LIJC Staff

Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic Staff

Alejandro Barajas

Alejandro Barajas

Staff Attorney
Founders Hall 213
213.480.6808
alejandro.barajas@lls.edu

Alejandro Barajas is a Staff Attorney at the Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic, where he provides legal representation to clients seeking affirmative forms of immigration relief and defense in removal proceedings. He received his J.D. from LMU Loyola Law School 2015. He was awarded with the Loyola Post-Graduate Public Interest Fellowship to build LIJC’s collaboration with and outreach to health and education organizations. Through this fellowship, Alejandro expanded LIJC’s legal services in the areas of DACA and naturalization to hundreds of indigent immigrants on the eastside of Los Angeles. While at LIJC, Alejandro also supervises law students engaged in community-based advocacy work as well as students representing immigrants at the border as part of Loyola Immigration Law and The Border Practicum in El Paso, Texas.

Daisy Chavez-Mendez

Daisy Chavez-Mendez

Clinical Case Coordinator/Paralegal
Founders Hall 206
213.736.1408
daisy.chavez-mendez@lls.edu

Daisy Chávez-Mendez is a licensed paralegal and clinical case coordinator for the Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic. Previously, Daisy served as a paralegal at Public Counsel, where she worked on the immigration docket. Daisy joined LIJC in 2017, bringing her professional work closer to the eastside community of Boyle Heights where she grew up and still lives and where she served as the president of the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council and currently serves as a Democratic delegate for District 53. Daisy graduated with a dual B.A. in Political Science and Comparative Literature from UC Irvine.

Kayleen Hartman Portrait Square

Kayleen Hartman

Clinical Teaching Fellow
kayleen.hartman@lls.edu

Kayleen Hartman is Director of the LIJC’s Removal Defense Project and a supervising attorney. Kayleen also teaches a practicum on removal defense and develops and delivers trainings on removal defense and immigration law for law students and attorneys. Before coming to LIJC, Kayleen was the Pro Bono Coordinator for the Children’s Representation Project (CRP) at Immigrant Defenders Law Center. There she represented unaccompanied minors facing deportation and recruited, trained and mentored volunteer attorneys to increase CRP's capacity to serve unaccompanied minors. Previously Kayleen was a staff attorney at Ayuda, a Washington D.C. immigrants’ rights organization and policy counsel for human trafficking issues at Shared Hope International. Kayleen was also a fellow at Georgetown's Human Rights Institute, where she worked on school-to-prison pipeline issues. Kayleen earned her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center with a Certificate in Refugee and Humanitarian Emergencies. In 2011, she received Georgetown’s Bettina Prukmayer Award for Human Rights. Kayleen received her B.A. from Davidson College.

Yanira Lemus

Yanira Lemus

Supervising Attorney
Founders Hall 212
213.736.8144
yanira.lemus@lls.edu

Yanira Lemus is Director of Community Legal Services and a supervising attorney at the Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic. Yanira provides direct legal representation to clients seeking affirmative forms of immigration relief and defense in removal proceedings. She also supervises LIJC’s staff attorneys and support staff, manages grant applications and grant reporting requirements, and serves as a committee member on Loyola Marymount University’s Undocumented Student Advisory Committee. Yanira assists in the supervision and training of clinical law students engaged in community-based advocacy work. Prior to joining LIJC, Yanira was a staff attorney at Public Counsel Law Center and at Immigrant Defenders Law Center where she provided legal representation for DACA applicants and Unaccompanied Children in removal proceedings, respectively. Yanira received her J.D. from Loyola Law School in 2014 and her B.A. in Psychology from UCLA in 2004.

Sandra Ruiz Portrait

Sandra Ruiz

Staff Attorney
Founders Hall 213
213.480.5985
sandra.ruiz@lls.edu

Sandra Ruiz is a Staff Attorney at the Loyola immigrant Justice Clinic where she provides legal representation to clients seeking affirmative forms of immigration relief and defense in removal proceedings. Sandra also assists in the supervision of law students including students enrolled in the U.S.-Mexico bi-national course, which in part takes place in Guadalajara, Mexico, where LIJC provides consultations to migrants in transit and those recently repatriated. Additionally, Sandra sits on the board of East Los Angeles College’s Pathways to Law School program, where she personally encourages and educates students about the law school admissions process and careers in the legal field. Prior to joining LIJC, Sandra worked as a Business Immigration Associate at the Law Offices of Michael Felix. Sandra earned her J.D. from Loyola Law School in 2015 and her B.A. from UC Santa Barbara in 2011.