Clinic Student Spotlight: Marissa Jauregui '25

Which specific clinic are you involved in, and what sort of work are you currently doing in the clinic?

I am a Certified Law Student with the Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic. I represent immigrants seeking humanitarian forms of relief which include the U and T Visa, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), and VAWA. Currently, I represent a T-visa applicant who is a survivor of labor trafficking and a VAWA client who has experienced domestic abuse. I also assisted on a SIJS case under supervising attorney Yanira Lemus. Attorney Lemus and I successfully represented our client at his probate hearing where the Court granted our Petition for Guardianship and Petition for Special Immigrant Juvenile Findings.   

How has the clinic experience benefitted your legal education?

The clinic has benefitted my legal education by providing practical experience that supplements the knowledge I’ve gained in the classroom. I better understand the expectations, goals, and demands that immigration attorneys deal with on a day-to-day basis.

What are some skills you've gained/honed in your clinic?

Time management, trial advocacy, and legal writing are some of the many skills I’ve honed during my time with the LIJC. Managing multiple clients, representing clients at hearings, and effectively persuading USCIS officers in legal briefs are skills that I will carry with me throughout the entirety of my career as an advocate. On top of all that, I’ve also learned about the importance of client-centered lawyering. Unfortunately, many of our clients endured traumatic experiences or events to be afforded protection through humanitarian relief. I’ve learned how to create a supportive and safe environment for my clients through my words and active listening. I also empower clients during our meetings and assure them that in this space, they will always have control of their story.

Would you recommend the clinic experience for other law students? If so, why? 

I would strongly recommend the LIJC experience to any of my fellow law students interested in sharpening their skills as an advocate while representing communities in need. It brings me great pride that the LIJC collaborates with Homeboy Industries, Dolores Mission Church, and other organizations to advance the rights of immigrants in and around East Lost Angeles. While the work may be difficult, seeing the positive changes we make in our clients’ lives makes it all worth it.