Lucie Arvallo: 'I Am Inspired Most by Those Who Have the Courage to Pursue Their Passion to Make a Difference.'

If/When/How’s Quick Question series highlights the work of our Reproductive Justice Fellows, introducing our network to the incredible advocates who are dedicating their lives to the movement to lawyer for reproductive justice. We’re so proud of the work they’re doing at placement organizations across the country to ensure that everyone has the ability to safely decide if, when, and how to create and sustain their families, and to actualize sexual and reproductive wellbeing on their own terms. But we can’t support them without you: Please donate $10 to help us give aspiring and new lawyers the resources they need to thrive. And if you can’t give — share!

Lucie Arvallo, If/When/How Reproductive Justice Fellow at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health

Lucie Arvallo (St. Mary’s University School of Law ’19) served as a staff writer and senior associate editor for the St. Mary’s Law Journal, and was designated by the Hispanic Bar Association of Austin as one of their “Five Hispanic Students to Watch.” She was a finalist in the 2018 Federal Bar Association Moot Court Competition, and was a member of the Women’s Law Association and American Inns of Court, interned with the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, and spent much of her time devoted to public interest work. She also served as the Volunteer Attorney Coordinator for the San Antonio Bar Associations’ Veterans Legal Aid Clinic, providing affordable legal assistance to low-income service members, volunteered with the Family Lawyers’ Assistance Project in Phoenix, Arizona and participated in a service break experience with the disability rights division of Southeast Louisiana Legal Services.

Lucie received her Bachelor’s degree in criminology from St. Edward’s University, where she received the Student Excellence Award, honoring the student with the highest GPA in the major.

We asked Lucie to tell us a little about herself as she prepares to begin her Reproductive Justice Fellowship year this fall.

If/When/How: Who are you, and where are you from?

Lucie Arvallo: My full name is Lucie Marie Arvallo; I’ve never really had a nickname, so Lucie is my preference! I was born and raised in Austin, Texas, but I have lived and attended law school in San Antonio, TX for the last three years.

If/When/How: Where are you going? (You can treat this question literally or existentially.)

LA: At the moment, I’m a southern girl settling up north for the first time! I’m definitely excited about the transition, but I am genuinely nervous for winter! [Editor’s note: Lucie will spend her Fellowship year at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health in Washington, D.C.]

If/When/How: What drew you to reproductive justice work?

LA: I have always been involved with reproductive health services as a matter of necessity. As a child in a low-income neighborhood, institutions like Planned Parenthood were sometimes the only viable option for getting affordable, comprehensive care. But I think what drew me in to reproductive justice work, in terms of pursuing a career, was the stigma that a lot of women face when discussing these issues. Oftentimes women are stopped from discussing health issues that fundamentally affect their everyday life because addressing them has become taboo. I would like to do my part to continue engaging in reproductive justice work, even [or especially] when the current environment makes it increasingly difficult to do so.

If/When/How: What do you want to change (or what are you changing) about what it means to be a lawyer?

LA: I think oftentimes there is this presumption that the caliber of an attorney is measured by how much they charge an hour, and I’d like to challenge that presumption. Some of the most talented and impactful attorneys I’ve ever known dedicated their life to pro bono work, providing people with access to legal aid that would otherwise be inaccessible. I am inspired most by those who have the courage to pursue their passion to make a difference, and I hope I can inspire others in the same way.

If/When/How: When you are not lawyering, what do you get up to?

LA: While I’d love to say that on my free time I like to go out and get some fresh air and explore, I am really much more of a homebody [cue Netflix and video game binges]. Right now, I’m loving the current selection of Netflix original animes, and am obsessed with the Resident Evil 2 remake.

If you’re as excited as we are to see Lucie succeed, donate $10 to help If/When/How support new lawyers like her.