Latino Law Students Association (LLSA)

LLSA serves as a conduit for a collective Latina/o law student voice at the University of Colorado. We are a non-partisan organization driven by a progressive agenda that protects and advances the civil rights of the Latina/o at CU Law and in our community.  We are dedicated to promoting and sustaining the academic success of Latina/o law students. We recognize that we cannot merely seek achievement for ourselves and forget about the progress and prosperity of our community; we are one and the same.

LLSA is committed to combating all forms of prejudice, including discrimination based on color, race, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity, and veteran status. Realizing that internalized oppressions only further divide us, we have strived to actively engage and organize around these issues so we are accountable to and representative of all of our communities.

Goals

  1. Articulate and promote the academic and professional needs and goals of Latina and Latino Law Students;
  2. Influence the legal community to effectuate positive and substantive change in the fields of legal education and the representation of the Latino community;
  3. Instill within the Latina and Latino Law Student and Attorney the need to use her/his professional status to effectuate positive change within the Latino community by supporting efforts that include, but are not limited to:
    1. the implementation of affirmative action and any similar programs that promote equal access and representation of Latinos and other people of color in education, government, and employment, as well as repealing and challenging legislation and case law that bars these efforts;
    2. supporting human rights initiatives and causes;
    3. advocating for workers' rights;
    4. supporting amnesty movements for undocumented immigrants;
    5. promoting the implementation and improvement of bilingual education programs;
    6. supporting policy changes that will give Latina/o children access to adequate education in preparation for higher education;
    7. promoting gender equality and acceptance of sexual orientation;
  1. Establish strong, sustainable and respectful coalitions with students, attorneys, and organizations of color; and other organizations and individuals that espouse the goals that LLSA represents.
  2. Encourage Latina and Latino Law Students to pursue careers in the judiciary;
  3. Do all things necessary and appropriate to accomplish the above mentioned purposes, for being of service is not enough. Latinas and Latinos in the legal profession must become servants of the people so that we can inspire their commitment in return.

LLSA has strived to create a diverse and supportive, learning, working, and living environment, and we are committed to promoting the understanding of multicultural issues.

Student Development
Often first year law students find the law school experience overwhelming and confusing. LLSA is committed to ensuring student success by developing a student run program of support and counseling. Members of our group hold classes on subjects ranging from ""how to network"" to ""how to outline for exams.? Further, LLSA has recognized that many students arrive at CU and find it difficult to acclimatize to the new environment. This effect is only magnified for some minorities who arrive in what is often a very homogeneous environment. LLSA has combated this by ensuring new students that they are not alone and holding both formal and informal dinners and social events to foster a supportive atmosphere.

Student Recruitment
Our students work hard to recruit students from around the country. This effort includes communicating with each Latina/o student admitted to CU Law in order to build lasting relationships. In past years, LLSA petitioned the Dean of the law school to offer application fee waivers for diversity students who exhibit academic excellence. Partly due to these efforts, each CU Law class has more minorities than the last.

Leadership
Not only have LLSA members distinguished themselves in leadership within the LLSA organization, LLSA has a disproportionately large percentage of its members who hold senior leadership billets throughout the law school.

Past Activities

National LLSA Conference
In 2004 members from University of Colorado LLSA and University of Denver hosted the 8th Annual National conference. LLSA raised $85,000 from local law firms, businesses, University of Colorado, and University of Denver in anticipation of the event. CU LLSA members were instrumental in all levels of planning and organization.

In 2005, CU students also attended the conference and career fair in Washington, D.C. LLSA hopes to send students to the 10th Annual Conference in Seattle in 2006.

National Hispanic Bar Association Conference
Past conventions have been held in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, CA. The goal at the conventions is to network with prominent Hispanic attorneys and other practitioners, attend the prestigious Career Fair, and learn from various workshops and meetings developed to address current legal issues facing the Latina/o populations.

Citizenship Drives
LLSA co-sponsors a citizenship drive each system to help immigrants complete paperwork to become U.S. citizens. The citizenship process can often be a frightening and trying experience for those who have difficulty understanding the complex forms and processes. In addition to overcoming a language barrier, most of the immigrants are from economically disadvantaged families or migrant farm workers who would not otherwise receive organized assistance. Not only have LLSA members used their foreign language skills to assist in the process, acting as interpreters between immigration experts and potential citizens, but also they have used their fledgling legal knowledge to answer questions and guide immigrants through the process. With the help of lawyers, judges, and other immigration experts, LLSA has assisted over 100 immigrants in the citizenship process.

Voter Registration Drives
LLSA organized voter registration drives in the Boulder and Denver community during the 2004 elections. LLSA also worked with Southwest Voters compensating a voter registration drive at University of Colorado.

Curriculum Development
LLSA members recognized a deficiency within the University of Colorado Law School legal curriculum in the absence of a ?Spanish for Lawyers? course. LLSA worked closely with the student body to determine the desire for such a course and worked with administration leaders in developing a curriculum, finding an instructor, and receiving approval of the Academic Affairs Committee. The law school thus now offers ?Spanish for Family Practitioners.?

Diversity Pre-Orientation

LLSA helps to organize the ?Pre-orientation Day? for first year diversity law students. Diversity students now have an opportunity to meet each other as well as the faculty members of color prior to the beginning of Orientation. Students are introduced to all of the minority law school organizations, given information on specific minority scholarship opportunities available and listen to Members of the Colorado minority bar associations speak on issues affecting minority lawyers. LLSA co-sponsors a citizenship drive each system to help immigrants complete paperwork to become U.S. citizens. The citizenship process can often be a frightening and trying experience for those who have difficulty understanding the complex forms and processes. In addition to overcoming a language barrier, most of the immigrants are from economically disadvantaged families or migrant farm workers who would not otherwise receive organized assistance. Not only have LLSA members used their foreign language skills to assist in the process, acting as interpreters between immigration experts and potential citizens, but also they have used their fledgling legal knowledge to answer questions and guide immigrants through the process. With the help of lawyers, judges, and other immigration experts, LLSA has assisted over 100 immigrants in the citizenship process. --Voter Registration Drives LLSA organized voter registration drives in the Boulder and Denver community during the 2004 elections. LLSA also worked with Southwest Voters compensating a voter registration drive at University of Colorado. --Curriculum Development LLSA members recognized a deficiency within the University of Colorado Law School legal curriculum in the absence of a ?Spanish for Lawyers? course. LLSA worked closely with the student body to determine the desire for such a course and worked with administration leaders in developing a curriculum, finding an instructor, and receiving approval of the Academic Affairs Committee. The law school thus now offers "Spanish for Family Practitioners." --Diversity Pre-Orientation LLSA helps to organize the "Pre-orientation Day" for first year diversity law students. Diversity students now have an opportunity to meet each other as well as the faculty members of color prior to the beginning of Orientation. Students are introduced to all of the minority law school organizations, given information on specific minority scholarship opportunities available and listen to Members of the Colorado minority bar associations speak on issues affecting minority lawyers.

Other Information

Officers Chester Fernandez, Co-President
Tonya Luna, Co-President
Jessica Mendoza, Vice President
Stephen Abbott, Treasurer
Other Website http://www.nllsa.org
Ntnl Affialiate Website http://www.nllsa.org
TWEN Website click here for TWEN website
Web Contact Kristina Garcia
University of Colorado Law School
401 UCB, 211 Wolf Law Building
Boulder, CO  80309