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Image - Meet the 2021 LLSA Board Members

October 13, 2021

Meet our 2021 Latino Law Students Association Board Members

We are excited to introduce the following group of students as the next generation of leaders and changemakers pioneering our Latino Law Students Association. 

The Latino Law Student Association (LLSA) is dedicated to helping its members achieve success in law school by providing a supportive forum that addresses minority issues and concerns regarding legal education.

 Co-President - Chelsea Zaragoza

Image - ZaragozaYear: 3L, Traditional Day
Future Aspiration: A career in public service. 
Activities: LAWS Teaching Assistant, Law Journal Associate Editor, Peer Mentor, Mexican American Bar Association Co-Vice-Chair, Member of the Women’s Law Association and Criminal Law Society, and former Community Lawyering Clinic Law Clerk.
Favorite Quote: "Ganas is all you need." - Jaime Escalante.  
Fun Fact: I served in the U.S. Army Reserve in the medical field for six years before law school. 
Hispanic/Latino Role Model: My mom and dad for showing me that anything is possible. 


 Co-President - Andy De La Cruz

Image - De La CruzYear: 3L, Traditional Day
Future Aspiration: I would love to possibly clerk for a federal judge and then practice in civil litigation. I would also love to go back to where I started my journey in the legal field, as a legal aid paralegal, and become involved with non-profit organizations through attorney volunteer and pro-bono work. 
Activities: Dean's Fellow Program, Law Review, Moot Court, Writing Center Fellow, Appellate Litigation Clinic.
Favorite Quote: "The journey is just as important as the destination." 
Fun Fact: I have an unhealthy obsession with sneakers. 
Hispanic/Latino Role Model: Sylvia Mendez.


 Co Vice-President - Art Garcia

Image - GarciaYear: 3L, Traditional Day
Future Aspiration: Practice labor and employment law for a large firm. 
Activities:  LLSA, Labor and Employment Law Association, Dean’s Fellow, Peer Mentor, Law Clerk for Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost
Favorite Quote: “All you need is a plan, a purpose, and a motto, and quit living life like you 'bout to hit the lotto.” - Too $hort
Fun Fact: I am a dog-dad (Husky Gigi), cat-dad (K.T.), and boy-dad to a 12-year-old son Daniel.
Hispanic/Latino Role Model: California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso.


 Co Vice-President - Kari Van Sinden

Image - Van SindenYear: 2L, Part-Time Evening
Future Aspiration: Be the best advocate I can for myself and my clients. 
Activities: LLSA, Dean’s Fellow, Trial Advocacy Honors Program, SW Golf Society, MIALS, WLA, and Paralegal for LAUSD.
Favorite Quote: "Remember that no one succeeds alone. Never walk alone in your future paths." -  Sonia Sotomayor.
Fun Fact: I have two cats Ruthless and D.C. (for Darn Cat or Demon Creature depending on the day).
Hispanic/Latino Role Model: Every beautiful, brilliant person on the LLSA Board. 


Treasurer - Leslie Luis-Mendez

Image - Luis-MendezYear: 3L, Traditional Day
Future Aspiration: To be an advocate to the immigrant community. 
Activities: Latino Law Student Association, Peer Mentor Program, Contracts Teaching Assistant, and Extern at Immigration Law firm.
Favorite Quote: "We must use our lives to make the world a better place to live, not just to acquire things. That is what we are put on the earth for." - Dolores Huerta
Fun Fact: Before I began my law school career, I was a “professional organizer” for the rich and famous.
Hispanic/Latino Role Model: My immigrant parents who arrived with nothing, but have given me everything and more. I am eternally grateful.


