Meet Our Graduates
Hometown: Valley Stream, NY (originally from Cuba)
School: Maurice A. Deane School of Law
What’s Next: civil litigation, New York City Law Department
Why did you want to pursue a career in law?
My family, they are all lawyers. My mom was a family court judge for more than 20 years in Havana, Cuba, my father is a constitutional lawyer, and my brother went to law school in Cuba. I always wanted to pursue law, and I always had that dream because I know that understanding the law within a particular society is a powerful tool and you can make changes and help people in need. I attended college in Cuba and majored in Philosophy, which gave me a great foundation for law school.
What attracted you to Hofstra Law?
I grew up in Cuba and moved to the United States after college in 2013. I was familiar with New York and Long Island, and I heard that Hofstra Law was one of the pioneer schools to introduce the clinical education system and that was really attractive to me.
What’s your most memorable Hofstra Law experience?
I had the chance to work in the Deportation Defense Clinic and the Asylum Clinic for two semesters, where we helped immigrants and non-citizens seek protection in the United States. The people we help have gone through a lot of traumas and they keep fighting, trying to find a better life. They don’t give up. My clinic professors helped me a lot with my writing skills, relationship building with clients, and legal research. They also taught me how to become a better attorney and a better human being. Your work there determines whether clients stay in the country and sometimes it is a life-or-death situation. It was a great learning experience for me because I was able to help a lot of people. I put in a lot of work, and it made me who I am today.
What will you miss most about Hofstra Law?
Professor (Alexander) Holtzman, (director of the Deportation Defense Clinic) was actually the first person to give me a chance in the immigration field and then I got to work with Professor (Lauris) Wren, (director of the Political Asylum Clinic), who is a wonderful human being. I’m always going to remember them. Those two professors I’m going to remember when I’m old.
What advice would you give to incoming Hofstra Law students?
The main message that I want to send is to believe in yourself and to never be too hard on yourself. It’s been a long journey for me, and honestly, I wasn’t supposed to be here. I was born in a different environment, and I never thought about going to law school in the United States, but life goes around. I’ve always had incredible support from my family and I put in the work. You are worth it, and you are smart. It’s going to be a big transition for you in law school and it’s not easy, but if others can do it, you can do it too.
How has your Hofstra Law experience prepared you for your legal career?
I’m trying to have an impact on society and use my skills to help people that are not in the same position that I am in right now. I’m going to be working in civil litigation post-graduation at the New York City Law Department. I’ve done mock trial, moot court, and anything else litigation-related while at Hofstra Law. The courtroom is my habitat, and I can’t just be in an office reviewing contracts. I want to be in court exposed to juries and judges, and I can't wait to litigate and be out there in the trenches.