Suzanne McCormick is the founder and Executive Director of ICWC. Suzanne graduated from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1997. Since law school she has been dedicated to providing legal services to at risk youth and victims of domestic violence. Suzanne worked as a Staff Attorney at Public Counsel Law Center in Los Angeles. While at Public Counsel, she represented clients in probate guardianship, Violence Against Women Act, and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status cases. She was the Project Coordinator for the Guardianship Volunteer Program, a pro per clinic at the Los Angeles central district courthouse, which assists unrepresented litigants. In 2002, Suzanne co-authored Abandon Probate Court for Abandoned Children: Combining Probate Guardianship of the Person and Dependency into one Stronger, Fairer Children’s Court in the Spring 2003 Southern California Review of Law and Women’s Studies. In 2004, Suzanne founded the Immigration Center for Women and Children. Through her work, Suzanne identified a need in the community for a legal service agency that provided services on a sliding scale fee system. Suzanne has established ICWC as one of the leading legal service agencies in California that provide immigration options for victims. Suzanne is active in many immigration and child advocacy groups in California and nationwide. Email Suzanne at email@example.com.
Susan Bowyer is the Deputy Director of ICWC. Susan is a national expert in U Nonimmigrant Status and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). She is the author of a number of publications on immigration remedies for survivors of domestic violence, including those published by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) and the Boston University Public Interest Law Journal. She is a frequent trainer on immigration through the VAWA and U Visa and has presented at the American Immigration Lawyers Association National Conference, California and Central Florida Chapters, the Alameda County Law Enforcement Chiefs’ Annual Conference, on regional and national webinars, and before the California State Senate and Assembly Human Service Committees. Susan is a 1992 graduate of Stanford Law School, where she was a Public Service Law Fellow. She was the Managing Attorney of the International Institute of the Bay Area’s Oakland office from 2003 to 2010. She has also worked as a staff attorney with the Immigrant Legal Resource Center and Acting Director of the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment. Email Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jessica Farb is Directing Attorney of ICWC San Francisco office. Jessica received her B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her J.D. from American University Washington College of Law. Jessica began working with immigrant crime victims in 2003 as an AmeriCorps VISTA legal assistant at Casa Cornelia Law Center in San Diego. Then, while pursuing her law degree in Washington DC, she worked for the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and helped represent immigrant clients at Ayuda, Inc. and Holland & Knight’s Community Services Team. She also authored a publication on the U visa with the Human Rights Brief. Jessica returned to California in 2008 to coordinate the immigrant crime victim program at the Oakland office of the International Institute of the Bay Area. Since then, she maintains a diverse caseload of U visa and VAWA clients, provides regional and national trainings on the U visa, and regularly appears on the Spanish language news channel, KDTV Univision 14. Jessica created and administrates national web-based information sharing for U Nonimmigrant Status practitioners. Email Jessica at email@example.com.