 Secretary - Monica Boston

Image - BostonYear: 2L, Part-Time Evening
Future Aspiration: I hope to one day open a multipurpose nonprofit in the neighborhood I grew up in that provides pro bono legal services, after-school programs, and education on financial literacy. 
Activities: LLSA and Moot Court
Favorite Quote: "Pies, para que los quiero, si tengo alas para volar." - Frida Kahlo
English translation: Feet, what do I need them for, when I have wings to fly. 
Fun Fact: I can eat a ridiculous amount of KBBQ.   
Hispanic/Latino Role Model: My mom - the original Dreamer. 


Historian - Isamar Negrete

Image - NegreteYear: 2L, Traditional Day
Future Aspiration: Working in entertainment (video games, film/tv, and/or directly with talent)
Activities:  Vice President of Video Game Law Society, ABA representative of Student Bar Association, Secretary of Bisong Acapella, and member of Negotiation Honors Program.
Favorite Quote: "Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light."
Fun Fact: I play video games or watch streamers to destress.
Hispanic/Latino Role Model: Selena Gomez – trailblazer, philanthropist and advocate for the Latin community.


Academic Director - Stevie Thackeray

Image - ThackerayYear: 2L, Traditional Day
Future Aspiration: To start my own animal non-profit organization.
Activities: Dancing, reading, binging British TV shows, cooking, and writing.
Favorite Quote: "Whatever you do, do it with passion. The rest comes by itself." - Fabiola Haro. 
Fun Fact: I love languages. I speak Spanish and French fluently and have studied and many more such as Italian, Portuguese, Sign Language, and German.
Hispanic/Latino Role Model: Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor.


Moot Court Chair - Cindy Medrano

Image - MedranoYear: 3L, Traditional Day
Future Aspiration: I want to become an immigration lawyer and then an immigration judge in order to help my immigrant community against strict and unjust immigration laws and policies.
Activities: I like going out to eat, watching Bob's Burgers, and doing too much online shopping.
Favorite Quote: "...the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members." - Pearl Buck
Fun Fact: I can sing all 50 states in alphabetical order!
Hispanic/Latino Role Model: Maria Felix, an extremely outspoken woman in Mexico's Golden Age of films, refusing to be placed into small roles in cinema. She knew her worth as a woman and never accepted any less. She refused to be talked down to. A true Latina feminist inspiration in a time where an outspoken woman was an anomaly!


Alumni Chair - Carlos Valenzuela

Image - ValenzuelaYear: 3L, Traditional Day
Future Aspiration: I aspire to become an appellate litigator.
Activities: I enjoy going to the golfing range, although I admit I’m terrible. It is relaxing and is an excellent way to relax. I have returned as a Law Clerk with Carpenter Rothans and Dumont. In addition, my single most favorite activity in law school is Moot Court. I will compete with my teammates virtually at the Leroy R. Hassell, Sr. National Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition.
Favorite Quote: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."
Fun Fact: My celebrity icon is Fernando Valenzuela.
Hispanic/Latino Role Model: My father.


Community Relations Chair - Jaqueline Flores Reyes

Image - Flores ReyesYear: 3L, Traditional Day
Future Aspiration: I hope to become a housing rights attorney and work in the non-profit sector. Additionally, I hope to start my own non-profit and become a professor. 
Activities:  I love to practice calligraphy and brush lettering, watercolor, and play with my 3-month puppy! 
Favorite Quote: "Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world." - Dolores Huerta 
Fun Fact: I have a master's degree in history.
Hispanic/Latino Role Model: Mi mamá and all the resilient mujeres in my family.


Co - Social Chair  - Laura Ayon 

Image - AyonYear: 2L, Traditional Day
Future Aspiration: To serve and be a resource for my community.   
Activities: Latino Law Students Association, Access to Asylum Project, and Intern for the offices of Michael M. Felix.
Favorite Quote: "It always seems impossible until its done" - Nelson Mandela
Fun Fact: I own a chubby and beautiful pet pig.
Hispanic/Latino Role Model: My mother and father who immigrated to the U.S. with absolutely nothing and showed me that anything is possible when you work hard and you dream big.


