The Campeche Brothers

Marlon '19 and Ulises '24: A Passion for Immigration Law

Once he decided that he was going to pursue a career in law, Marlon Campeche ’19 knew that the Immigration Justice Clinic at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University would best fulfill his desire to practice immigration law. Knowing that he too ultimately wanted to practice law, Marlon’s brother, Ulises (JD Candidate '24), studied political science in undergraduate school as a stepping-stone towards that goal, ultimately choosing Haub Law to pursue his studies in immigration law as well. In this Q&A, siblings Marlon and Ulises speak about their impactful experiences at Haub Law, the Immigration Justice Clinic, the collegial Haub Law atmosphere, their paths to law school, and more.

What was each of your paths to law school?

Marlon: I decided I wanted to pursue a career in law when I was in high school. I used to volunteer as an ESL teacher to adults at nights. That experience motivated me to believe that I could do more for the immigrant community. Therefore, in college I majored in political science with a clear aim towards law school post-grad. 

Ulises: I’ve always been interested in law, particularly beginning throughout my years in high school. As a senior, I took AP Government & Politics and I feel that that learning experience solidified my interest in the field of law. Studying political science as an undergrad certainly exposed me to a variety of fields, but as I mentioned, I’ve always been drawn to learning and understanding the important role that law and courts have on society, particularly the immigrant community. 

What was it about Pace in particular that appealed to both of you?

Marlon: I chose Haub Law because I always admired, and wanted to be part of, the Immigration Justice Clinic ran by Professor Vanessa Merton. The Clinic serves our local immigrant community in Westchester, the community where my brother and I were raised. I knew choosing to attend Pace and to join the Clinic was the right decision for me.

Ulises: While I chose Haub Law for their network connections with prestigious firms and organizations, I mainly based my decision off what my brother had told me about his experience while at Pace. Law schools have a certain stigma that everyone is constantly competing against each other, but thus far I haven’t felt or experienced that here at Pace. Whether it’s professors or classmates, there seems to be a level of collegiality, companionship, and empathy and that is something I appreciate.

Marlon, what area of law are you practicing in?

Marlon: I currently practice immigration law at a non-profit organization in Brooklyn, New York. I work for the removal defense team, which means I primarily defend people in removal proceedings at immigration court. Many of my cases are asylum-seekers, immigrant children and victims of domestic violence. 

What area of law are you interested in, Ulises?

Ulises: I’ve always been interested in the field of immigration as it’s been a recurring theme in our family. We’re children of immigrants and empathy, humility and determination are values our parents inculcated in us from a young age and is something I adhere to each day. I hope to be able to advocate for immigrant rights, particularly for children facing a legal system alone. 

Which experiences stand out to both of you from your time at Pace?

Marlon: As I mentioned before, my favorite course was the Immigration Justice Clinic. The Clinic provided me with first-hand experience of lawyering real cases, which ultimately was an upper-hand when searching for employment. Professor Merton is so knowledgeable in the field, and her teaching style pushed me to become a better attorney. I will always be grateful for Professor Merton and the Clinic.

Ulises: Although I’m still a 1L, I would say I grew to enjoy civil procedure. It was overwhelming at first, but Professor Mushlin certainly engaged his students and broke down each concept to the most minute detail as possible for us. Also, Professors Mushlin, Kuh, and Humbach were very understanding in light of some personal issues during my first semester and their empathy and understanding was very much appreciated.

Marlon, was there any advice you gave Ulises upon entering law school?

Marlon: Before Ulises entered Pace, I told him it would not be easy. I told him it would be a very different experience than undergraduate and thus he should prepare as much as possible. I did not worry too much, because I know my brother is a hard-worker and very dedicated to his academics. However, I often stress the importance of taking some time off and hanging out with friends -mental breaks are also very important in law school.