Fordham Law Grad Who Overcame Odds Aims to Help the Vulnerable


Fordham Law student Lorena Jiron ‘17 was featured in a New York Law Journal article that traced her path to law school and her plans following graduation later this month.

Lorena Jiron’s path to law followed a personal tragedy—the death of her mother from cervical cancer in 2009. Jiron, a recent graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont who was an only child, was suddenly forced to deal with creditors and administer her mother’s estate alone.


“At the time I just felt so incredibly vulnerable,” she said. “If I had known a lawyer, if I had had any kind of knowledge about the legal system, I wouldn’t have felt that way.”

Eight years later, Jiron this month will be one of 349 students graduating from Fordham University School of Law and among about 3,600 statewide receiving their J.D. at commencement ceremonies starting May 12 (NYLJ, May 3).


The Miami native is already making her mark in the legal world. As a Stein Scholar at Fordham, she completed an academic and public interest service program for all three years of law school. She was named The National Jurist’s 25 Law School Students of the Year in March, and she has interned for New York Court of Appeals Judge Jenny Rivera, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and several immigration-law projects.



Rather than seek a lucrative career in Big Law, Jiron said she wants to use her law degree to help people who are as vulnerable or even more vulnerable than she was in the wake of her mother’s death.


She has secured an Equal Justice Works fellowship with New York City-based Day One, which works with youth to end dating abuse and domestic violence. She will focus on young women and children from immigrant communities with the goal of helping them find stability. With the assistance of lawyers from her EJW sponsors, Verizon Wireless and DLA Piper, Jiron will represent clients in family court and immigration court.


“This is the most important time for me to do this work—this is the most important time for any lawyer to do this work,” she said.


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