Abel Rodríguez ’01 graduated from Cabrini College with a degree in Spanish and a minor in mathematics.
He was then faced with a decision: Should he attend graduate school at Stanford or Harvard?
He chose both, followed by Penn Law.
Rodríguez deferred admission to Harvard to attend Stanford where he earned a master’s of arts in Latin American studies. Then he headed to Harvard, earning a master’s of theological studies in 2004.
From 2004 to 2008, Rodríguez was lecturer in foreign language and course chair at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2011, he graduated with a juris doctor degree from Penn Law.
Rodríguez is quick to tell people that Cabrini was the smartest investment he could have made for his future.
“A Cabrini degree gave me options,” he said.
“Cabrini opened doors to those graduate programs and really prepared me for the academics I encountered when I got there.”
Looking at his academic credentials, you’d naturally assume Rodríguez had always aspired to attend top-tier graduate programs. But this native of Bridgeport and Norristown, Pa., was always told to limit his ambition.
“Before Cabrini, everyone discouraged me from attending graduate school, so I thought I shouldn’t do it. If it wasn’t for the mentoring by Cabrini’s faculty—especially Dr. [Leonard] Primiano—I never would have even gone to graduate school,” Rodríguez recalls.
After law school, Rodríguez served a one-year appointment as the Langer, Grogan, and Diver Fellow in Social Justice at Esperanza Immigration Legal Services in Philadelphia.
Today, he divides his legal career between serving as an Immigration Specialist at the Defender Association of Philadelphia and as a Staff Attorney at Nationalities Service Center.
He also co-teaches the Immigration Clinic at Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law and serves on the boards of Esperanza Immigration Legal Services in Philadelphia and ACLAMO Family Centers in Norristown.
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