RIS’s new paralegal brings robust professional experience to CLINIC: An interview with Carolina Lugo

What type of work do you do at CLINIC?

I work as a paralegal in CLINIC’s Religious Immigration Services department.

Where did you work before joining CLINIC?

Before I joined CLINIC, I worked for a private law firm focused on immigration law. I was the direct legal assistant of the managing attorney. We represented people in removal proceedings and those detained at the border, in addition to asylum defense cases, affirmative asylum and family-based immigration.

How did you become interested in immigration?

I moved from Mexico to the United States 14 years ago. After overcoming the many challenges of learning a new culture, I realized how many immigrants like me were just trying to survive in a new country. I felt even more connected with the immigrant community after dealing with my own personal immigration issues and receiving my green card. In my first job as a legal assistant for an immigration law firm, I listened to clients’ stories and learned about their struggles back in their home countries and the complexities of their journeys coming to the United States. Through my work and life experiences, I became very passionate about helping people with their immigration issues.

What do you like most about working in religious immigration law?

I love the hard work, the professionalism and the knowledge my colleagues — paralegals and attorneys — provide to each case. Moreover, I am very grateful for this new opportunity, especially to my supervisor for all her guidance and support, since this is my first time working with religious immigration law.

What do you wish other people had told you before you took the role?

To be patient and take the learning curve one step at a time.

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring paralegal working in the immigration field, what would it be?

Do not feel frustrated when it comes to learning and digesting information. Everything is a learning process, and it is so important to be patient with yourself.

What is the most fulfilling part of your job?

When we see the positive results of our efforts and work. In addition, the calls and emails from our clients showing their appreciation for the work we do make me feel valued and reconfirm my commitment.