Meet our Summer 2017 Interns


Lucas Almonte

Where are you from?

Washington Heights, Manhattan, New York.

Why did you want to intern at LJP?

As an undergraduate, I attended several LJP Law Day Fairs, educational programs, and community panels, which exposed me to the litigation and advocacy work of LJP. I wanted to intern at LJP because most of my professional experience involved legislative advocacy work to change policy and I wanted to expand my knowledge of different means to effectuate justice. LJP affords me the opportunity to explore impact litigation strategies as one of those means to justice, and my current projects and interactions with LJP attorneys will certainly help me decide whether I would like to pursue a career in litigation.

Why do you want to be a lawyer?

I want to be a lawyer to help shape the value system of our laws and ensure they reflect the interests of all members of society. Additionally, I plan to use my knowledge of the law to help others navigate complex legal landscapes. While I have an interest in several specific areas of law, like voting rights and political law, I also want to continue to explore other areas, like non-profit law and tax law, to be able to assist a wide-range of people and organizations that are serving historically marginalized and underserved communities.

What is your favorite food to eat/make?

Chicken Alfredo Pasta. I make the alfredo sauce from scratch.

What is a hidden talent?

If I disclose my hidden talent, then it would no longer be hidden!

What is your motto or philosophy?

Motto: Show up with a purpose but remain open to opportunity.

Philosophy: “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” ­- Calvin Coolidge

Mets or the Yankees or other favorite team/sport/hobby?

The Yankees. I grew up across the bridge from Yankee Stadium during the Yankees’ 1990s-2000s dynasty years with Jeter, Rivera, Posada, and Williams, so it was an easy choice to make. On another note, one of my hobbies is astronomy!


Richard Barbecho

Where are you from?

I am from Jackson Heights, Queens. My family hails from Ecuador.

Why did you want to intern at LJP?

My work with direct services providers led me to understand that individual advocacy is limited so long as underlying systems of power remain unchallenged. I want to contribute to LJP’s push for long term structural change and the vindication of basic civil rights.

Why do you want to be a lawyer?

Power in our society is wielded and shaped by our legal system. The legal system is complex and largely inaccessible by laypersons unable to invest time to comprehend or navigate it. It has historically disadvantaged people of color and the poor. I want to work towards increasing access to justice and help build a more equitable society and system.

What is your favorite food to eat/make?

Llapingachos are delicious. They’re kind of like potatoes patties stuffed with cheese. They go great with pork chops and are NOTHING LIKE AREPAS (don’t believe Wikipedia)!

What is a hidden talent?

My distal interphalangeal joint on my right index finger is double jointed.

What is your motto or philosophy?

The only motto that I would ever live by is this: “Siganme los buenos!”

Mets or the Yankees or other favorite team/sport/hobby?

Mets all the way! Also, David Rudisha is a superhuman.


Stephanie Cabrera

Where are you from?

I was born in Bayside, Queens in New York but my family is originally from Peru. I’ve lived in New Jersey since I was six.

Why did you want to intern at LJP?

As a civil rights organization fighting for the rights of Latinx community, LJP fosters an environment for progressive change. The LJP staff is completely welcome and accepting of others while advocating for the civil rights of our community. I knew I wanted to become part of that advocacy work as well as their impact litigation work and felt it would be an amazing experience to intern here!

Why do you want to be a lawyer?

I aspire to become a public interest attorney. Specifically, I’d like to focus on immigration. This is due in part by the consistent struggles I’ve seen our community face and overcome solely because of their citizenship status, the language they speak, or the skin tone they are. We need more Latinx attorneys helping our community.

What is your favorite food to eat/make?

Like most Peruvians, I got to say my favorite food to eat is Ceviche! My favorite food to make would probably have to be alfajores – they’re basically two powdery cookies filled with dulce de leche with powdered sugar on top.

What is a hidden talent?

I’m a pretty decent photographer.

What is your motto or philosophy?

“Es mejor perder un segundo de la vida que la vida en un segundo.” It’s something my dad would always say to me when I was younger and just learning how to drive – it’s best to lose a second in life than your life in a second. He would tell me to never rush to get somewhere, because what’s most important is that you reach your destination safely.

Mets or the Yankees or other favorite team/sport/hobby?

If I had to choose I’d definitely go for the Mets, but I prefer watching soccer instead. Go FC Barcelona!


Joel De La Cruz

Where are you from?

I was Born in the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico. I spent my early life in the city of Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic. I came to the Bronx when it was time to attend primary school. I've lived in New York City ever since.

Why did you want to intern at LJP?

When I first came into the LJP office I noticed a desk filled with a variety of pamphlets. One, in particular, caught my eye. It's quality, and card flip design stood out from the rest. Reading it was enlighting, to phrase it. Each side of a card had information on voting rights in both English and Spanish. The Front read "Be Prepared. Know Your Rights. Vote." I saw more than a simple information slider. I saw the power that came with education, and understanding of things. I not only saw the ability to learn and gain that power, but I also saw the ability to teach and distribute that power to those who would without it be powerless. I saw what LJP was doing and stood for in that card slider. To answer the question simply, the quality of LJP stood out from the rest.