Co - Social Chair  - Tatiana Owens 

Image - OwensYear: 3L, Traditional Day
Future Aspiration: My professional interests are in public interest and criminal defense.
Activities: I am also a member of BLSA, a JHP Fellow, a TA for Professor Caldwell’s Criminal Law classes, a Peer Mentor, and a LLSA Mentor.
Favorite Quote: "Help people evolve from becoming victims, to becoming survivors, to becoming fighters for change."
Fun Fact: A fun fact about me is I couldn’t make up my mind so I bought three Halloween costumes. 
Hispanic/Latino Role Model: My role model is Jane M. Torrez an amazing Public Defender, mom, and woman.


2L SCALE Representative - Alexa Chavez

Image - ChavezYear: SCALE II 
Future Aspiration: Local elected official.
Activities: Senior Advocate in the Trial Advocacy Honors Program, Peer Mentor Program for SCALE, Teaching Assistant for LAWS, Research Assistant for Alternate Dispute Resolution, #BisonVote founder.
Favorite Quote: “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou 
Fun Fact: I used to be a hand model, and still on the back of every bottle of Pine-Sol!
Hispanic/Latino Role Model: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.


1L SCALE Representative - Angelica Gonzalez

Image - GonzalezYear: SCALE I
Future Aspiration: I want to be the best advocate I can be and give back to my community! Hopefully working within public interest/ criminal law!  
Activities:  Criminal Law Society Representative as well as LLSA Representative. 
Favorite Quote: "Maybe the two different worlds we lived in weren't so different. We saw the same sunset." ― S.E. Hinton, The Outsiders
Fun Fact: I've never broken a bone!! (knock on wood!) 
Hispanic/Latino Role Model: Mis Padres!


1L Section A Representative - Karla Luviano

Image - LuvianoYear: 1L, Traditional Day
Future Aspiration: I hope to one day have the ability to open a non-profit in my hometown that is geared toward providing legal assistance and other services to incarcerated youth.
Activities: I am currently a member of the Sports Law Society and LLSA. I look forward to joining other organizations on campus! Outside of school, I love working out, getting my nails/hair done, and watching sports! I am a big football fan (Go Saints!) and participate in fantasy football leagues.
Favorite Quote: "No such thing as a life that's better than yours..." - J. Cole
Fun Fact: I have 2 dogs and they are my besties!
Hispanic/Latino Role Model: My role models are my parents! Their hard work and dedication inspire me daily and keeps me going.

 1L Section B Representative - Vanessa Martinez

Image - MartinezYear: 1L, Traditional Day
Future Aspiration: I’d like to be a prosecutor, using my experience as a woman of color to address racial bias in our criminal justice system. 
Activities: Latino Law Students Association, Christian Legal Society
Favorite Quote: "Every part of the journey is of importance to the whole."  - St. Teresa of Ávila
Fun Fact: I crochet.
Hispanic/Latino Role Model: My grandmother, whose example has encouraged me to chase my dreams and never give up.


1L Section C Representative - Ashley Kim

Image - KimYear: 1L, Traditional Day
Future Aspiration: Non-profit attorney for Family Law or Immigration. 
Activities:  Hiking, crocheting, and binge-watching TV series
Favorite Quote: "Cuando hay ganas, todo se puede!" – UNK
Fun Fact: I have traveled to South Korea and Europe! If I was able to afford it, I would spend the rest of my days traveling the entire world.
Hispanic/Latino Role Model: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC)!!!!!!!



1L Evening Representative - Ernesto Bustinza

Image - BustinzaYear: 1L, Part-Time Evening
Future Aspiration: To practice entertainment or immigration law and to be able to serve my community.  
Activities: LLSA, ELS, SBA, and Full-Time Paralegal at Mattel.
Favorite Quote: "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill
Fun Fact: I play the violin and I'm a member of the LA Lawyers Philharmonic. 
Hispanic/Latino Role Model: My parents.