About Us

Latino Law Student Association (LLSA) is a student organization composed of Latino law students and students interested in issues affecting the Latino community at USC Gould School of Law.  We aim to create and cultivate an encouraging environment for current and prospective Latino students through academic support, scholarship, community service, and networking events.

Among its objectives is to serve as a support network for Latino law students on campus and to help the retention and success of Latino law students. LLSA works in conjunction with the Admissions Office to increase the enrollment of Latino students through a Phone-a-Thon for admitted Latino students. Besides keeping our members abreast of scholarships, Latino-centric events, and potential employment opportunities, LLSA encourages its members to become involved in public interest organizations that serve the Latino community in Los Angeles. Latino Law Student Association activities include speaker events with local law firms, Hora Latin@ (a Legal Spanish conversation group), Judges & Lawyers Nights (honoring USC Gould Latino Alums) and other social and cultural gatherings for the benefit of Latino law students and friends at USC Gould.  We also aim to maintain strong ties to our Alumni through networking events and various functions with the USC Latino Alumni Association.

These events aim to help build community and familiarity among Latino and non-Latino friends and classmates.  Our members have a diverse range of career interests: immigrant rights, corporate law, criminal law, immigration, rights for the mentally disabled, civil rights, among others.

Meet the 2017-2018 Board

 

José Del Río

(President)

Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, José is a second year law student at USC Gould School of Law. As one of the first in his family to attend a university, José received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Irvine.

This past summer, José worked as a law clerk for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) in Los Angeles, CA. Upon graduation, José aspires to pursue a career as a Civil Rights Attorney and run for political office.

 

Alisa Balderas

(Vice President)

Alisa is a second-year law student at USC Gould School of Law. Alisa was born and raised in Oaxaca, Mexico before moving to Southern California. She attended the University of California, Santa Barbara where she majored in Psychology.

Following graduation at UCSB, Alisa worked as a behavior therapist for children with autism and in the television production industry. This past summer, Alisa worked as a summer associate at Foley & Lardner LLP.

 

Jonathan Jimenez

(Treasurer)

Jonathan is a third-year law student at USC Gould School of Law. Jonathan was born and raised in Cartagena, Colombia. He first attended Libre University in Bogota, Colombia, where he graduated with an LL.B and practiced commercial law for a few years. He furthered his legal education in commercial and business law in Javeriana University and USC (LL.M).

Over his time at USC, Jonathan has worked in the tax department at Bet Tzedek Legal Services, the real estate department at Meyer Law Org, and summered in the real estate department at Perkins Coie, LLP. He currently works in USC’s immigration clinic helping asylum seekers.

Jonathan enjoys swimming and road biking.

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Caroline Monroy

 

(Community Service & Events Chair)

Caroline is a second-year law student at USC Gould School of Law. Caroline is a Southern California native. Caroline attended California State University, Los Angeles where she majored in Political Science with a focus on Global Politics. Following graduation, she interned at the Consulate General of the United States in Recife, Brazil.

Over the past summer, Caroline worked at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.  She currently works in USC’s International Human Rights Clinic.

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Kiara Covarrubias

(Judges & Lawyers Night Chair)

Prior to starting law school, Kiara studied Spanish Linguistics & Bilingual Issues and English Literature at UC Berkeley. She then taught bilingual pre-k and bilingual first grade at Woodlawn Academy in San Antonio, Texas with Teach for America. During her time in Texas, she was a Culturally Responsive Teaching Fellow. This is a fellowship program under the guidance of Curtis Acosta, from the documentary Precious Knowledge, that works to develop a culturally responsive curriculum for San Antonio schools. Kiara is a proud Latina that hopes to see the presence of Latinos increase in the legal profession.

Natalia DaSilva

(Academic Chair)

Natalia is a second-year law student interested in international and criminal law. She is a Los Angeles native who graduated magna cum laude from USC with a B.A. in History. Natalia is a current member of the USC International Human Rights Legal Clinic and an extern for Justice Victoria Gerrard Chaney at the California Court of Appeals. Last summer, she was a law clerk in the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.

Lorena Avila

(Academic Chair)

Lorena is a second year law student born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She studied Political Science and Chicano Studies at California State University, Northridge where she graduated magna cum laude. 

She is currently part of USC’s Immigration Clinic and is interested in both immigration law and transactional work.

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Melvin Lopez

(Alumni Relations Chair)

Melvin is a third-year law student and Southern California native raised in the city of Cudahy.  As a first-generation college student, Melvin received his B.S. in criminal justice and minor in communications from California State University, Long Beach.

His first summer, Melvin worked at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, and this year, he interned with the U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review.  His second year, Melvin was a Hale Moot Court Honors Program participant, and is currently an Editor for the program.  Upon graduation, Melvin aspires to pursue a career as a Deputy District Attorney

Maria Itzel Siegrist

(Alumni Chair)

Maria Itzel Siegrist is a third-year law student at USC. Born and raised in El Monte, California, she holds a B.A. in History and Political Science from USC and an M.F.A. in Acting from Rutgers University.

This past summer she worked as a law clerk for the Law Offices of Torres Siegrist. She has worked as a Spanish Interpreter/Translator for the USC International Human Rights Clinic and was a member of the Hale Moot Court Honors Program 2016-2017.

Stephanie Alvarez Salagdo

(1L Representative)

Stephanie Alvarez Salgado is a first-year law student at USC Gould School of Law.  She is a Southern California native and graduated from University of California, Santa Barbara with a B.A in Political Science.

In the summer between finishing undergrad and starting law school, Stephanie interned for the Long Beach City Prosecutor’s Office. Now at USC, she is excited to be an Honors Scholar and a member of the first–generation program.

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Luis Perez Landin

(1L Representative)

Luis is a 1L student at USC Gould School of Law. He grew up in the Los Angeles area and went to school at UC Riverside where he majored in Business Economics and History. Before coming to law school, Luis worked in immigration where he helped undocumented youth obtain DACA benefits. He has worked in education in the South LA area and has gained first-hand experience identifying some of the prevailing issues in urban education. He is interested in advocacy and social justice for underrepresented groups particularly within immigration.

Katie Garcia

(1L Representative)

Katie is a first-year law student at USC Gould School of Law. She is a Southern California native from the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. Katie graduated from Columbia University with a BA in Political Science and a concentration in Human Rights.

Katie seeks to pursue a career in human rights and/or humanitarian law.

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Erika Ingram

(1L Representative)

Erika is a first-year law student at USC Gould School of Law.  She is a Southern California native and graduated from the University of Southern California with a BA in International Relations.

Erika is interested in criminal law and juvenile law.

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Eduardo Cortes Vargas

(1L Representative)

Eduardo is a first-year law student at USC Gould School of Law. Eduardo was born in Mexico and lived there until he was eight years old. After immigrating to the United States, he grew up in the Inland Empire in Southern California. Eduardo attended University of California, Santa Barbara where he earned his B.A. in Global and International Studies.

Eduardo is interested in transactional, immigration, and corporate law

eduardo.vargascortes.2020@lawmail.usc.edu

 

 

 

 

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©2018 Latino Law Students Association (LLSA)