By Caroline Yu | Your Valley
Before Ana Guzman immigrated to the United States, she always had a passion for the law and legal matters.
In her home country of Guatemala, Ms. Guzman attended law school for two years but when she immigrated, she was unable to finish the program.
“Since my early years, I would say I had a passion for justice, I just want to make sure that justice is served,” Ms. Guzman said. “That’s very important to me.”
Although she did not complete the program due to personal reasons, she was able to find opportunities in the U.S. where she could still pursue her passion.
Her first job in the legal field was as a legal assistant with Friendly House, a non-profit dedicated to helping new immigrants.
There, she was able to become the then equivalent of a Department of Justice accredited representative, which would allow her to provide legal services as a non-attorney.
“Since immigration does not offer public defenders like in the criminal justice system, they offer the accreditation for nonprofit organizations to be able to give that assistance to low-income individuals,” Ms. Guzman said.