Alicia Merschen-Perez JD/MELP ’12
Alicia entered Northeastern determined to make an impact as an environmental lawyer. But during her third co-op, she had the opportunity to provide legal aid to Navajo tribal members in Arizona — and realized how much she enjoys using her skills to assist individuals. “My goal is to help people navigate legal issues to receive fair and equal treatment under the law,” says Alicia, who accepted a post-graduate position with a co-op employer, DNA People’s Legal Services.
“Through my co-ops, I was able to figure out where to focus my career,” says Alicia, who earned a dual-degree JD/MELP in environmental law through Northeastern’s parternship with Vermont Law School. “But more than that, I learned how to be a lawyer — how to file cases, work with clients, deal with complex situations and emergencies. Studying law doesn’t teach you how to handle all of that — practicing does.”
US Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Appeals Board (EAB), Washington, DC
Alicia assisted lawyers in conducting research, created digests of issues within EAB cases and drafted a proposed decision for the board.
- National Environmental Law Society
- Pace National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition
- Student Bar Association
Center for Biological Diversity, San Francisco, California
Alicia researched and drafted legal memoranda on a variety of topics, including the Clean Water Act and hydraulic fracturing.
- Administrative Law
- Animal Law
- Environmental Law
- Federal Courts and the Federal System
- Legal Interviewing and Counseling
- State and Local Government
Alicia explored the complexities of Massachusetts water law.
DNA People’s Legal Services, Tuba City, Arizona
Alicia worked on a Navajo reservation in northern Arizona, helping tribal members — many of whom lacked official identification papers — through legal issues including divorce, name changes and child custody.
Poverty Law and Practice
With a collaborative group of her peers led by Professor Jim Rowan, Alicia gained experience working on unemployment and welfare cases.
Bay Area Legal Aid, Oakland, California
Working within the firm’s domestic violence practice area, Alicia was able to accompany Bay Area Legal Aid lawyers in the courtroom. She witnessed effective litigation techniques firsthand, from cross-examining hostile witnesses to making strong closing arguments.