Baylor Lawyer Alicia Alvarado, JD, ’19, will advocate for immigrant rights in Waco and Central Texas through a two-year fellowship with Equal Justice Works, a national program that connects financial support to recent law school graduates who wish to engage in legal advocacy at a qualified non-profit that supports underrepresented populations. Alvarado, the first Baylor Lawyer to receive one of the coveted fellowships, will be working with fellow Baylor Lawyer Analí Looper, JD ’14, at the non-profit American Gateways in Waco. Funding for Alvarado’s fellowship is being provided by the Texas Access to Justice Foundation.
Alvarado will be working with detained and recently released immigrants who have crimmigration cases (crimmigration is a term used by criminal defense attorneys and immigration attorneys where those two practices of law intersect). “There is a great need in Waco for attorneys who work with crimmigration cases,” stated Alvarado upon hearing that her proposal had been selected, and added, “thanks to the EJW Fellowship, I will be able to provide immigration legal services to immigrants who otherwise might not have access to the help they need. I will also be working with asylum seekers who are in immigration detention. I’ve wanted to be an immigration lawyer since I was in middle school and having been selected as an Equal Justice Works Fellow and being sponsored by the Texas Access to Justice Foundation is going to allow me to carry out my dream. I am honored to form a part of the 2020 Fellowship Class.”
“Alicia’s dedication to immigrant services is extraordinary.” stated Professor Laura Hernández, Director of Baylor Law’s Immigration Clinic and mentor to Alicia, who added “She was one of the first Baylor Law Immigration Clinic Student Coordinators, working with DACA renewals and naturalization applications for Central Texas residents. It is so wonderful that, as a lifelong resident of Waco, she will be able to provide legal assistance to, and advocate for, the immigrant community that she knows and loves so well,”
“The Texas Access to Justice Foundation has been providing funding for Equal Justice Works fellows to work at the organizations TAJF funds since 1999. Alicia’s desire to work with American Gateways in Waco made her especially attractive to our search team as we seek to insure critical legal services are provided in all parts of our state,” noted Texas Access to Justice Foundation Executive Director Betty Bali Torres, adding, “Alicia’s project was a standout in a competitive field of candidates, so it was a real bonus for us to get to send her home to serve in Waco,”
The Equal Justice Fellowship application process is a lengthy, highly competitive process that evaluates students based on the community impact of their proposed fellowship, academic success, demonstrated public service, and the quality of their written application. During the 2020 application cycle, there were over 420 applicants nationwide and only 77 applicants were selected as Fellows. There are more than 1,800 Equal Justice Works alumni who have participated in the nation's largest post-graduate legal Fellowship program.Additional information about Equal Justice Works and the Equal Justice Fellowship can be found at https://www.equaljusticeworks.org.
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