Staff|El Personal

Aissa Olivarez, Managing Attorney

Aissa Olivarez is the Managing Attorney at the Community Immigration Law Center (CILC). She joined CILC in August 2017 and as a part of the organization provides deportation defense. Aissa has represented many clients in removal and bond proceedings, and appeals.

Prior to joining CILC, Aissa was a Staff Attorney at the Pro Bono Asylum Representation Children’s Project (ProBAR), where she represented unaccompanied minor children who were placed in removal proceedings by the Department of Homeland Security in Harlingen, Texas. During law school, Aissa participated in the Immigrant Justice Clinic and the Defenders Project at the University of Wisconsin Law School. In September 2018, Aissa was awarded the Belle Case LaFollette Award by the Wisconsin Law Foundation for her work with under-served communities.

Aissa earned her B.A. in Government from the University of Texas at Austin. She was a first grade teacher for 4 years in the Austin Independent School District before deciding to pursue her law degree. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in May 2016, where she was an active leader in the Student Bar Association and served as president of the Latinx Law Student  Association. During her tenure at UW, she received accolades such as the Barbara B. Crabb Prize, the LLSA Comunidad Award, the Ray and Ethel Brown Award, the Public Interest Scholar Award as well as the Children’s Justice Project Fellowship, among others. Aissa lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband and daughter.

Vanessa Avila, Staff Attorney

B4E1A7A5-1508-43A5-923F-50559B762FA0Vanessa Avila is a Staff Attorney at the Community Immigration Law Center (CILC). She joined CILC in July 2019 to assist with deportation defense.

Vanessa graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 2019. Prior to joining CILC, Vanessa was a paralegal at various immigration nonprofits in Southern California. She graduated from the University of California, Davis with a B.A. in History and Spanish. Vanessa lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

 

 

Laura Graham, Staff Attorney

Laura Graham HeadshotLaura Graham is a Staff Attorney at the Community Immigration Law Center (CILC).

Before joining CILC she worked for Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley for four years.   Laura obtained her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School (cum laude), where she participated in the Immigrant Justice Clinic and the Oxford Federal Project.  Additionally, in law school, she volunteered with CILC and Legal Action of Wisconsin’s Migrant Farmworker Project, and interned with Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson.  As a law student, she was awarded the Association for Women Lawyers Pomeroy Scholarship for service to the disadvantaged and the Feingold Memorial Award for outstanding commitment to the University of Wisconsin Law School and community.

Prior to attending law school, she worked for Human Rights Watch in its Americas Division in Washington D.C.  She also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras and El Salvador, and was an AmeriCorps volunteer on the Hopi reservation in Arizona.

Laura obtained dual B.A. degrees from the University of California-Berkeley (English and Geography).  She also obtained an M.A. in International Relations from the Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires, Argentina as a Rotary Peace Fellow.  She speaks Spanish.