STUDENT NAME: Wilda J. Rodriguez
LAW SCHOOL: New York Law School
STATUS: 4L Evening
UNDERGRADUATE: John Jay College of Criminal Justice
HOME CITY/STATE OR COUNTRY: New York, NY
Wilda J. Rodriguez is one of many aspiring attorneys who have found a financially sustainable way through law school by attending part-time and working during the day. For Rodriguez, a 4L at New York Law School, the part-time path has also become a road map to a career in immigration law and public policy.
During her first two years at NYLS, Rodriguez worked as an immigration paralegal at Balint Brown & Basri. Then in May 2013, the law school’s Office of Career Planning helped her find a job as a student legal specialist in the Law Department of the City of New York. It was a perfect match, with Rodriguez earning in December the department’s Rookie of the Year Award. She was the only law student in the Tort Division to do so.
Today, Rodriguez is president of the Latin American Law Students Association at NYLS and a delegate to the organization’s metro chapter. A recipient of the Alumni Association Scholarship, she works as a student advocate at the NYLS Safe Passage Project, which represents unaccompanied minors in the immigration process.
LAWDRAGON: What were key factors in your choice of law school?
WILDA J. RODRIGUEZ: The Evening Division program at New York Law, the number of enrolled women and under-represented minorities, the location and the campus.
LD: What do you wish you’d known about law school before enrolling?
WJR: While challenging and competitive, law school is not impossible. I found a wealth of resources, mentors and an amazing support system at NYLS.
LD: What has been your most memorable or valuable law school experience so far?
WJR: My most memorable experience was the first time I engaged in the Socratic method successfully with my law professor. After what felt like hours of questioning, I was told, “You got it! That’s exactly it!”
LD: What do you plan to do with your law degree?
WJR: Originally, I planned to focus on business immigration law, but I’ve moved that focus more to domestic immigration law issues and public interest. I thoroughly enjoy my work with local government at the City of New York Law Department.