Featured Lawtino: Daniel Guerrero

Daniel Guerrero is the first Lawtino to share his story on our Lawtinx Story blog at LawtinaJD.com. We are so excited to share his amazing and unique experience. Daniel, you and your family are an inspiration. Thank you! Keep shinning and thriving, Daniel! 

"My name is Daniel Guerrero. I am from Chicago Heights, Illinois and I come from a humble Mexican American family.   I am a first generation college graduate of Eastern Illinois University where I majored in Spanish and had minors in Pre-Law and Latin American Studies.  I am now a second-year law student at Northern Illinois College of Law.

Both sets of my grandparents are originally from Mexico and none of them attended a day of school.  My father only went to the fifth grade when he lived in Mexico because he had to work immediately as a child so that his younger sibling could attend school. My mother was the first of her sibling born in the U.S. and her education ended after high school.  Both of my parents were unable to further their education and instead started working early in life to help support their families.

My parents have worked extremely hard and have shed blood, sweat, and tears so that my brothers and I could have a better life.   They sacrificed a lot in order to send us to private school from kindergarten to high school. I have always thought of school as a blessing and have aimed for higher education because of them.  As a result, I worked diligently to attend Marian Catholic High School, Eastern Illinois University and Northern Illinois College of Law. My high school, Marian Catholic is a very expensive high school.  In my family’s case, the expensive doubled because I have a twin brother. When we saw our parents struggling to pay for our education, my brother and I knew we had to help. We got jobs at our high school as janitors to help my parents pay for our tuition and worked as school janitors until we graduated. Meanwhile, I also held other jobs during high school and even college to help supplement my family’s income.

My brothers and I wanted to make our parents proud and become college graduates with respectful careers.  My brothers’ dreams were to pursue careers in law enforcement and nursing. Attending law school and becoming a lawyer has always been “the dream” for me.  The older I got, the more I saw my dream turn into a goal, and I knew that it was something I had to do. My personal experiences and Latinx background are principal motivating factors for my drive to become a lawyer, among many other factors.

Not many in my family ever dreamed of seeking a bachelors degree, let alone a graduate degree.  There are no lawyers in my family; I will be the first one. In fact, when I think about all the lawyers I have met in my life, I can only recall a few that were Latinx.  Statistics show only about 4 percent of the licensed lawyers in all of the United States are Latinx. I find these statistics incredibly shattering given that we live in the twenty-first century, but I also find it incredibly motivating.  I want to see more Latinx people in the legal community and I want to be a part of making that happen.

There are many Latinx people who are victims that are in need of Legal assistance but are not given the proper service they deserve.  I am interested in practicing personal injury because I believe that this would give me an opportunity to help the Latinx community. Latinx people are often taken advantage of because of language barriers, lack of education, and lack of knowledge concerning their rights. I want to see this change and I want to be a part of that change.

I am ecstatic to say that I was the president of the NIU Latinx Law Student Association for the past academic year and was a recipient of the LLSA book scholarship in Spring 2018.  I hope to graduate from Northern Illinois College of Law in May 2020."