-up comedy on the side. Gabe’s legal interests include commercial litigation and international arbitration. Gabe is spending his 3L in Paris where he is completing a dual degree program with Sciences Po. His favorite place in New York is anywhere that has a running trail along the Hudson. Last summer, Gabe worked at Morgan Lewis in New York, where he will work as a litigation associate after graduation. Gabe highly recommends the Mediation Clinic above everything else at CLS and wants to go to South Africa or French Polynesia for his post bar trip. One piece of advice that Gabe would give is:
“There is (allegedly) more than one way to skin a cat, and there is more than one type of intelligence. Identify what you are great at, identify what you suck at, and plan accordingly.”
We are so proud of each and every one of our 2019-2020 LaLSA Asylum & Refugee Law Moot Court 1L participants. Their oral advocacy skills and commitment have blown us away throughout this process, and we are grateful to have had a role in their development.
A sincere thank you to all of the LaLSA alumni and students who served as judges this week. We could not have done this without you. We are thrilled for our winners, Yolanda Bustillo and Maria Philip. They will be joined by Nicole Castillo, Allie Rutter, Annel Becerra Rodriguez and Allie Nickerson at the UC Davis National Competition in March. @ Columbia University in the City of New York
Our first Member Crush of 2020 is 2L Raymond Arroyo!
Raymond is a Queens, NY native, who attended the University of Michigan for undergrad. He is a NYC TFA alum who taught 7th grade English for four years at Creston Academy in the Bronx.
Raymond’s legal interests include education law. He spent his 1L summer at Queens Legal Services in their Educational Advocacy Unit, representing students in suspension hearings and drafting impartial hearing requests for students with disabilities. His favorite part about my work was reconnecting with my passion for education and seeing how it worked on the legal side. For 2L summer Raymond will be at Proskauer in NY.
“My advice for anyone is to use your own vision or dream as your compass throughout law school. We are bombarded with all this advice and a lot of prestige seeking, but I find I have always been most successful pursuing the things that matter most to me.”
As for Ray’s NY favorites, his favorite NYC spot is
Flushing Meadow Park, and his favorite food is Arroz con Gandules y pernil.♥️♥️♥️
This week’s MCM is 3L Melissa Meza! Melissa calls both Mexicali, Baja California and San Diego home. After graduating from UCLA, Melissa worked in refugee resettlement in San Diego before starting law school. She is interested in criminal defense! Melissa spent this summer at Sidley Austin, and at CLS was involved with the immigration defense externship with Legal Aid Society and the Mediation Clinic.
As for her New York recommendations, she loves Central Park on a 90 degree day, and food is the thing that excites her most about NYC! Her favorite things to eat are Mexican food and ramen. Specifically, her Mexican recs- Los tacos numero 1; Casa Enrique in Queens; Cosme (if you're feeling fancy or if the firm is paying hehe). Ramen recs: Tatsu ramen, Ichiran
Her law school advice: Check in with the people you love outside of the law school. Talking with family and non-law school friends always helps put things into perspective; school is important but your mental health and physical wellbeing should always take priority.
Wishing all a restful break with family and friends 💖 We had a wonderful Friendsgiving thanks to our 1L Reps Annel and Michelle. Feeling blessed beyond measure to have this law school family
Wishing everyone a restful break with family and friends ♥️ Friendsgiving courtesy of our incredible 1L Reps, Annel and Michelle. Blessed beyond measure to have this community 🦁🦋🌎
This week’s MCM is 1L Yolanda Bustillo! Yolanda is originally from Miami, and attended Boston College as an undergrad. After graduating, she worked at the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York as a paralegal. She’s principally interested in international human rights, litigation, government. She loves Brooklyn Bridge Park, and her favorite foods are Vaca frita, yuca con mojo and maduros!
This past summer, Yolanda walked the Camino de Santiago, attended Sanfermines (Pamplona festival/running with the bulls), and took her mom back to Cuba to see our family for the first time since she left about 25 years ago. A really heart-filling summer! 💖
This week’s MCM is 2L Jennifer Romero!
Jen was born and raised in NYC and calls it home.