Mariel Abeleda is a Staff Attorney in the ICWC Los Angeles Office directing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Clinic. Mariel received her J.D. from Loyola Law School in 2008 and B.A. from UC Berkeley in 2004. While at Berkeley, Mariel interned at the ASUC Student Legal Clinic educating the Berkeley community about available legal resources. Mariel studied abroad in Budapest, Hungary at Eotvos Lorand University where she studied the politics of transition and inclusion of minority groups in newly independent nations. Mariel comes from a family of public servants and members involved in community development who instilled in her a commitment to public service. She has worked and interned for the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA), the Community Development Department, and the Office of the City Attorney. While at LAFLA, she assisted clients in appealing their unemployment insurance denials and conducted outreach informing low-income workers of their employment rights. Prior to working at ICWC, Mariel was in private practice specializing in employment-based immigration. Mariel is also a volunteer tutor at the Los Angeles Public Library’s Singleton Literacy Center assisting adult learners with acquiring basic literacy skills. Email Mariel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brooke Alexander is a Staff Attorney in the ICWC San Diego office. Brooke received her Juris Doctor degree from the University Of Southern California School Of Law and graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in Psychology and a B.A. in Spanish. While at Stanford, Brooke enhanced her Spanish skills during a semester abroad in Argentina. After Stanford, Brooke provided therapy services to children with special needs, primarily Autism. She worked closely with parents and educators to promote the child’s social-emotional development and she advocated on the child’s behalf to ensure that he or she received the services to which he or she is entitled under the law. During her time at USC School of Law, Brooke served as Notes Editor for her honors journal, Southern California Review of Law and Social Justice (RLSJ). She also worked as an intern at Public Counsel Law Center in Los Angeles and participated in USC Children’s Rights Clinic. She gained experience assisting families who were adopting children that had been abused, abandoned, or neglected and assisted attorneys with guardianship and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) cases. In light of these experiences, Brooke authored a publication for RLSJ, regarding the benefits received by families adopting children from the foster care system who have special needs. Post-graduation, Brooke worked as a Staff Attorney at Casa Cornelia Law Center (CCLC) in San Diego. She devoted her time to providing free legal services to indigent immigrants. During her time with CCLC, Brooke held various positions, including Domestic Violence Program Director. She has represented clients in VAWA, U Visa, Adjustment of Status, guardianship, and SIJS cases. Email Brooke at email@example.com.
Liz Gonzalez is a Staff Attorney in the ICWC Los Angeles Office. Liz received her B.A. in Spanish Literature from Reed College in Portland, Oregon. After Reed, she moved back to Los Angeles and worked at ICWC as a Legal Assistant. She also worked as a Legal Assistant at Schonbrun, DeSimone, Seplow, Harris, Hoffman & Harrison, LLP, a civil rights plaintiff’s litigation firm in Venice, California. While at Southwestern Law School, Liz worked on U Visa and SIJS cases at the Immigration Clinic, clerked at Public Counsel where she worked on U Visa and affirmative asylum cases, and she also worked with detainees at the Santa Ana detention center. Liz also returned to ICWC as a summer clerk and she interned at ICWC her last semester of law school. During law school, Liz was the social chair of Southwestern’s Immigration Law Student’s Association and she was the recipient of the Public Interest Law Grant, the Silbert Public Interest Fellowship, the Equal Justice America Fellowship, and the Public Interest Law Service Award. Liz has also been involved as a volunteer at the Alexandria House, a transitional shelter for women and children in the Los Angeles area. Email Liz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mayra Lira is a Staff Attorney in the ICWC Los Angeles office. Mayra received her Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School in 2010 and graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a minor in Political Science. During law school, Mayra interned at The Alliance for Children’s Rights, Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, and The Center for Conflict Resolution where she was a Pearl Castro Mendez Recipient, a fellowship created specifically to serve Spanish speaking communities. Mayra was also involved in La Raza de Loyola and The Young Lawyers Program, an initiative established to mentor high school students. While at UCLA, Mayra was involved in the creation and fundraising of the DREAM Scholarship, a scholarship provided for AB-540 students enrolled at UCLA. Mayra was also involved in various organizations dedicated to mentoring youth including UCLA Unicamp, Project BRITE, and Shine! Outreach Program. Email Mayra at email@example.com.
Mona Patel-Sikora is a Staff Attorney in the ICWC Los Angeles Office. She has worked extensively on behalf of battered women and children and has provided immigration representation to victims of domestic violence, crime and human trafficking. Mona has also been actively involved in advocacy and community outreach and has been a frequent speaker and trainer on immigration law and domestic violence issues.
