Jacqueline (Jackie) Hernandez
From Aguada, Puerto Rico
Civil Rights Law Clerk
Lincoln Park High – School
University of Illinois at Chicago (Bachelor of Science in Psychology)
University of Illinois at Chicago School of Law (Juris Doctor Candidate 2022)
and attempting to learn Arabic
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS/ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED IN
Member of UIC National Lawyers Guild Chapter
Member of the Latino Law Student Organization at UIC
Member of the Illinois Hispanic Lawyers Association
COMMUNITY SERVICE/PRO-BONO ACTIVITIES
I volunteer at UIC’S Pro Bono Litigation Clinic.
I am working on an appeal to challenge my client’s excessive juvenile sentence (45 years served at 100%). This violates his 8th amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment.
Growing up my mother taught me the value of fighting for social justice. We come from the oldest colony in the world and advocacy against systems of oppression is at the heart of our culture. My family’s lives are dictated by decisions they don’t have a choice in. Advocacy, such as protesting, lobbying, petitioning, and lawyering, are the only ways to challenge the United States’ imposition on Puerto Rico. Everything my mother taught me shaped my character and led me to pursue the study of law.
I traveled to South Africa and visited Nelson Mandela’s home in Soweto, Johannesburg.
WHY DO YOU WORK AT THE FIRM?
I work at the firm because I believe in the work that we do. Whether it’s advocacy in the court room or in the streets demanding reform, I’m happy to work with a team that believes in fighting for change.
WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT/WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO WORK AT THE FIRM?
I’m passionate about advocating for marginalized and vulnerable communities. There are many systemic issues in our society that work to maintain people of color and other minorities in an oppressed state. Working in the civil rights department allows me to fight to protect our clients’ constitutional rights, and that’s a gratifying feeling.
FAVORITE PART ABOUT WORKING AT THE FIRM
I enjoy the team collaboration while trying to solve complex legal problems. Everyone’s equally passionate about the work that we do and it shows when we brainstorm or work through a project together. Additionally, I enjoy being able to work with the criminal team to help with their cases in the pursuit of justice.