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Iveliz Orellano, recipient of the Women’s Bar Foundation scholarship, has done a little bit of everything while at The John Marshall Law School. Orellano accepts the $7,000 scholarship as the only recipient from John Marshall.
Now the chief justice of the Moot Court Honors Program, Orellano, a third-year student, has been involved with Latino Law Students Association, Trial Advocacy Honors Council and The John Marshall Law Review. She has been a teaching assistant and is currently a student ambassador.
“It’s funny, there was a mandatory interview for the scholarship, and I was in Austria for the Willem [C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court] Competition, and I had to interview via Skype,” remembered Orellano. “They were really nice about that.”
Among her activities at John Marshall, Orellano clerks part-time at the People’s Law Office in Chicago’s Noble Square neighborhood. The mother of two young children, Orellano is hoping to go into civil rights litigation or criminal defense.
“Because of my experience working in the domestic violence field, I saw the difference it makes when you have a law degree to help people in that field,” Orellano said. She has worked at Rainbow House and Sarah’s Inn, both Chicago-area nonprofit agencies that help victims of domestic abuse.
Orellano’s interest in Moot Court came during her Lawyering Skills I course, when Professor Joanne Hodge required the class to prepare appellate arguments for each memo.
“She made us get over that fear, and she pushed me to do the Moot Court 1L Competition, which helped prepare me for Herzog,” Orellano remembers. She went on to place first in the summer 2011 Herzog competition.
Hodge said Orellano won the Herzog competition based on an impeccable brief, strong oral arguments and sheer determined tenacity. “Iveliz works and works until she has reached excellence,” Hodge said.
Orellano soon became involved with the Moot Court Honors Council. “I love moot court because it’s so practical,” Orellano said. “In moot court you have to write briefs and practice writing. I wanted to practice that and oral advocacy skills.”
During the interview process for board positions, Professor Ardath Hamann, director of the Moot Court Honors Program, found Orellano to be articulate and self-assured, with excellent academic credentials.
“She gave very thoughtful answers to our questions,” Hamann said.
Board members encouraged Orellano to apply for the chief justice position, and she was selected in late spring of 2012.
“We voted her in as chief justice based on her articulated vision for the program, leadership and superb outreach work with all parts of this school,” Hodge said.
“It’s a huge time commitment, but I’m happy I got selected,” Orellano said.
Orellano received a bachelor of arts in cultural studies from Columbia College.