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Meet Jehicob Torres, 2023-2024 Durham Fellow J. Reuben Clark Law School

By September 14, 2023News

Jehicob is a 3L at J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University. He is a first-generation Mexican American and Spanish was his first language. Jehicob was born in Provo, Utah but grew up a few minutes north in Orem. 

Jehicob’s parents inspired him to work hard and not give up on his dreams. His father worked at a frozen foods factory and his mother worked at a candy factory when they first arrived in the USA. Their example of endurance and pressing forward despite being far away from home and surrounded by a different culture and language has inspired Jehicob to keep going even when things seem hard.  

Jehicob did his undergraduate studies at Utah Valley University where he was part of the Honors Program. He also volunteered with the Latino Initiative on campus. During his time at UVU, he was part of the winning team for the 2018 Social Innovation Challenge where his team looked at the collateral consequences on children from having an incarcerated parent. This experience changed his perspective on a career choice. He wanted to advocate for people and help them navigate a complex web of legal jargon and rules. He started the Wolverine Pre-Law Association to help pre-law students study for the LSAT and connect with law schools and practicing attorneys. He is proud to say that the Wolverine Pre-Law Association continues to this day. 

During his time at the law school, Jehicob externed at the Utah Supreme Court with Justice Paige Peterson. He has also participated in trial advocacy and the moot court team. His team traveled to Phoenix and won first place at the Uvaldo Herrera Moot Court competition hosted by the Hispanic National Bar Association. He has also volunteered at the BYU Community Legal Clinic and has helped with immigration matters like adjustment of status, applying for asylum, and other matters that the community needs. It has been a blessing to help individuals and families navigate the legal system and find relief. He has also spent time advocating for change at the local level to help the community. In 2022, he helped lobby for HB222 that reduced the fee for an application and renewal of a driving privilege card. During this past General Session he helped lobby for HB102 which allowed asylees, refugees, TPS visa holders, and those with a pending permanent residency application to qualify for in-state tuition. He also worked with Senator Weiler on SB132 to allow private companies fingerprint applicants for a driving privilege card. This bill was designed to reduce the backlog at the Bureau of Criminal Identification and help streamline the application process for a driving privilege card. Each of those bills passed nearly unanimously in the legislature. 

Jehicob is currently working part time at the law firm of Trujillo Acosta in their civil litigation department. He enjoys trial work and hopes to be a trial attorney after law school. After graduating, He will go to New Jersey for a year to clerk for Judge Alberto Rivas. Jehicob is inspired by Justice Thurgood Marshall’s quote that “the legal system can force open doors and sometimes even knock down walls. But it cannot build bridges. That job belongs to you and me.” He strongly believes that the law can be used for good to build people up, to strengthen communities, and secure a promising future for everyone.

Jehicob Torres

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