Mona received her law degree from USC Law School in May 1990. She also has a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Prior to joining ICWC, Mona was a Senior Attorney in the Immigration Unit at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA). She has also worked at Public Counsel Law Center where she ran the VAWA Project and has worked as a litigation associate at the international law firm of Bryan Cave LLP. In 2002, she was named one of California’s top 20 Lawyers under 40 by California Law Business Magazine. She is also the recipient of USC Law School and PILF’s Outstanding Graduate Award, as well as the South Asian Bar Association’s Public Service Award. She has been named as a Super Lawyer” on several occasions and has served on the boards of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association (APABA) and the South Asian Helpline and Referral Agency (SAHARA). Mona also served on the Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel for the U.S. District Court, Central District of California. Email Mona at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elizabeth Roehm is a Law Fellow in the ICWC San Francisco office. Elizabeth received her Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School in 2012 and graduated from the University of Texas, Austin in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in Geography and a minor in Spanish. While at Yale, Elizabeth interned at the New Haven Legal Assistance Association, where she began working with immigrant survivors of domestic violence in U Visa and VAWA cases. Additionally, she was involved in projects promoting the economic well-being of the New Haven community and responding to legal inquiries at a Latino community center. Prior to law school, Elizabeth served as an operations coordinator and case manager at Casa Marianella, an emergency shelter for recently-arrived immigrants and asylum seekers in Austin, Texas. Email Elizabeth at email@example.com.
Sara Rosell is a Law Fellow in the ICWC San Francisco office. Sara received her J.D. from New York University School of Law in 2012 and her B.A. from UC Berkeley in 2009. While at UC Berkeley, Sara was an Undergraduate Fellow Associate Editor for the Berkeley La Raza Law Journal . For her undergraduate honors thesis, entitled “The Authority of Subalternity: I, Rigoberta Menchú‘s Impact on the Academy,” Sara explored the dynamics of third world storytelling and its legitimacy in academic circles. While at NYU Law, Sara was accepted into the year-long, intensive Immigrant Rights Clinic, where she represented a client in deportation proceedings and co-authored a judicial report on the duties of judges when admonishing immigrant criminal defendants. She also served as a Co-Chair for the Women of Color Collective and Admissions Chair for the Latino Law Students Association while at NYU Law. Since 2006, Sara has been steadily devoted to providing legal assistance to immigrants, particularly those who are survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other crimes. Most of Sara’s experience leading up to law school involved crafting U visa and Violence Against Women Act applications at the International Institute of the Bay Area, Oakland. Email Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Siobhan Waldron is a Staff Attorney in the ICWC Los Angeles office. Siobhan received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2012, where she specialized in the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy and Critical Race Studies Program. She received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 2006 in Legal Studies and Spanish, with a concentration in Hispanic Languages and Bilingual Issues. During and after college, Siobhan volunteered with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area as an interpreter for Spanish-speaking individuals seeking asylum. Also at that time, she began visiting and working in solidarity with isolated rural villages in El Salvador with the Oakland-based non-profit organization the Central American Refugee Committee (CRECE), and continues to visit El Salvador annually. Prior to law school, Siobhan worked on the statewide legal services website LawHelpCA.org at OneJustice in San Francisco. During law school, she focused her coursework and extracurricular activities on becoming a direct services immigration attorney at a legal services non-profit agency in California. Siobhan has done direct services immigration work with Centro Legal de la Raza (Oakland), the East Bay Community Law Center (Berkeley), Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project, Public Counsel, and the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN). Email Siobhan at Siobhan@icwclaw.org.
Lupe Aguirre is a Legal Assistant in the ICWC Los Angeles office. Lupe graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in International Development Studies and a minor in Chicana and Chicano Studies. Since attending the university she has been dedicated to providing services to at risk youth, and particularly to young women and the immigrant community. She worked on campaigns to inform the public about human trafficking and advocating for victims of human trafficking as a member of Polaris Project’s UCLA chapter. She was a director for the UCLA chapter of Women and Youth Supporting Eachother, a non-profit organization aimed at mentoring and educating young women about sexual health, developing self-esteem and leadership skills, future options and service to the community. She also worked as a residential advisor to immigrant youth participating in the UCLA Migrant Scholars Leadership Institute’s 2007 Summer Program. Email Lupe at email@example.com.