Why do you want to be a lawyer?

The constitution and other legal documents interest me. Concepts like the Constitution being a living breathing document, which can be amended absolutely captivate my interest. The way how newer documents can find their roots in very old ones like the Magna Carter and Justinian's Code is incredible. To work in a field that not on deals in the interpretations, and understanding of these documents, but to also create new ones setting precedents for generations to come is amazing.

What is your favorite food to eat/make?

Nothing Better than Pizza after a long day at school.

What is a hidden talent?

Connecting with the crowd when speaking in public.

What is your motto or philosophy?

Integrity, Boldness, and Humility.

Mets or the Yankees or other favorite team/sport/hobby?

Let's Go Yankees!


Carina De La Paz

Where are you from?

Miami, FL

Why did you want to intern at LJP?

LJP is at the forefront of issues I care passionately about, but what impressed me most was how much the entire staff supports and respects each other. It really is a family, and that makes it a special place to work.

Why do you want to be a lawyer?

When I was a little kid someone told me I could make a career out of arguing with people about stuff being unfair.

What is your favorite food to eat/make?

Bistec de pollo empanizado. Also Cuban bread. If anyone knows where to find Cuban bread in NYC please tell me!

What is a hidden talent?

I’m actually a really good shot, but I mainly channel this into laser tag and paintball.

What is your motto or philosophy?

“I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life - and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.”

Mets or the Yankees or other favorite team/sport/hobby?

Heat fan for life!


Jesus Diaz

Where are you from?

I am first generation Mexican-American, born and raised in The Bronx, New York.

Why did you want to intern at LJP?

Ever since I finished the lawbound program in the summer 2015 I have always wanted to come back to intern at LJP. Also, I love the wide range of work LJP does

Why do you want to be a lawyer?

I want to be a lawyer because I always see saw as a child how much people like my parents struggle in many job sectors, from the restaurant industry to the construction industry. Having heard the stories of many immigrants afraid to speak up from all sorts of abuses made me want to become an attorney and speak up for people who are afraid. Also, by becoming a lawyer I will be a role model for my five younger siblings.

What is your favorite food to eat/make?

My favorite food is my mother’s chilaquiles con frijoles

What is a hidden talent?

I love playing as a goalkeeper whenever I get the opportunity to play soccer.

What is your motto or philosophy?

“Champions are defined by the adversity they face,” - Anderson Silva, former UFC champion

Mets or the Yankees or other favorite team/sport/hobby?

I am a huge boxing and soccer fan. My favorite team is Real Madrid, my favorite boxer is Oscar Valdez.


Krystlen Lata

Where are you from?

Central Florida

Why did you want to intern at LJP?

I wanted to come back home for the summer (I attend Hofstra Law in LI) and serve my community.

Why do you want to be a lawyer?

I want to play a role in making the lives of people I love who work hard in this country easier and don’t deserve the discrimination and prejudices they face daily.

What is your favorite food to eat/make?

White rice, black beans, lechon, maduros, etc. (My parents are Cuban and Dominican and they did a great job of feeding me).

What is a hidden talent?

I can binge watch Bob’s Burgers and Parks and Rec better than anyone I know.

What is your motto or philosophy?

Allow yourself to grow and never stay comfortable too long, but also take naps when you need to.

Mets or the Yankees or other favorite team/sport/hobby?

I played rugby in college.


Kevin Rossi

Where are you from?

California

Why did you want to intern at LJP?

As a way to help those in my community.

Why do you want to be a lawyer?

I was inspired by an attorney who helped my parents through a rough time and I hope to provide that same kind of assistance to those who need it.

What is your favorite food to eat/make?

Chicken Parm!

What is a hidden talent?

If you ask me a question about a recent television show, there’s a 99% chance I know the answer….

What is your motto or philosophy?

Behave as you’re in front of the queen. (From my grandma).

Mets or the Yankees or other favorite team/sport/hobby?

Sports!


Christine Tabora

Where are you from?

Miami, FL

Why did you want to intern at LJP?

I want to intern at LatinoJustice because they are the passionate about the work they do and as a result have made some impactful changes to the way Latino/a/x are treated in New York City and around the country.

Why do you want to be a lawyer?

I want to be a lawyer because it is a profession that allows me to make a difference in my community by advocating, representing and being a voice for the voiceless.

What is your favorite food to eat/make?

My favorite food to eat is the food I don’t have to cook!

What is a hidden talent?

I’m a professional napper.

What is your motto or philosophy?

“Be the kind of person your cat thinks you are” –Christine Tabora

Mets or the Yankees or other favorite team/sport/hobby?

UNC Basketball (Go Tar Heels!) and The Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet

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