Alexandra Franco '16 named as a 2018 Equal Justice Works Fellow

Alexandra Franco, a 2016 graduate of Chicago-Kent College of Law at Illinois Tech, has been selected as a 2018 Equal Justice Works Fellow. Starting in September, Franco will implement the new Housing Opportunity Project for Equity (HOPE), hosted by Cabrini Green Legal Aid in Chicago, where she will represent families in danger of losing their housing vouchers. 

HOPE will provide legal representation at administrative review proceedings of cases involving the termination of families’ housing vouchers due to the alleged criminal activity of a household member. Without an attorney, families are often unable to navigate the complexities of these proceedings, and the decision to terminate a voucher is often upheld even if the voucher was wrongfully terminated. 

During her two-year fellowship, Franco will also establish a referral system with the Circuit Court of Cook County and other legal aid organizations, recruit attorneys to work pro bono, conduct training sessions for those attorneys, and develop a practitioners’ guide. Her fellowship is sponsored by Jenner & Block LLP and United Airlines.

Franco first began working with Cabrini Green Legal Aid as an extern in its Criminal Defense Department. She also spent six months as an extern for the Honorable Stuart Palmer of the Illinois Appellate Court, through the law school’s Judicial Externship Program, and worked as a law clerk at Rush University Medical Center’s Office of Legal Affairs and at Regina P. Etherton & Associates LLC in Chicago. 

Since June 2016, Franco has worked at the Chancery Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Franklin U. Valderrama in matters including business organizations law, trusts, property, administrative review and constitutional law. In 2015, she began working for Chicago-Kent’s Institute for Science, Law and Technology (ISLAT), directed by Distinguished Professor Lori Andrews, as a student research assistant and returned post-graduation as a research associate. Franco continues to collaborate with ISLAT as an affiliated scholar.

Franco has published three law review articles, the most recent of which she co-authored along with Professor Andrews and two other researchers. The article titled Virtual Clinical Trials: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back was published in the Journal of Health Care Law & Policy in 2017.  

Before law school, Franco earned a bachelor's degree in political science at Loyola University Chicago. She is a graduate of Nicholas Senn High School, a Chicago public school and recently joined their alumni board. 

Equal Justice Works is a national leader in creating public interest opportunities for law students and lawyers. Equal Justice Works Fellows, who receive funding from law firms, corporations and private foundations, design two-year projects in conjunction with nonprofit organizations that have first-hand knowledge of the most critical needs in the communities they serve.

Founded in 1888, Chicago-Kent College of Law is the law school of Illinois Institute of Technology, also known as Illinois Tech, a private, technology-focused, research university offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, science, architecture, business, design, human sciences, applied technology, and law.

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