Franco Law Group (FLG) 2019 Summer Intern, Arelis Clemente, was born and raised in the small rural town of Delano, CA located in the Central Valley. Her interest in immigration law began at a very young age when she witnessed the struggles her parents faced being undocumented. Thankfully, both have adjusted their status since, but this experience encouraged her to pursue a legal career in immigration.
After graduating from Cesar E. Chavez High School with honors in 2011, Arelis attended CSU Fresno. While in college, she participated in community-service learning programs and volunteered on a weekly basis feeding low-income families and the homeless. In 2015, Arelis graduated sum cum laude with a Bachelors Degree with a dual-major in Philosophy-Prelaw and Spanish.
After college, Arelis joined the Central Valley Immigrant Integration Collaborative (CVIIC), a regional network of nonprofit organizations and agencies dedicated to serving immigrant families. While at CVIIC, she organized community informational forums and workshops in rural communities. During this time Arelis became aware of the high need for immigration lawyers in the Central Valley, further encouraging her to pursue a law degree.
Currently, Arelis is attending Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. She has taken courses that have allowed her to develop her practical skills as a lawyer. For instance, Arelis took the Civil Rights Litigation Practicum, which allowed her to extern at Public Counsel’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. At Public Counsel’s Immigrants’ Rights, Arelis worked on an advocacy project regarding the issue of combating notario fraud in LA County. In addition, she has also taken the Immigration Law and the Border Practicum, which provided her the opportunity to defend a client in removal proceedings in El Paso, Texas Immigration Court.
Arelis grew interest in FLG’s Summer 2019 internship because she was drawn by FLG’ s commitment to the community. Arelis knew of the great work FLG does for their clients but also of FLG’s on-going community outreach, ensuring the community is informed, and this is what she found the most appealing. Arelis aims to continue to gain legal experience in immigration law and learn how a case is prepared and litigated before immigration court, in particular cases for detained clients. Arelis will be interning at FLG for the summer and then will return to Loyola Law School, Los Angeles to finish her last year of law school.
Arelis hopes to graduate in May 2020 and take the California Bar Exam in July 2020. Her goal is to work in the public-interest sector to serve immigrant families back in the Central Valley, where the resources are limited but the need is in high demand.