Berkeley Law’s Away Field Placement Program grants J.D. students academic credit for legal work performed for a non-profit or government agency outside the Bay Area. The Robbins Collection provides financial support for students working in a country, region, or city outside the U.S. that is characterized by civil or religious law traditions and institutions. In Spring 22022 the Robbins Collection supported the placement of Isabella Dominguez. Read about her experience in our Q&A below.
Isabella Dominguez, JD ’22
Women in a Legal World, Madrid, Spain
Why did you choose Women in a Legal World?
I used to teach English here, and I wanted to make more connections in Madrid. Furthermore, my partner is an attorney here and I wanted to be close to him given COVID separation.
What was a typical work day like?
It’s a lot of work, since there’s no full-time staff. The organization was created by women who want to empower women in the legal field in Spain. I do a lot of research on issues of diversity. We launched a program with Harvard Law School to get women in leadership development. I got to spend four days with the first woman president on the African continent, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. We also have a hub that helps Ukrainian refugees. The organization has only been around three years, but in those three years we’ve reached a lot of people.
What is something you took away from your field placement that you never would have gotten from a typical classroom?
I was really immersed in the civil law system, I learned so much. I also was able to network a lot, and also saw how non-profits function. I’d like to be on a non-profit board as an attorney in the future.
What will you be doing after graduation?
I will be joining Cleary Gottlieb in NYC. They have a large Latin American practice and a strong presence in Europe.
Do you have any advice to give to current J.D. students?
Take advantage of everything that Berkeley has to offer, including the Away Field Placement. It’s a great opportunity to get credit, but also to travel and become well rounded before finding a job in the legal field in the US, which tends to be pretty domestic.