Julian Montijo ’22
When it came to choosing co-ops, Julian Montijo let political movements be his bellwether. In November 2020, in the lead up to the contentious presidential election, he opted for a co-op with the ACLU Voting Rights Project in New York. Then, in the aftermath of police violence against Black Lives Matter protestors, Julian went to the People’s Law Office as a National Lawyer’s Guild Haywood Burns Memorial Fellow. He chose the Contra Costa County Office of the Public Defender in Martinez, California, northeast of San Francisco, “because of its reputation for pursuing alternatives other than jail for crimes,” says Julian, a recipient of the law school’s coveted Public Interest Law Scholarship.
Julian was drawn to Northeastern Law’s public interest mission and through courses and co-ops, he cemented his desire to advocate for those too-often dehumanized by the justice system. “I want to be able to stand with people to acknowledge their humanity beyond the circumstances that bring them to court and the pressures of a legal system that often boxes them into frustrating and false narratives,” says Julian, a staff attorney in the family defense practice at Brooklyn Defender Services.
American Civil Liberties Union , New York, New York
At the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, Julian drafted motions and complaints for redistricting litigation and election protection measures. He also researched memoranda challenging restrictions on vote-by-mail absentee ballot provisions and post-election challenges in battleground states.
- Critical Legal Reading Group
- Latin American Law Students Association
- National Lawyers Guild
- Student Bar Association
- Queer Caucus
Civil Rights and Restorative Justice
Julian researched the cases of five individuals who were victims of racially-motivated killings in North Carolina between 1930 and 1951. His work investigated not only the facts of a case, but also the geographical and historical context as well as who the victim was as a person to their family and their community for contribution to the Burnham-Nobles Digital Archive. He conducted genealogical research to further identify descendants of the individuals who were killed and to obtain their accounts. With CRRJ, he also explored restorative justice options to bring a sense of justice or resolution for the living descendants.
Julian represented noncitizen clients and their family members in a variety of immigration matters. He prepared I-589 asylum petitions and filed applications for employment authorization documentation and Temporary Protected Status.
People’s Law Office, Chicago, Illinois
As a Haywood Burns Memorial Fellow, Julian supported litigation on criminal and civil rights cases for victims of police violence and conducted interviews and drafted complaints on behalf of individuals injured by police at protests waged against anti-Black police violence.
- Advanced Criminal Procedure: Adjudication
- American Legal Thought
- Education Law
- Federal Courts and the Federal System
- Immigration Law
- Social Welfare Law
Julian provided assistance to faculty teaching Federal Courts and the Federal System; Contracts; and Civil Procedure.
Julian worked on several research projects related to human rights, immigration, health law and the law school’s Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline Project.
Contra Costa Public Defender, Martinez, California
In his final co-op, under attorney supervision in the Contra Costa County criminal courts, Julian represented clients accused of felony and misdemeanor charges at arraignments and argued motions to dismiss the charges against them.