Adilene Ramirez, ’18

Adilene graduated from UCLA with a BA in Political Science and a minor in Labor & Workplace Studies. During her time at UCLA, she held various roles including Ralph J Bunche Director for the UCLA Alumni Scholars Club, Client Intake Volunteer at the Alliance for Children’s Rights, Internal Vice President for the UCLA Undergraduate Philosophy Club, Intern for Congressman Tony Cardenas, private English tutor, and Barista at the Evelyn & Mo Ostin Music Café.

While pursuing her minor in Labor & Workplace Studies, Adilene briefly served as a Tutor for UCLA’s Proyecto De Jornaleros, a group teaching English to day laborers, and engaged in research on immigrant construction and masonry workers. These experiences fueled her ambition to practice law in support of workers’ rights.

After a 3-year tenure at Jacoby & Meyers LLP, Adilene embarked on her legal education journey at Southwestern Law School. At Southwestern Law School, Adilene serves as Vice President for the Labor and Employment Law Association and as a Teaching Assistant for Professor Christopher David Ruiz Cameron.

During her 1L summer, Adilene secured a Peggy Browning Fund fellowship, a national nonprofit promoting workplace justice advocacy. She spent her fellowship with Workers Defense Project, a Texas-based organization focusing on construction industry issues. Adilene managed unpaid wage claims, reported OSHA health and safety retaliations, and contributed to a whistle-blower complaint against Tesla’s GigaFactory. This experience highlighted collective action’s potency, inspiring her to later join UNITE HERE! Local 11 for her 2L summer.

Local 11 represents over 32,000 workers in hotels, restaurants, airports across Southern California and Arizona. As part of her clerkship with Local 11, Adilene received the Southwestern Public Interest Law Committee Summer Grant. Her summer involved filing unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB and conducting legal research. But what Adilene found most fascinating during her time with Local 11 was taking part in one of the union’s largest strikes in history, picketing, interacting with hotel workers and gaining insights into their aspirations for improved working conditions.

Adilene’s aspiration is to be a labor attorney supporting workers involved in collective action.

For Adilene, the Norma J. Ehrlich Scholarship has gone beyond any monetary assistance. The community and sisterhood within the Ehrlich Scholars has helped her navigate her professional career. Craig’s consistent mentoring and support has helped facilitate positive dialogue amongst the scholars and has served as a priceless gift for personal and professional development.