Zaida Rivera


A short description about your current occupation/grad school:
I am currently a first year law student at University of Idaho College of Law. My emphasis is on Public Interest Law. I am also involved in school activities, such as President of Latino Law Student Association, Alternative Spring Coordinator for Public Interest Law Group, and am a member of the Diversity Committee for the College of Law.

A short description of your career path:
I aspire to work for a non-profit organization to represent the most vulnerable low-income persons and empower them to bring about change in their communities. I would like to focus in the areas of Employment, Housing, and Immigration Law. My advisor (Professor Englekirk) always was very supportive of my career goals and helped me plan what classes I should take that would prepare me not only for law school, but employment opportunities as well.

What has been most valuable to you from your Gonzaga education?
Gonzaga offered me the opportunity to take a wide range of classes that gave me a well rounded and balanced education. The core requirements such as Philosophy, Religious Study, Science, Speech, English, Mathematics, were challenging but gave me a great foundation which I benefited from when I took upper division courses and even now in law school. I learned how to think critically, analyze thoroughly, and write persuasively; these are invaluable in my career. The degree I earned at Gonzaga has opened the doors to many employment opportunities.

Is there anything else about your Gonzaga experience you would like to share?
I am the first in my family to have graduated from high school, graduate from college, and now attend law school. My parents, who are both monolingual Spanish speakers and only received a grade-school education, instilled in me the importance of an education, an incredible work ethic, and have always supported me in all my educational endeavors. They are my motivation to pursue a legal education. Gonzaga gave me an education and experience that will influence and benefit my life no matter where I go and what I'm doing.  Gonzaga gives you the opportunity to pursue any aspiration you have. For example, some friends and I were able to found a Latino Student organization, La Raza Latina, which gave us great leadership experience and is still thriving. I'm very proud to be a Gonzaga Alumna and am happy to share my experience every opportunity I get!

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Zaida Rivera

Current location: Moscow, Idaho
Year of Gonzaga graduation: 2005; B.A. International Relations & Spanish; Minor- Political Science
Current occupation/grad school: University of Idaho College of Law, First year law student

Zaida Rivera seeks to work in Housing, Employment, and Immigration Law when she finishes her law degree in 2012.