Featured Lawtina: Audris Ponce

I truly admire the heart and drive of our community members. Today’s featured Lawtina begins in journalism and and now a soon-to-be attorney. She is a Trailblazer!

Thank you Audris for sharing your story with us. Audris is a 2019 graduate from Thurgood Marshall Law School. Below is her story: 

I am a first-generation American, the eldest of three children, and the first in my family to graduate from college in this country. My parents are from Mexico and like many immigrants, they made great sacrifices to pursue better opportunities. Seeing how hard my parents worked inspired me to do just the same. 

As an undergraduate student at the University of Houston, I interned with the Houston Chronicle and the New York Times. I graduated magna cum laude from the University of Houston, with a double major in Political Science and Journalism. Following graduation, I worked as a newspaper reporter in Odessa, Texas, where I covered crime. As the only Latina and Spanish-speaking reporter on staff, I helped ensure greater coverage of stories about immigrant communities. Journalism calls for impartiality, but I wanted to take a more proactive approach when it came to matters I was passionate about, particularly immigration. I was nervous about leaving journalism, a field that I love to this day. But I knew I wanted to do something different where I could be more vocal on important social issues. 

I felt I could achieve this goal as an attorney. Throughout law school, I clerked at an immigration law firm and worked in the immigration law clinic. Our clients would disclose to me their darkest times, including violence and abuses they’d suffered. That was when I realized the trust people put in the legal system, and the responsibility of attorneys to advocate for them. They told me stories that they normally wouldn’t share with anyone else. 

These experiences solidified my desire to be a lawyer, especially during a time in our country where immigration is a point of intense contention. It is my hope to share what I’ve learned through my experiences to help families, just like my own, that are striving for a better life.