Jessica Brown is a Legal Assistant in the ICWC San Francisco office. She received a Master of Social Work degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 2010, where she focused her studies on trauma and immigrant/refugee communities. She is a graduate in Expressive Arts Therapy from Tamalpa Institute and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies and Political Science from Macalester College in 2004. Prior to joining ICWC Jessica was a school counselor in the Bay Area serving immigrant children and families. Jessica was an immigrant rights advocate at the East Bay Sanctuary in Berkeley, CA where she worked on asylum cases, specializing in cases of domestic violence and the Guatemalan genocide, and coordinated the ESL program for pre-literate immigrants. At Annunciation House in El Paso, TX she served as a house coordinator and case manager in a shelter serving unaccompanied minors, asylum seekers, and immigrant families. Jessica has volunteered with No More Deaths in Tucson, AZ providing humanitarian aid on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border. Jessica has also interned with community organizations advocating for equal access to education, health and human rights in Nicaragua and Mexico. Email Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jessica Hanson is a Legal Assistant in the ICWC San Francisco office. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies with minors in Chemistry and Business Administration from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2010. During her undergraduate career, Jessica studied and worked in Mexico, Ecuador, and Spain. In 2009, she completed an internship position as a political research analyst for the Latin America region with Secretary Madeleine Albright’s global strategy firm, The Albright Group (Now Albright Stonebridge Group). After graduation, she immediately began working with immigration law through an internship with the American Bar Association’s Immigration Justice Project in San Diego, which led her to a Legal Assistant position with Casa Cornelia Law Center, also located in San Diego. At Casa Cornelia Law Center, she served victims of domestic violence and other serious crimes in applying for immigration relief through predominately U Visa, VAWA, and Adjustment cases. Email Jessica at email@example.com.
Monica Martinez is a Legal Assistant in the ICWC San Francisco office. Monica graduated from Saint Mary’s College of California in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While attending Saint Mary’s, Monica was an active participant in the Bonner Leader Program and volunteered at East Bay Sanctuary Covenant in Berkeley, CA. As an immigrant rights advocate at East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, Monica worked on Asylum cases and collaborated with board members in preparation for the organization’s annual fundraiser. Monica also spent some time at an orphanage in Mexico as an English teacher. She worked at La Raza Community Resource Center, an organization providing vital social and immigration services to families in San Francisco’s Mission District. Email Monica at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lourdes Mendoza is a Legal Assistant in the ICWC Los Angeles office. In 2012, she received her Bachelor’s Degree from Wellesley College, and earned a double major in Women and Gender Studies with a focus on Latina/Chicana studies, and Spanish. At Wellesley, she was also a campus organizer with Mezcla de Wellesley that helped advocate for DREAMers, and equal access to higher education. She studied abroad in Cordoba, Spain and Puebla, Mexico. During her time in Mexico, she interned with Comisión Estatal para la Atención al Imigrante Poblano, assisting with immigration cases for immigrants from Puebla living abroad. She also interned at the Community Legal Services and Counseling Center in Cambridge, MA as an assistant and translator to the immigration lawyers where she worked with U Visa, VAWA and asylum cases. Email Lourdes at email@example.com
Victoria Ramirez is an Intake Coordinator at the ICWC San Francisco office. She is a graduate of San Francisco State University where she earned a double major in Raza Studies and Psychology in 2010. While attending SFSU she was active in various organizations such as La Raza Student Organization, where she was a coordinator spreading cultural and political awareness of the many cultures of Latino America. Victoria was involved in organizing numerous events that encouraged higher education for youth and immigrant advocacy at SFSU. Victoria was also a dedicated patient advocate for La Clínica Martín-Baró, a SFSU student-run free health clinic serving the underserved/ uninsured immigrant population in San Francisco’s Mission District. After graduating she interned for San Jose’s Center for Employment Training: Immigration and Citizenship Program where she worked on U visa, VAWA, Naturalization and DACA cases. Victoria is currently working with different youth groups presenting on financial literacy in the San Jose area to encourage higher education. As an Undocumented Dreamer herself, she is dedicated in continuing advocacy and being an activist for immigrant rights. Email Victoria at firstname.lastname@example.org
