IIT Chicago-Kent graduate Anna Lusero '10 receives Equal Justice Works Fellowship

Alumna will provide legal services and outreach to immigrant victims of employment-related crimes

Monday, May 17, 2010

Anna Lusero, a 2010 graduate of IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, has been selected to receive a two-year Equal Justice Works Fellowship. Lusero will spend her fellowship period at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago—in collaboration with Working Hands Legal Clinic—where she will provide legal services and outreach to immigrant victims of employment-related crimes who are eligible for immigration relief through a U visa.

Anna Lusero '10 is one of 43 people nationwide chosen as a 2010 Equal Justice Works fellow.
Anna Lusero '10 is one of 43 people nationwide chosen as a 2010 Equal Justice Works fellow.

Established in 1992, the Equal Justice Works Fellowship program is the largest postgraduate legal fellowship program in the country. Equal Justice Works fellows design projects with nonprofit organizations providing legal services in low-income and under served communities in a range of issue areas, including homelessness prevention, immigration, criminal defense and Native American rights.

Lusero, one of only 43 people nationwide chosen as 2010 Equal Justice Works fellows, is the first Chicago-Kent student ever selected for the program. The goals of Lusero's project are to educate workers about their labor rights, expand the use of the U visa to work-related crimes, and as a result, further the enforcement of state and federal labor laws, protection of workers, and prosecution of abusive employers.

A native of Colorado, Lusero attended the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where she graduated summa cum laude with a dual major in Spanish and history. On May 16, she received a J.D. from IIT Chicago-Kent with a certificate in public interest law.

Lusero was motivated to do public interest work by friends, family and neighbors who, she says, "have been silenced by threats of deportation, and those who have been brave enough to risk everything and stand up to abusive employers. Simply because we were born on different sides of a line, their experience and expectation of justice are completely different from mine, and that made me angry. That anger inspired me to get involved in social justice issues. I don't want people to have to be afraid to speak out and exercise their rights, regardless of which side of a line they were born on."

As an undergraduate, Lusero served in AmeriCorps programs in Denver and Albuquerque, where she assisted children of migrant farm workers and served as a patient advocate. She also served as a legal assistant for Catholic Charities' Immigrant Resource Center. Before entering law school, Lusero volunteered at various public interest and international organizations in Ghana, Syria, Mexico and the southwestern United States.

While a student at Chicago-Kent, Lusero worked in the Office of the Illinois Attorney General, the Legal Aid Bureau of Metropolitan Family Services, Working Hands Legal Clinic and Chicago-Kent's Immigration Law Clinic. She also served as a legal intern for the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago's migrant legal assistance project and the immigration project. Lusero has served as president of the Hispanic-Latino Law Student Association and on the boards of the National Lawyers Guild, Kent Justice Foundation, Immigration Law Society, and Public Interest Law Initiative.

In January 2010, she traveled to New Orleans as part of the Student Hurricane Network, which provides assistance to Gulf Coast residents impacted by the 2005 hurricanes. Lusero worked at the New Orleans Worker Center for Racial Justice on issues related to immigrant workers adversely affected by post-Katrina rebuilding efforts in the city. In April 2010, Lusero was named to Chicago-Kent's Bar & Gavel Society for students who have distinguished themselves through outstanding service to the law school, the community and the legal profession. She also received a Dean's Distinguished Public Service Award for her volunteer work.