#PeopleofNIU Photo by Danielle Guerra/Creative Services
Hometown: Cicero, IL
Major: College of Lawy
Why did you decide to continue your education in law school?
My dad (Charles Hernandez) was in law school for a year. However, there were some familial health related obligations with his mother, my grandmother, that required him to work instead of finish school. So, after that first year he took the route to becoming a police officer and he was really successful in doing that. But ever since I was little he's always been helped motivate me. He'd always say, 'You're really good at these subjects, I think you'd be a really good attorney someday'. So I always had dad giving me a nudge. My mom had my older sister young but went back to school later to finish college. The importance of education was definitely emphasized growing up. My parents are definitely the reason I'm here.
Since starting at the NIU College of Law, what have you liked most?
Specifically, at the NIU College of Law, I like that tight knit community feel. You'll hear this from most students you ask, we're not a cut-throat, competitive bunch of personalities. I think the camaraderie is in the atmosphere and the desire to see each other succeed is important; that's what makes our place unique. We are public interest focused, and no matter what career path we each take down the line, you can say I sat next to that person or I can tell you a few things about that person. It's nice to have that community feel.
Which professors have stood out in your time here?
I have a handful actually. That's another part of our community, you have professors who also want to see you succeed. They are willing to put that investment into you and you see that. There's such a variety of professors who take an interest in their students and ask what they like and what they are looking to pursue and ask how they can help get them a job. I really appreciate that about the faculty., I took immigration law with Professor Anita Middali, and her compassionate approach to teaching the material was wonderful. Every student can learn from her.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Professor Robert Jones, he's a favorite in the law school community. He's really got a way of breaking down material so students can absorb it and do a good job on the Bar exam.
Another professor is Professor Michael Oswalt, he's the professor that engaged me in the labor and employment law realm of my studies. I followed that up with an externship that intersected immigration and employment law.
Professor David Taylor, was my section one civil procedure professor, and since then I've taken evidence, trial advocacy and advanced trial advocacy with him. He's a very mellow soul that loves teaching and loves to see students develop along the way. There's a really good bunch of professors here.