Law School Students of the Year: Angelica Gonzalez, Seattle University

Angelica Gonzalez is a single mother of five children, including two nephews.  She was born into a world of poverty and experienced homelessness, abuse, and domestic violence as a child and as an adult. In fact when she applied to Seattle University School of Law, she and her three children were living in a shelter. 

She came to law school with the goal of removing barriers, practices, and policies that have devastated communities of color for generations. She has advocated for social justice issues related to juvenile justice, access to education, foster care, immigration, and women’s rights. She is a vocal advocate for childcare assistance for women in higher education, particularly graduate school. As she stated:  “The issue of childcare can be felt within our nation at large but is absolutely devastating for women of color and women that are trying to provide the most basic needs for their children. The lack of access to childcare is a women's issue and it’s a serious issue.” 

At the law school, Gonzalez served as the vice-president of the Latinx Law Student Association; she was a first-year fellow and legal advocate for the schools Access to Justice Institute and she is a member of the Seattle IP American Inn of Court.  In the spring semester of her second year, Gonzalez was selected to extern with Justice Gonzalez (no relation) of the Washington State Supreme Court. 

In addition to raising her family and excelling in law school, she has continued to be engaged in the community. She has focused her efforts within the city and the legislature and plans to keep building awareness around the issue with the goal of getting childcare funded for women in school so that all women have equal access to educational opportunities. Highlights of her advocacy include a presentation before the Seattle City Council on the issue of childcare access and paid family leave. As a result of her presentation she was invited to sit with city leaders and councilmembers to begin drafting a plan to improve childcare access in the city.

She has also advocated for change on the state level by regularly testifying and meeting with legislators on issues of equality in education, childcare, and other bills that are important to advancing social justice in my community. She has spoken alongside the governor of Washington and members of the legislature on the importance of services like childcare and early education for communities of color and the devastating impacts that follow when those services are cut.