School of Law graduates have a long legacy of social justice work. Please join us in honoring featured alumni though profiles of their work.
Claudia Quintero graduated cum laude from the School of Law in 2017, where she was a Public Interest Scholar and a member of the Western New England University Law Review. During her time at the law school, she led the National Lawyers Guild student chapter and founded the Latino/a Law Student Association. Quintero is a staff attorney at Central West Justice Center (CWJC), where she represents migrant and seasonal farmworkers throughout Massachusetts in a range of legal issues, including immigration, labor and employment, housing, family, and benefits matters, as well as providing know-your-rights trainings to community members and organizations.
Attorney Quintero was recently featured on Connecting Point, where she discussed her work on behalf of farmworkers. CWJC was selected by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as the 2019 winner of the Reginald Heber Smith Award for Excellence in Legal Services, and Attorney Quintero is featured in a video about the organization’s work.
Attorney Quintero has always had a passion for social justice. Growing up in a working-class single-parent home in Los Angeles without legal status, she often aspired to be a voice and advocate for the disenfranchised. During law school, Attorney Quintero was deeply engaged with social justice issues, interning in Los Angeles with the legal nonprofit that helped her acquire legal permanent residency, the City of Springfield Labor Relations Department, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Office of Legal Counsel in Washington, D.C.
The School of Law helped foster Attorney Quintero’s social justice work by providing her with opportunities for growth, knowledge, and development. “WNE Law afforded me the opportunity to learn more about the social justice issues I was passionate about in ways I couldn’t have done otherwise.” One of her most memorable experiences was traveling to Israel with Professor Levi to study comparative gender law and meet with LGBTQ activists to discuss the law and its effects on women and sexual minorities. During her 2L and 3L years, the School of Law sent Attorney Quintero to the annual Peggy Browning Fund Workers’ Rights Conference in Maryland. There, she said, “I was able to connect with other students who were passionate about workers’ rights and meet with workers, organizers and unions who are pushing for better working conditions of low-wage workers in the country. That experience helped foster my desire to be an advocate for often exploited low-wage workers.”
Attorney Quintero is also a member of the Boards of Directors of the Pioneer Valley Workers Center, the Rosenberg Fund for Children, and was on the board of the Massachusetts Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division, as the Regional Director for Hampden County. She also serves on the coordinating committee of the ACLU of Massachusetts’ Immigrant Protection Project. In 2019, Attorney Quintero was selected to join the leadership of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Scholars Program, designed to encourage the participation of minority attorneys in the Young Lawyers Division.
Attorney Quintero was awarded the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services’ Adams Pro Bono Publico Award in 2017, in recognition of her distinguished service and outstanding commitment to providing pro bono legal services to those in need as a law student, and the Student of the Year award by the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild in 2017. During her time at the School of Law, Attorney Quintero inspired her colleagues to engage in public interest work.