Maitede Barros Alumni Spotlight

Maite Garcia ’12 practices at the non-profit law firm Americans for Immigrant Justice in Miami, Florida. If you would like to speak with Maite, please contact her at (305) 573-1106 or mgarcia@aijustice.org. To view more alumni spotlight stories, click here.
 

What is your favorite Coastal memory? There are many but I think the most rewarding and fun memories came from my time with Professor Sullivan’s Disability and Public Benefits Clinic. The clients are great and each one incredibly deserving of the services the Clinic offers. I was fortunate enough to be a Certified Legal Intern by the time I participated so I got the opportunity to handle hearings in several counties and help families who truly needed it. It was a wonderful experience.
What is your proudest professional moment? Even though I am only 3 years out of law school, I have had many. I meet my clients at a very dark and difficult point in their lives so each of their cases has taught me something about myself, the law and human beings in general. That kind of work is taxing but very rewarding. One case I am particular proud of is a client who despite being underage was charged as an adult with a felony punishable by life in prison. He came from a very loving and hardworking immigrant family and had fallen into the “wrong crowd” at school. He made the very poor decision of going along with his friends and breaking into neighborhood houses. After months of work, we were able to get him a result that did not involve incarceration and will allow him to put this case behind him and move on with his life without a criminal conviction.
What is on your bookshelf? I have a Kindle…. really though, I am re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird and another book called “We were liars” by E. Lockhart
What advice do you have for someone considering law school? Make sure you want to practice law before going to law school. While there are numerous non-legal or alternative careers out there for law school graduates, the financial commitment makes a lot more sense if you are actually going to practice law at some point. I also think it is a good idea to take some time between undergraduate and law school to work, travel or otherwise gain some life experience. It will make you a better law student, a better lawyer and a better person.
Who did you call when you found out you passed the bar? My grandmother was there so she heard the screams when I pulled up my results but my first phone call was actually to my mother.