Lawtina Feature: Katherine Azcona

Katherine Azcona is a born and bred New Yorker and daughter of immigrant parents from the Dominican Republic.  

Katherine graduated Magna Cum Laude from the CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies Program in 2015. She created her own major and studied International Relations and Human Rights, focusing on Latin American and Middle Eastern Politics. She was awarded the Thomas W. Smith Academic Fellowship, a full scholarship, for her academic excellence. In the summer of 2014, Katherine studied abroad in Morocco at the Center for Cross-Cultural Learning with the City College of New York (CCNY). Katherine was also a research assistant for the Center International Human Rights at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and she was a part of the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society. Additionally, Law school, Katherine was part of the Mississippi Project, where she clerked for Jaribu Hill in Tennessee, and she was a part of Sorensen Center's Cuban Comparative Law Program. After graduation, she took a year off and worked as a paralegal in a personal injury firm.

Since her sophomore year of college, Katherine has been organizing with the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) to raise awareness about the human rights violations committed against the Palestinian people and to build solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for human rights, justice, freedom, self-determination and the right of return. After graduation, she became one of the founding members of NYC SJP to continue to build the movement for Palestine in NY. 

Katherine is a recent graduate of the City University of New York School of Law and a recipient of the Public Interest Merit Scholarship. While in law school, she was a member of her school's NLG, SJP, and LALSA chapters. She interned at Catholic Charities Immigration Services and at the Brooklyn Defenders Services' Family Defense Practice. Katherine was a recipient of the Hon. Diccia Pineda-Kirwan Summer Fellowship and of the Bergstrom Child Welfare Law Fellowship. 

She was a Notes and Comments Editor for the CUNY Law Review and a student attorney at CUNY Law's International Refugee Assistance (IRAP) Chapter conducting intakes and working with SIV applicants. She was also a student attorney at the CUNY CLEAR Project, where she addressed the legal needs of communities affected by national security and counterterrorism policies and practices. In her final year of law school, Katherine was part of the Immigrant and Non-Citizens' Rights Clinic, representing and advocating for clients in removal and immigration proceedings. 

In September, Katherine will be a staff attorney at the Bronx Defenders' Family Defense Practice.

Her advice for Latinx students thinking about in law school or currently in law school? "You can do it, believe in yourself. The imposter syndrome is real, especially as a first generation, Latinx student. Just know that you deserve to be in law school. Everyone is at a different pace than you and that's ok. Rely on your family and closest friends. You're going to miss birthdays, parties, and other gatherings, and your support system should understand that. Read your personal statement every now and then to remind yourself to keep pushing. Don't be too hard on yourself because you're on your way to achieving your ancestors' wildest dreams and to serve your community." Katherine Azcona is a born and bred New Yorker and daughter of immigrant parents from the Dominican Republic.