IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law students get more than rigorous, hands-on legal training when they work under Ana Mendez Mencini (LAW ‘01), supervising attorney for IIT Chicago-Kent’s Immigration Clinic. Mencini makes sure the experience also offers a rare opportunity to learn the back-end of running a successful law practice.
The clinic, working through the Law Offices of Chicago-Kent, exposes students to entrepreneurship and teaches them how to balance the emotional demands of working with the immigrant community while running a successful, fee-based business. At any given time, Mencini and her students have 200 open files, making the clinic a demanding and distinct real-world experience. On any given day, they are helping clients with immigration issues ranging from visa status to urgent matters such as asylum requests.
As a first generation American citizen of Colombian descent, she feels especially close to the clients served through the clinic. “I love being an American and helping others become an American,” she says. Mencini is an IIT Chicago-Kent alumna who uses innovative social enterprise methods to help members of the community navigate our legal system.