STUDENT PROFILE Jenny Lee
Working to serve others
Jenny Lee sets her sights on pro bono work
Jenny Lee is many things—a former professor, the daughter of immigrants, a law student—but above all else, she is an advocate. Through her volunteer work with organizations focused on immigration reform and human rights, Lee strives to improve the lives of vulnerable populations.
Lee enrolled at Loyola University Chicago School of Law because she wanted to enhance her impact even more. While a professor of English and humanities, she also served as her college’s Title IX deputy coordinator and investigator and grew fascinated with the intricacies of legal frameworks and case law. This exposure to legal issues opened Lee’s eyes to the pro bono work possible with a JD, especially for organizations focused on domestic violence and undocumented immigrants.
“This program has national appeal because of its flexibility and quality.”
Because Lee’s teaching and volunteering commitments made law school seem especially daunting, she sought a program that could accommodate her busy schedule. Loyola’s part-time JD program, called Weekend JD, fit the bill.
“I could go on and on about how much I love it,” she says. “It’s extremely well run. The professors are amazing and so dedicated. This program has national appeal because of its flexibility and quality.”
Focus on social justice
Given her passion areas, it’s not surprising that Lee appreciates Loyola’s emphasis on social justice and Ignatian values. “You feel that commitment to service from the professors,” she says.
In her second year, Lee took a course on humanitarian immigration law with Sarah Diaz, associate director of the School of Law’s Center for the Human Rights of Children (CHRC). Diaz was so impressed with Lee’s discipline and integrity that she invited her to join the CHRC as a research assistant.
Lee, the recipient of numerous scholarships, has held several internships during her time at Loyola and is currently a judicial law clerk. While she hasn’t retreated from her original plan to offer pro bono legal services, Lee is going all in on a career change. “I’m planning to practice education law after I graduate,” Lee says. “It’s obviously a background I’m familiar with, but [there are] also so many more new things to learn.”
Whether that means working with undocumented students, the special education population, a civil rights organization, or another area of intersection between the law and education, Lee wants to make a difference—and, armed with a JD from Loyola Law, she intends to do just that. –Kelsey Schagemann (June 2022)