Law alumna uses Quinnipiac education to help victims of crime, human trafficking

March 28, 2018

Knsman rests her arms on a mantle lined with flags.

Alicia Kinsman, JD ’10, is using her Quinnipiac education to help victims of crime and human trafficking. In just the past year, the Quinnipiac Law alumna has represented 26 victims of human trafficking and other serious crimes.

Kinsman is the managing attorney and director of the Immigration Legal Services Program at the Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants (CIRI), a nonprofit agency that provides legal and social services to immigrants and refugees in Connecticut.

“I chose to pursue a degree in law because while working for a nonprofit organization, I learned that I could use the law to empower others, in a way that could have a true impact, and change the course of their lives," she said.

With immigration enforcement increasing, Kinsman’s clients — including those who are documented — are apprehensive of asking for help.

“I represent crime victims who are terrified of coming forward, of calling the police, or renewing their protective orders because they believe that doing so might result in their detention and removal from the United States,” Kinsman said.

During her time as a part-time student at Quinnipiac, Kinsman founded the International Human Rights Law Society along with other colleagues from the program. Though their work, she became connected with the CIRI.

“My academic experience prepared me to think on my feet, research well and be open to all possible perspectives and resolutions,” Kinsman said. “My practical experience in the Quinnipiac Tax Clinic gave me the opportunity to practice my client-communication skills, a vital part of what I do today which so often entails careful communication with vulnerable, traumatized clients.”

She said although it's easy to focus on the bad news, it's important for her to remember the positive impact she is making on her client's lives.

"When we do, it becomes all the more impactful and important to celebrate," Kinsman said. "The small victories are huge and transformative in the lives of those with whom we work."

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