Life on the Outside- Alyssa Yeip-Lewerenz ’09
After graduating from Wilson in 2009 with a Bachelors of Arts (B.A.) in Political Science with an International Relations Concentration and a minor in Women Studies, I went on to attend law school at Wayne State University (WSU) in Detroit, MI. While at WSU, I was active in student organizations and participated in a summer program on International Human Rights Law in Ireland.
I was inspired to pursue a career in Immigration Law after participating in an internship during my study abroad in London, England in my second year at Wilson. This inspiration continued in my studies at WSU. During my second year of law school, I was one of eight students chosen for the Immigration and Asylum Law Clinic where I worked hands on with asylum seekers and applicants for protection under the Violence Against Women Act. My work was emotionally draining but rewarding when my clients were granted the protection they were seeking. Shortly after, I was lucky to find a position as a law clerk at a small firm in metro Detroit practicing Immigration Law. There, I expanded my understanding of Immigration Law beyond the realm of asylum. I also learned that Immigration Law does not exist in a bubble. Many other areas of law intertwined with the immigration problems my clients were facing. I soon learned I needed to expand my area of practice to family, criminal, business law and more.
I earned my Juris Doctor Degree (J.D.) in May 2012 and was licensed to practice in early 2013. My job as a clerk transitioned to my first position as an attorney. Working in a firm with only two attorneys, I quickly gained a great deal of hands on experience that my colleagues in larger firms have only just started to obtain. In my first week as an attorney I was thrust into practice with three court appearances. I was forced to learn by doing rather than by observing and my skills as an attorney are better for it.
I have since moved on to another metro Detroit firm where I continue to grow and learn. My practice includes immigration, family, criminal, and business law. While most days the practice of law certainly isn’t as glamorous as portrayed in some movies, my work has given me some wonderful rewards. I have helped keep families together in spite of the U.S.’s complex and often unforgiving immigration laws.
When I am not working, I spend most of my time at home with my husband and our dogs, Lucy and Stella.