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How UIC Law Helped Pave Students Path Toward Becoming Colorado State Deputy Public Defender

Alyssa Hurt

UIC Law graduate Alyssa Hurt has known she wanted to pursue a career in criminal justice from a young age. When she was a junior in high school, her youth pastor was convicted of sexual assault and sentenced to 90 days in prison. In that same courthouse, a Black man faced a similar charge and was given 15 years in prison. Witnessing this unfair and unjust treatment was a crucial factor and motive for her deciding to attend law school.

Throughout her time at UIC Law, Alyssa has taken advantage of various extracurriculars to tailor her law school experience to her desired career. She was a Trial Advocacy Arbitration member and won titles for Top 5 Petitioner Brief and 3rd Best Petitioner Brief as a member of the Moot Court Executive Board. Alyssa also served as the vice president of the Student Bar Association, president and secretary of the First Generation Law Student Association, and held memberships with the International Human, Women’s Law Caucus, National Lawyers Guild, and the Criminal Law Society.

Alyssa credits UIC Law for being instrumental in preparing her for a career in the courtroom.

“UIC Law has been instrumental in preparing me for a career in the legal industry,” Alyssa said. “The legal writing and appellate advocacy programs have significantly enhanced my advocacy skills and honed my writing abilities, equipping me to effectively advocate for clients and present persuasive arguments.”

It was not just the academic rigor that shaped her journey. Alyssa credits members of the faculty for ‘fostering a sense of belonging within the UIC Law community’ and for providing ‘invaluable support and guidance’ in her academic and professional endeavors. She also calls out Professor Hugh Mundy, who has an extensive background in public defense, for fueling her interest in this area of law and inspiring her to make meaningful impact in the criminal justice system.

UIC Law has not only equipped me with the necessary skills and knowledge for success in the legal industry, but has also fostered a supportive and nurturing environment conducive to personal and professional growth.

Alyssa Hurt

Pending passage to the Colorado Bar Exam, Alyssa will serve as a Deputy State Public Defender at the Office of the State Public Defender in Colorado. Armed with a strong foundation in advocacy and a passion for justice instilled during her time at UIC Law, Alyssa is ready to make a meaningful impact in the field of public defense.