Fellow Story

What makes a great advocate?

We’re training the next generation of immigration advocates. What makes a successful attorney? Six months into their Fellowship, our 2023 Fellows reflect on the experiences that have made them stronger champions of immigrant justice.

See their responses below!

As a former teacher, I have found that taking an interest in my clients’ schoolwork is helpful. I even got a client from my former high school where I taught, and it was great to talk to him about it.

Davis Lovvorn
2023 Justice Fellow
Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy
Notre Dame Law School

Our whole immigration team collaborated with SEIU 32BJ to hold a 2-day clinic where we helped people apply for deferred action for labor enforcement. I got to enjoy the unique personalities of many applicants and hear about their aspirations for a more secure immigration situation and more dignified treatment at work. I practiced confidently telling people what I knew, and I practiced asking questions to my coworkers about things that I did not know. And after 2 days of continuous conversation, I swear my Spanish got better!

Julia Yujie Deng
2023 Justice Fellow
Make the Road – New Jersey
Harvard Law School

*Julia attended the clinic as one of her four allotted non-IJC-caseload days.

“Being a part of a team of attorneys and accredited representatives who are all so passionate about the work they do, and who are all always willing to review and discuss things with me, has made me a more effective advocate. I am incredibly lucky to be a part of this team, and I continue to learn and grow every day.

Vanessa Demaral
2023 Justice Fellow
Church World Service
Vanderbilt Law School

“My experience at IJC so far has been a very effective way of learning about immigration. Since I started working at IJC I am far more knowledgeable than I was before starting my position. Each screening conducted is a chance to learn about a new topic in immigration which can vary from TPS, Asylum, SIJS, U-Visa’s, and so much more.”

Cesar Paz
2023 Community Fellow
Immigrant Justice Corps
York College of Pennsylvania

My host organization trusts me to manage client communications and scheduling on my own. Through this, I have been able to build really good rapports with my clients – they know I will reliably answer their questions and they do their part to reliably answer mine. Because most of my clients speak Spanish, I have been getting Spanish practice every day simply by communicating with my clients, which makes me a better advocate as I get more and more comfortable working with my Latinx clients in their native language.

Bria Leigh Yazic
2023 Justice Fellow
Chacon Center for Immigrant Justice
Northeastern University School of Law

Stay tuned for additional responses that will be posted in the coming weeks!