Akira Céspedes Pérez

"I vividly remember my first CLPP conference. I stood in awe in front of a sea of people from many different walks of life collaborating with each other. Sure, people say all the time that the way to work the system and/or build a movement is by coming together and allowing everyone's voice to be heard but not everyone does it. CLPP showed me it could be done. That it's being done! I've been a teacher, I've worked for Big Pharma, and now I'm in the legal non-profit circuit, and I still use CLPP's mantra of synergism and inclusiveness."

Name: Akira Céspedes Pérez

CLPP Alum: Student Organizer, 2007-2010; Summer Intern, 2008

Now: I'm in my third year (out of four) at the University of Minnesota Law School where I'm pursuing a joint degree in law and bioethics. It excites me to study the moral dimension of justice in addition to "what's legal," as what's right or wrong may not be so before the law's eyes. In addition to studying health law, I am part of the University's Child Advocacy & Juvenile Justice Clinic, where I work with indigent clients (mainly teenagers and young adults) on a myriad of legal issues. Some of the cases I take include juvenile life without parole clients, custody cases, and even traffic infractions.

Outside of school, I work for the Minnesota AIDS Project's (MAP) legal department. MAP helps HIV+ individuals access health benefits, in addition to providing services in privacy, discrimination, debt, and estate planning legal matters, amongst other items. I'm in the business of helping clients access legal, health, and self-education services, regardless of their income.