Between undergrad and law school, Jen focused primarily on volunteering. She taught the LSAT for PreProBono, a fellowship that provides free LSAT prep to those that come from underrepresented backgrounds in the legal profession, and volunteered with Project Happy where she worked with children with autism between the ages of 6 and 13.
During her 1L summer I worked at Children’s Rights, a non-profit that utilizes class action litigation to reform failing child welfare systems across the country. Next summer, Jen will be working at Debevoise & Plimpton.
At CLS, Jen is on the Columbia Journal of Race and Law, a Banquet & Alumni Co-Chair of LaLSA, Vice President of First Generation Professionals, a member of Empowering Women of Color, and part of the Adolescent Representation Clinic. She aspires to be a litigator in the near future.
As for her NY faves, she has many feelings about NYC’s dollar pizza 🍕. some of her favorite places in the city are the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Strand, and the LES.
That Saturday feeling c/o your 2019-2020 executive board
BBQ is today! 2-5pm!
The Affinity BBQ is today in Riverside Park from 2-pm to 5pm! Looking forward to seeing you there!
Please join us in congratulating the 2019-2020 Executive Board for the Latinx Law Students Association:
Marielle Paloma Greenblatt
Banquet & Alumni Chairs
Brenda Gonzalez Rueda
Social Justice Chair
On February 16, 2018, LaLSA hosted our 3rd Annual Carnaval! Check out our pictures and tag your friends!
On February 16, 2018, LaLSA hosted our 3rd Annual Carnaval! Check out our pictures and tag your friends!
On March 2nd and March 3rd, 2019, Columbia Law School's LaLSA Moot Court Team participated in the 12th Annual Asylum & Refugee Law National Moot Court Competition hosted by UC Davis. Our Moot Court program sent three outstanding teams, and the competing Columbia 1Ls bested 2Ls and 3Ls to achieve phenomenal success!
After a thrilling CLS vs. CLS final round, Maddi Durbin '21 and Freya Jamison '21 won first place, and Prakriti Luthra '21 and Daniel Palacios '21 came in second place. Marielle Paloma Greenblatt '21 and Cameron Molis '21 finished as third place semifinalists.
Additionally, Cameron and Maddi received 1st and 2nd Best Oral Advocate respectively, and Team 102 (Maddi and Freya) took home the award for 3rd Best Brief. Overall, this year's results represent the best-ever performance by Columbia Law in the history of its participation in the competition!
The team benefited from the coaching of Elizabeth Rivera Cruz '20, Tyler Lee '20, Ellie Dupler '20, Delia Arias De Leon '20, Grace Assaye '20, Nestor Almeida '20, and faculty advisor Alberto Rodriguez. The team would also like to thank alums and current students for their assistance in practice moots and judging January's internal competition.
The UC Davis Asylum & Refugee Law National Moot Court Competition is the only competition in the nation devoted exclusively to the topic of asylum and refugee law. This year's problem addressed the use of the disfavored group analysis for establishing a well-founded fear of persecution and the burden of proof for an asylum applicant to prove internal relocation.
The Moot Court Program at Columbia Law School is made possible by the generous support of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.
Lots of bonding thanks to our retreat and Mentor-Mentee Paint Night!
Latinx Law Students Association at Columbia Law's cover photo
Congratulations to the finalists of 7th Annual LaLSA Asylum & Refugee Law Internal Moot Court Competition!
Maddi Durbin & Freya Jamison
Marielle Paloma Greenblatt & Cameron Molis
Prakriti Luthra & Daniel Palacios
These three teams will go on to represent Columbia Law School at the national UC Davis Asylum & Refugee Law competition in March. Please join us in congratulating the winners and commending all 16 members of the LaLSA Moot Court team for their exceptional performance in last week's internal competition!
This past week, our Moot Court teams have been competing in the 7th Annual LaLSA Asylum & Refugee Law Moot Court. TONIGHT are our final two rounds:
Round 5: Thursday, January 24th from 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM in JG 105
Final Round: Thursday, January 24th from 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM in JG 105
Come support the team! We look forward to seeing you there!
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