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Valiance and Victory with Valedictorian Anna Cotto

Anna Cotto

For as long as she could remember, UIC Law valedictorian Anna Cotto knew she wanted a career that would allow her to help people. Having witnessed unequal and unjust situations in her own community growing up, her curiosity piqued, and she began to wonder what she could do to make a change in these circumstances. In high school, Anna found out she was expecting her first child. Now fueled by the desire to help others and give her daughter the best life possible, she set her sights on a major goal: attending law school and becoming a lawyer.

During her time at UIC Law, Anna, like many, faced various ups and downs. The biggest challenge she faced was the constant juggling act of being a wife, a mother, and a law student. With her husband in the U.S. military, there was an added layer of challenges and a struggle to balance the realities of his career with her own career goals.

The ways that UIC Law has prepared me for my future legal career are innumerable. If I could boil it down, UIC law has given me the confidence and the competence to head into my future with excitement, as opposed to apprehension.

Anna Cotto  |  December 2023 Valedictorian

At the end of her 2L year, Anna’s husband was stationed overseas in Guam. This became a challenge for the entire family as they made the decision to move across the world to be together. However, Anna never gave up on her dreams of becoming a lawyer and continued her studies online.

Despite the various trials and tribulations she faced while managing a family and life overseas, Anna still managed to excel academically and remain involved in school. After an opportunity opened up that would allow her family to be stationed back in the U.S., Anna was able to continue making her mark at UIC Law, having competed in the Dean Fred F. Herzog Moot Court Competition where she took 2nd place. She also competed in the Hispanic National Bar Association Moot Court competition where her team took third place. Anna took immense pride in her work and highlighted UIC Law’s legal writing and Lawyering Skills courses as staples in her successful school career.

What’s next for Anna? She plans to move to Virginia where her husband and children are and enjoy as much time with them before embarking on her Bar Exam study period. She intends to sit for the Virginia Bar Exam this coming February and become a licensed attorney for the state. She credits UIC Law for giving her the confidence and competence to head into any future with excitement.