University of Iowa
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Kristie De Pena (Class of 2010)

Hometown: Corpus Christi, TX

Undergraduate school and major: Political Science and Communications

Extra-curricular or co-curricular activities in which you were involved during law school:

Moot Court Board

Journal of Gender, Race, and Justice



Phi Alpha Delta

What did you come to law school to become:

A more powerful, more thoughtful advocate.

Your favorite Iowa Law memory:

Being crowned "Iowa Law Prom Queen" with an "I'm 30" sash (it was not my birthday!). A great reminder to never take things too seriously.

Current employer:

Niskanen Center


Washington, D.C.

Job title:

Director of Immigration & Senior Counsel

Previous positions:

Consultant with the Department of State

What is your pinnacle career goal:

To radically change immigration our immigration system in America.

Description of what you do:

As the Director of Immigration at a non-partisan advocacy organization on Capitol Hill, I work to forge alliances among people with wide-ranging backgrounds but common interests and goals. I read, write, and analyze legislation and regulations and work with members on the Hill to improve immigration policy. I regularly author op-eds, appear in the media, and speak publicly at informational panels for all types of audiences, with the ultimate goal of making America a safer, more prosperous, and more welcoming national for all.

What do you wish your 1L/2L/3L self knew about the job search:

There are so many job paths out there; spend the time exploring what people do all over the world. Don't limit yourself to common career paths or nearby cities. Talk to people!

What advice do you have for success in summer positions:

Start early, be deliberate about the places you choose to apply, and make sure you don't have spelling errors in your application documents. I do not followup with anyone who cannot proof two pages.