PLEN’s Women, Law, and Advocacy seminar was a truly rewarding experience. I am very grateful to have been selected for a scholarship to attend the seminar and to have met so many successful and resilient women.
A couple of weeks ago I did not know what PLEN was. I heard about PLEN’s Women, Law, and Advocacy Seminar through the Program Coordinator for the UC Irvine School of Law Pre-Law Outreach Program, and I am so glad I applied.
Attending this seminar was a must because I am applying to law school in 2 years and it gave me a reason to leave California for the first time. My top law school is UC Berkeley, Boalt School of Law and I plan to specialize in immigration or tax law. As a first-generation undocumented woman of color, law school is intimidating. I am confident that I will get into a great law school but for now, the process from A to Z will not be easy due to both legal and economic burdens. The seminar not only demystified the law school experience but it also addressed the type of jobs, both public and private, one is able to get with a law degree. Another aspect of the seminar that I genuinely appreciated was when the women of color explained that sexism and racism exist no matter how many degrees you have or how high you are in the company’s hierarchy. These things will happen and it was insightful to see how their respective situations were addressed and handled.
The workshops were also great! Some speakers, such as those from the Department of Justice and AYUDA, reminded me that there is still much work to be done in the areas of immigration law. I come from Jalisco, Mexico and grew up in California which is a state that has recently been supporting its undocumented community through legislation such as the DREAM Act, AB60 (Driver’s license for undocumented persons) and several others. However, there are still many states that are dangerous to my community. States that violate human rights, push undocumented persons into the shadows and leave them voiceless. Law school will equip me with the tools needed to bring tangible change to these marginalized communities and give them the voice and empowerment they deserve.
Dalia L. Nava attended the PLEN Women, Law, and Legal Advocacy seminar with a scholarship sponsored by K&L Gates. She will graduate from the University of California, Berkeley in 2018.