Washington, DC - CARECEN proudly welcomes Lilia Alvarez as its new Director of Legal Services. Ms. Alvarez brings well-rounded experience to the position. Prior to joining CARECEN, Ms. Alvarez worked as a solo practitioner serving the immigrant and refugee community focusing on family-based immigration and nationality law. Ms. Alvarez prides herself in serving the Latino community as a vocation. As the daughter of farmworkers, Ms. Alvarez was the first person in her family to finish middle school. She went on to continue her education and graduate from law school.
In 2016, Ms. Alvarez was honored as the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project's Pro Bono Attorney of the Year. The Arizona State Bar Foundation for Legal Services and Education also featured her as a Top Pro Bono Attorney in Arizona. From 2014-2016, Ms. Alvarez served as Presiding Judge in the Guadalupe Municipal Court. As the head administrator, she reformed the court's culture, protocols, and procedures to restore public confidence in the local justice system.
As an advocate for justice, Ms. Alvarez has been involved in various professional and community service organizations. She has served as a commissioner with the Maricopa County Community Services Commission, on the Phoenix Human Relations Commission and on the Committee on Minorities and Women in the Law. In 2012 she was presented the Emerging Star Award and the Phoenix School of Law Pillar Award for Serving the Underserved. In 2011 she received the 40 Hispanic Leaders Under 40 Award. Ms. Alvarez is also one of the co-founders of Citizens for a Better Arizona, the group responsible for the historic recall of former AZ Senate President Russell Pearce, the author of the controversial anti-immigrant Senate Bill 1070.
More than ever we need defenders for our community. Ms. Alvarez brings the legal and community experience to strengthen our legal department, continuing CARECEN's commitment to immigrant integration in the DC metropolitan area.
CARECEN's mission is to foster the comprehensive development of the Latino population in the Washington metropolitan region by providing direct services, while promoting grassroots empowerment, civic engagement, and human rights advocacy. CARECEN will continue to uphold its mission with a team that works diligently to empower vulnerable community members and continue to be the voice of the voiceless.