SWLAW Blog | Future Students

Legal Clinic Leaders Bruno Rossini

May 7, 2024

Legal Clinic Leaders Series — Bruno Rossini

Meet the students who work directly with and in the community to provide quality legal representation to underserved individuals through our Legal Clinic Leaders blog series. We're excited to spotlight these all-star advocates and showcase the many different fields of law you can explore through our legal clinics and the wide range of opportunities available at Southwestern to gain practical lawyering skills. We hope their experiences will inspire YOU to join a legal clinic.

Meet LL.M. student Bruno Leonidas Rossini 

  • Immigration Law Clinic, Fall 2023

Why did you decide to participate in a clinic?

I decided to participate in the Immigration Law Clinic because it was a field in which I had no previous experience. As lawyers, having first-hand knowledge of clients and issues is a perfect opportunity to better understand the society in which we conduct our work. Thus, being part of the clinic was a remarkable chance to increase my experience and learn about the challenges that thousands face in the U.S., especially in California.

What skills and knowledge did you learn from your clinic experience?

The Immigration Law Clinic was a formative experience, and it reinforced my belief that lawyering can be transformative and create a fairer and more equal society. I increased my theoretical knowledge about the immigration system and its norms and proceedings. I am now in a better position to have a systemic view. Furthermore, the Immigration Law Clinic allowed me to connect with real cases and the clients behind the issues we deal with as lawyers. It was a reminder that lawyering demands connecting with others, listening, and defending their interests. I learned how to communicate with clients effectively and to apply the cold letter of a statute to reality. During my time at the clinic, I realized how sometimes our knowledge and privileges could be a platform to help and positively impact others' lives. 

What helped take you from student to advocate?

As students, we usually worry about acquiring all the legal foundations before engaging in professional activities. The Immigration Law Clinic reminded me of my time at the Faculty of Law and Social Science in Santa Fe, Argentina, and my willingness to use the information and skills I was learning to create more equal communities. Even though the main objective during law school is learning, several decisions need to be made during that period; those decisions will have a major impact on the professionals we will be in the future. The clinic was enriching and allowed me to assess my choices as a student. I concluded that the flame was as strong as when I initiated my career. Also, I reinforced a conviction I built when I finished my studies: law can transform our societies when it is human and close. Lastly, this experience taught me the importance of honoring the responsibility of using our voice for those who are voiceless, despite the role that we are assuming; giving our best is our duty on any occasion we represent others.

What words of advice would you have for future clinic students?

Be honest and take time to define what type of professional you want to be. The lawyering training is the beginning of a long journey, so the more adventures, experiences, and mistakes you have, the more information you will obtain to make a conscious decision about your professional profile. Make mistakes. There is no shame in error. Every time that we err is an opportunity to learn something new. Push yourself and commit to activities that you consider difficult, even impossible. If you are not used to talking with others, conduct an interview. The most valuable learning is usually outside what we consider our limits. Be brave to challenge your notions. Be critical of the system but optimistic enough to believe that improving it is possible. Paraphrasing Uruguayan professor and lawyer Eduardo Couture, lawyering is hard, challenging, and sometimes unfair. Still, our commitment is to the service of justice, a high and worthwhile principle to live for. 

Please share an inspiring anecdote from your clinic.

Through the clinic, I had the opportunity to participate in a community outreach program. You cannot claim a right that you do not know exists. This simple but compelling idea kept coming to my mind when we conducted a workshop at Los Angeles Elementary School. We focused on immigrants' rights and provided them with resources. During the workshop, "Conoce tus Derechos," the participating parents asked many immigration-related questions for over an hour. We spoke in Spanish about different scenarios, and it was shocking to realize the magnitude of the migrant reality in Los Angeles. It was rewarding to talk with them, answer their questions, and help them overcome some of the obstacles they faced, such as the language barrier. When the workshop ended, some attendees came to talk with me, and one of them said: "I did not know that I could ask for help." I left the elementary school thinking that maybe now that they know their rights, they are a step closer to being able to claim them.

Interested in learning more about the legal clinics? Visit our Clinics page here