Senior Program Leader, Rights at Risk, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 2005, Jillian Tuck ’12 worked in Guatemala as a human rights observer. She was appalled by the atrocities described by survivors of the Guatemalan Civil War and fascinated by the legal aspects of the genocide case in which they were testifying. Jillian was convinced that law school wasn’t the right fit for her — until she learned about Northeastern’s collaborative atmosphere and social justice focus.
Now on staff at Physicians for Human Rights, where she spent her third co-op, Jillian teaches healthcare professionals about asylum law and trains them in writing medical-legal affidavits and testifying in court on behalf of asylum seekers. “I’m now a colleague of the human and immigrant rights advocates I admired before I ever thought about going to law school, “says Jillian. “Northeastern enabled me to take a seat at the table.”
Jillian worked to provide economic justice for immigrant workers and helped research a civil rights abuse case in which a gay couple was forced out of a food establishment.
Inspired to continue assisting the community she connected with during her first co-op, Jillian returned to El Paso to help provide pro bono legal assistance to asylum seekers, battered women, crime victims and unaccompanied minors.
Jillian contributed to the work of the Domestic Violence Institute every year while at Northeastern, including serving as a patient advocate at Boston Medical Center and as a clinical teaching assistant.
Jillian was awarded a PHRGE (Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy) fellowship to pursue her third co-op, where she met her current boss.
At this private immigration firm, Jillian gained experience drafting motions, thinking creatively about complicated cases, and writing briefs to the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Jillian helped classmate Elizabeth Tully ’12 found this organization’s Northeastern chapter, which provides legal representation to Iraqi refugees seeking to resettle in the US.