Héctor Ruiz is a Legal Assistant in the ICWC Los Angeles office. Héctor graduated from San Diego State University in 2012 with bachelor’s degrees in International Security and Conflict Resolution, and French Language and Literature. During his undergraduate career, he was a sustainable agriculture intern at Wild Willow Farm & Education Center, an organization that focused on food justice education and advocacy. In addition, he was treasurer of the SDSU chapter of the International Rescue Committee, which aimed to raise awareness of the growing refugee community in Southern California. While in San Diego, he volunteered as an English and Math tutor to children of immigrant parents at the Southern Sudanese Community Center. Before transferring to SDSU, Hector was treasurer of Unidos por un Mismo Idioma, the Spanish-speaking society at Texas Tech University, where he also helped establish a strong recognition of the Latino/a presence in the small Lubbock, Texas community. Héctor also studied French language and culture during five weeks in Montpellier, France, and later studied Mandarin Chinese language and culture during a semester in Beijing, People’s Republic of China. Before joining ICWC, Héctor was a volunteer caseworker for the VAWA/U-Visa and the Economic Justice programs at the Paso Del Norte Civil Rights Project in his hometown of El Paso, Texas, where he was also part of the Labor Justice Committee, a member-led effort to recover unpaid wages through peaceful methods. Email Héctor at email@example.com.
Brenda Torres is a Legal Assistant in the ICWC San Francisco office. She received a Bachelor’s Degree from UC Berkeley in May 2011, and earned a double major in Chicano Studies and American Studies with a concentration in Social Psychology and the American legal system. While at Berkeley, Brenda completed a senior thesis on Mental Illness among African American and Latino adolescents and the need for school based mental health services. She was involved in numerous organizations such as By Any Means Necessary (BAM), which is a coalition that defends affirmative action, integration, & immigrant rights. Brenda also participated in Alternative breaks project and worked with the United Farm Workers of America. She completed an internship with San Francisco’s District Attorney Kamala Harris. Brenda studied abroad in Madrid, Spain and participated in a semester-long program in Universidad Carlos III. In addition to Brenda’s studies, she is also an immigrant rights activist. In 2006, she assisted U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Lee with an immigration forum in Oakland. She also volunteered at Central Legal de la Raza, and worked at a Workers Compensation law firm as a Legal Assistant. Brenda is currently a youth group coordinator at St. Anthony’s Church, where she attends weekly meetings with approximately twenty youth, and delivers workshops on higher education. Email Brenda at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rosa Villalobos is a Legal Assistant in the ICWC San Diego office. Rosa graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) in 2007 with a Bachelor’s Degree in both Sociology, and Italian Cultural Studies. Since graduating, Rosa has dedicated her time to immigration related services for low-income communities. She was part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, and assisted farm workers in rural North Carolina with basic rights and income tax concerns. Rosa worked as a law clerk at the Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. (CLASI) in Delaware, where she focused on seeking relief for undocumented victims of violent crimes through U Visa and VAWA petitions. During her most recent internship in San Diego, CA, Rosa assisted with cancellation of removal and adjustment of immigration status cases. Email Rosa at email@example.com.
Elvia Zepeda is a Legal Assistant in the ICWC Los Angeles office. Elvia graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2008 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chicana and Chicano Studies. While attending the university, she was involved in outreach and retention programs aimed at the successful transfer of underrepresented and first generation community college students and to their retention once at the university. She was a Peer Mentor for the Center for Community College Partnerships and Co-chair for the Student Transfer Opportunity and Mentorship Program (S.T.O.M.P). Elvia was also a founding member of La Joteria de UCLA, a Chicana/o Latina/o LGBT organization. Since 1999, she has been an active member of Comisión Femenil, San Fernando Valley Chapter- a nonprofit organization in the San Fernando Valley supporting Latinas, her families, and her community through education, scholarship, and leadership. Prior to joining ICWC, Elvia worked at the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) as a legal intern where she worked on U Visa and VAWA cases. Email Elvia at firstname.lastname@example.org.