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Who we are?

About the Firm

Esperanza Center for Law & Advocacy has arisen from the ideals of the access-to-justice movement and seeks to address the needs of low-income immigrants, a highly-underrepresented population in Connecticut. The firm’s name is tied to the Spanish word Esperanza because its multiple meanings reflect various facets of our legal practice.  Esperanza means hope, in the sense that as attorneys, we strive to help our clients achieve their goals for improving their immigration status.  Esperanza also means trust, which we have found is a critical element in establishing a successful lawyer-client collaboration.  Esperanza provides representation for a wide-range of immigration law matters. The firm regularly extends advocacy and legal representation for clients into areas of family and juvenile matters, so that our clients can benefit from multi-dimensional representation.

The firm is based on a “low-bono” business model, which seeks to “fill the gap” in the provision of legal services to low-income individuals and families.  To this end, we work with clients to develop alternative payment strategies, so that our clients can afford our representation. Our belief in the power of community has prompted us to foster partnerships with community organizations in Bridgeport and New Haven.  We regularly accept pro-bono and low-bono referrals from the Unidad Latina en Acción,  Make the Road CT, The Center for Family Justice, International Institute of CT,  among others.

Our Mission

Our primary objective is to empower our clients to achieve their goals of living in the United States – to pursue educational and employment opportunities, to reunite with and raise their families, as well as to enjoy and foster the cultural resources of our local communities.

Meet the team

 
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Yazmin Rodriguez, Esq.

Admitted to practice in CT

Yazmin Rodriguez is the owner of Esperanza Center for Law and Advocacy, a low-bono immigration firm in the state of Connecticut that focuses primarily on representing individuals in removal proceedings. Yazmin was born in Bogotá, Colombia and came to the United States at the young age of 13. After graduating from high school, she attended John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where she majored in Government.

Yazmin developed a passion to represent vulnerable populations, primarily immigrants and low-income individuals with mental illness, while working as a paralegal for different immigration non-profits in the state of New York and later on, while working for the Connecticut Legal Rights Project (CLRP), a firm that represents people with mental illness in the state of CT.  While at CLRP, Yazmin attended Quinnipiac University School of Law where she obtained a Juris Doctor (J.D.) in 2012.

In 2014, her firm was at the forefront of addressing a humanitarian crisis when it assumed representation of many of the women and children that were fleeing violence and persecution in Central America. Esperanza continues to follow a low-bono model of representation that is unique in the state of Connecticut and has helped countless of immigrants obtain access to quality legal representation, clients who might otherwise face deportation without an attorney. Through her work with these children and their families, Yazmin started developing her activism by working with groups like Unidad Latina en Acción and the Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance (CIRA). Yazmin believes in the power of activism to change case outcomes, in supporting policy and advocacy initiatives that look into changing the broken immigration system, and in organizing as a strategy to win cases outside of the courtroom.

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Christina Colon Williams, Esq.

Admitted to practice in CT

Tina Colón Williams, Esq. is an Associate with Esperanza Law. She joined the organization in March of 2018.

Tina double-majored in Political Science and Ethnicity Race & Migration at Yale University. After spending some time as a legal intern with Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services in New Haven, she received a J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law. As a law student, she interned with several public interest organizations, including Apostle Immigrant Services and Yale Law School’s Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization. She began her legal practice at Wiggin and Dana, LLP as an Associate in the Immigration & Nationality Law and Compliance Group, and she recently completed a term as a Law Clerk with the United States District Courts for the District of Connecticut.

In her free time, she is actively involved in the New Haven community as one of the pastors at the Elm City Vineyard Church. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association and Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services. She is passionate about access to justice and wholeness for marginalized communities, and she is grateful to be joining Esperanza’s mission and work.

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