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Emigrant becomes oral advocate while obtaining J.D. at College of Law

May 02, 2012

Claudia Gonzalez Jimenez will receive the Janet S. Mueller Oral Advocacy Award, given for excellence in oral advocacy and moot court competition, at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law’s convocation May 3.

It’s not a feat that she had planned for herself when she entered law school.

“I came into law school not really thinking of myself as a public speaker, but my involvement in moot court and other things have truly inspired me to be an oral advocate and made me more confident in that area,” Gonzalez Jimenez said.

Gonzalez Jimenez and her family emigrated from Mexico to Phoenix when she was three years old. She attended Emory University in Atlanta, where she double-majored in Political Science and Spanish Literature. While in college, Gonzalez Jimenez also co-founded a chapter of the Latina sorority, Lambda Theta Alpha.

Following her graduation from Emory, Gonzalez Jimenez returned to Phoenix with a teaching fellowship. She taught Latin, Spanish and American Government at Phoenix County Day School during her first year. During her second year, she created a heritage language course for native Spanish students and continued to teach American Government.

“Knowledge is power,” she said. “The more you know, the more empowered you are.”

From there, Gonzalez Jimenez traveled to Korea to teach English as a Second Language to children in elementary school through high school. While in Asia, she applied to law school, choosing the College of Law at ASU because she was interested in the Immigration Law & Policy Clinic.

“I knew that this is where that area is growing and where the demand is,” Gonzalez Jimenez aid.

While at the College of Law, she was Chair and Vice Chair of Finance for the Chicano/Latino Law Student Association, and an Articles Editor of the Law Journal for Social Justice.

Gonzalez Jimenez was a member of the Executive Moot Court Board and participated in moot court competitions every year. She was a finalist at the Oral Argument Competition in 2010 and at the Jenckes Closing Argument Competition in 2009. In 2011, she and her teammate won first place in brief writing and second place in overall oral advocacy at the Hispanic National Bar Association Moot Court Competition in New Orleans. 

Written by Meghan McCarthy