B. Alvarez (JD ’21)
Compliance Counsel, Novomatic Americas Sales
Backstory: B. Alvarez (JD ’21) grew up in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago surrounded by Guatemalan relatives, including her grandmother. “She worked in a factory for 30 years, six days a week, 12-hour days, on her feet all the time,” Alvarez says. “I look at that hard work, and I just continue to tell myself her sacrifice can’t be for nothing.”
Alvarez double-majored in anthropology and comparative American studies at Oberlin College before returning to the Windy City for law school. At Loyola, Alvarez cofounded the First Generation Law Students organization, served as vice president of the Student Bar Association, and was president of the Latinx Law Student Association. An internship with Lindsey Johnson, director of continuing legal education and online communications, evolved into a mentoring relationship that Alvarez still values today.
“Lindsey is also first generation, and she has the biggest heart and soul in the world,” Alvarez says, crediting Johnson for alerting her to specific job opportunities.
“Deans are there to help you, and you’d be surprised how many of them either identify with the first-generation experience or are first-generation themselves.”
Most fulfilling part of her career: “Knowing that I’m helping people,” Alvarez says. In her previous job, people reached out with concerns about serious issues such as identity theft. She enjoyed working on the investigation and reassuring clients that everything would be OK. “It might seem small, but we can give people peace of mind about something that might really be worrying them.”
Advice for first-generation students: “Make connections with professors and staff. Deans are there to help you, and you’d be surprised how many of them either identify with the first-generation experience or are first-generation themselves. They really do want to help. Be open to making those connections.” –Kelsey Schagemann (March 2023)