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Johnson & Bell Associate, Jessica K. Velez, will speak at The State of Latinos in the Law Symposium on October 12. The event is hosted by Chief Judge Ruben Castillo of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and will take place at the Dirksen Federal Building, in Chicago.

Ms. Velez is President of the associate board for Just The Beginning - A Pipeline Organization, which encourages underrepresented students to pursue a path to law school or legal career. Her understanding of this issue goes hand in hand with the topic she will be speaking on at this event. This session will discuss early childhood education on being a key element to ensure children are on the road to success. There are many risk factors and challenges that begin in early childhood, such as economic instability, crime, and social influences that need to be addressed in our high schools. Some important questions on this topic that will be discussed are:  “What is keeping high school students from going to college and law school?, What opportunities can high school students be exposed to in order to increase their confidence in entering the legal pipeline?”, and much more.

Ms. Velez concentrates her practice in construction law, focusing on premises liability and general negligence cases. She also has extensive experience in all stages of litigation, including voir dire, motions in limine, cross and direct examination of fact witnesses, open and closing statements, and jury instructions.