Crystal Figueroa

Associate Attorney at Leonard Law Group, LLC

2016 | Chicago, IL

University of Michigan | Latino Studies & Political Science

“It is amazing to positively change someone's life and to have the opportunity to represent them.”

Crystal Figueroa wanted to experience the kind of work immigration lawyers do, to learn more about the field. “Joining the Immigration clinic is a very rewarding experience because you are given the opportunity to be the lawyer,” she said, “It is amazing to positively change someone's life and to have the opportunity to represent them.”

Much of Crystal's work revolved around filling out forms. “However, it depended on what relief my client sought,” she said. “I also appeared in immigration court to represent my clients and visited different sites to interview them.  I had about eight clients and had to keep in touch with them every day, whether it be via email or phone.”

She said the work environment is fast-paced because students need to do work for every single client and not just focus on one.  “As a clinician, you are required to multitask,” she said. “I prepared all required documents and then I set an appointment with a supervising attorney, so they can review my work.  The supervising attorneys also prepped me for court by pretending to be the judge and asking me possible questions.”

Crystal recalls a rewarding experience at the clinic where she was unable to help a woman secure relief, but she was able to get relief for the woman’s two year old daughter. “We asked the judge for a continuance, so that the daughter could gain legal status, and the judge granted it,” she said.  

Crystal recalled her proudest moment in the Immigration clinic was her first time appearing in immigration court. “I did a great job and felt very confident,” she said. “As a student clinician, I was given the opportunity to do the kind of work immigration attorneys do. My clinical work always comes up in interviews, especially when I am seeking immigration-related jobs.  I believe my participation in my clinic opens many doors for me.”