La Alianza, the University’s first pre-law society dedicated to Latinx students, was founded by Alexandra Ali Martinez ’22 just before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. But when the pandemic scattered students across the globe, Martinez was unable to bring the organization to full fruition.
After months of conversing and strategizing with Martinez, Fabian Antunez Lopez ’25 — current president of La Alianza — grew determined to get the organization up and running. “It was a crazy opportunity, and I was really honored to just take her brainchild and make it my own as well,” he said.
Though La Alianza has only had two general body meetings so far this semester, the organization has many programming plans in the works.
According to Michelle Alas ’25, a general body member, La Alianza intends to coordinate trips to law schools in the region, collaborate with other University pre-law organizations and offer LSAT support, among other initiatives.
La Alianza is focused on “finding out what types of resources Brown offers … and providing students with resources and information that would have been probably pretty inaccessible otherwise,” Alas said. “It’s been a great experience so far.”
The organization is also planning on inviting alums who are currently in law school or pursuing careers within the industry to speak to La Alianza members about their legal journeys, Antunez Lopez said.
“It’s different when you can have these people come and talk about their experiences. They’re more like our peers and people that we can trust who went to Brown and went through the system themselves,” he said.
For Alas, these networking opportunities are imperative to the organization’s mission of uplifting Latinx students who are considering legal careers.
“Especially as Latine students and students of color at a predominantly white institution, we need to be uplifting each other and supporting each other in every way that we can,” she said. This way, “more of us can go into this profession and into this industry (and) open up more opportunities for other Latine students in the future.”
Joel Gonzalez ’25 said that the group allows students with shared cultural backgrounds to connect and discuss their identities and passions.
“It was a safe space for us to talk about our demographic background,” Gonzalez said. “The majority of us are coming from immigrant backgrounds, and the things we want to fix are mainly immigrant reform and other (related) issues.”
Antunez Lopez emphasized the importance of representation in empowering Latinx students to excel in any career they may choose to pursue. “History is due for another Latinx movement in America,” he said. And “change happens on college campuses, especially one like this.”
But despite “really big plans” for La Alianza, Antunez Lopez acknowledged that the organization “has to start off small.”
“We’re trying to learn and gain lots of experience so that we can really launch” into the campus community, he said.
Members hope La Alianza can act as “a model organization to start opening up more inclusive organizations for Latinx students on campus,” Gonzalez said. “It’s revolutionary.”
Aniyah Nelson is a University News editor overseeing the undergraduate student life beat. She is a junior from Cleveland, Ohio concentrating in political science and sociology. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music and watching bloopers from The Office.
Sofia Barnett is a University News editor overseeing the faculty and higher education beat. She is a junior from Texas studying history and English nonfiction and enjoys freelancing in her free time.