HUMANS OF THE U: DOMINICA DELA CRUZ

“When I was 7, my mom was huge into court TV so I, of course, watched it with her. Seeing kids get in trouble and having no resources for the legal system—that made me want to attend law school.

As a Hispanic woman, I think a law degree is more important than ever. Starting really young, if kids can see, ‘Oh, she looks like me, she looks like she came from the same background as me,’ I can be the role model that I didn’t have.

I am the kids court coordinator for the law school. I teach fifth and sixth graders about civic engagement and about the legal system. I hope to be a juvenile defender someday.

I have also worked at the college’s Criminal Clinic and its Innocence Clinic and hope to keep working in the innocence field, helping to free those who are wrongfully convicted.

Innocence work would be amazing to do. The way innocence work has impacted me as a person is beyond anything that I could have imagined.”

— Dominica Dela Cruz, third-year University of Utah law student

We’ll be featuring Humans of the U and sharing their stories throughout the year with the university community. If you know someone with a compelling story, let us know at ThisWeek@utah.edu.