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PILI Alumni Spotlight: Ruth Lopez-McCarthy, 2007 & 2008 Law Student Intern

Ruth Lopez-McCarthy

Ruth Lopez-McCarthy is an Alum of PILI’s Internship Program. In 2007, she was an Intern at the Chicago Legal Clinic and in 2008, she was an Intern at LAF and worked on civil legal issues. Since then, she has remained committed to service and now works as a Managing Attorney at the National Immigrant Justice Center.

She has a Bachelor’s in Spanish from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Juris Doctorate from Chicago-Kent College of Law. She was always interested in working in the public interest sector and was pleased to meet other law students who felt the same at PILI. “I remember walking into the first PILI Intern luncheon and was filled with this profound joy that there were other students that aspired to work in public interest and feeling like I was not alone,” she said.

Immigrant rights and immigration reform have been central to Ruth’s legal career. After law school, she worked at several immigrant rights organization in Washington, D.C. and Chicago, including Reform Immigration America, the Northern Border Coalition, Alliance for Citizenship, and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. She worked for several years as a freelance contractor for other immigrant rights organizations before joining the National Immigrant Justice Center in January. She now manages the Legal Protection Fund, a City of Chicago-funded initiative aimed at educating the community and providing immediate legal information, screenings, consultations and representation to individuals who may be at risk of deportation.

She is grateful that she has been connected to PILI throughout her legal career. “From the start of my career, I was connected to a group of individuals that understood my passions and mentored me through law school and as an attorney,” she said. “The relationships I made as a PILI Intern and Alum have thoroughly enhanced my personal life and career as an attorney.”

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