2/21/2018

Alumni Profile: Paulina Baginska '14

Government Major, WGSS Minor, 2014
J.D. Candidate at Brooklyn Law School

A Government Major with a Philosophy Cognate and Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) minor, Paulina Baginska graduated from Franklin and Marshall College in 2014. While at dear old F & M, Paulina was very active in the Ware Institute for Civic Engagement, where she was involved with F & M Works; Public Service Summer Internship Program; Putting it Together (PIT); Habitat for Humanity; and F & M Cares. In addition, she was the student keynote speaker with Dr. Susan Dicklitch-Nelson, at the Delaware Conference “Fostering Student Civil Engagement for Life.”  Also in 2014, Paulina Baginska was the recipient of the prestigious senior award, the Benjamin Franklin Citizenship Award.

Paulina was a leader both on campus in classrooms and outside in the real world as an immigration advocate. As a first-generation college student and a first-generation American, the issue of immigration was extremely important to her; hence her willingness to fight for those who could not fight for themselves. In her senior year, she enrolled in Dr. Susan Dicklitch-Nelson’s seminar, Human Rights and Human Wrongs, and was assigned an asylum case that involved a man from Cameroon who had experienced persecution based on his political opinion. In 2014, after Paulina’s dedication to compiling a comprehensive and compelling evidentiary packet and a legal memorandum, he was granted asylum and permitted to bring his six children and remain in the United States.

One month after graduating from F & M, Paulina was employed with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office as a Trial IV Paralegal, where she spent a year working in one of the busiest trial bureaus on misdemeanor and felony cases assigned to her ADAs. Paulina then decided to embark on the most challenging journey she had faced by that point—law school. In 2015, Paulina enrolled as a full-time student at Brooklyn Law School, where she continues to fight for immigrants’ rights. As a law student, Paulina has held legal positions in the United States Attorney’s Office (Eastern District) in the immigration department for nearly a year, among other notable positions.

After working with the government on complex litigation matters surrounding immigration issues, she turned to the private sector and the prestigious immigration law firm of Fragomen, Dey Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, where she is living her American Dream. She is thrilled to be at the front lines in the corporate immigration world. However, she ensures that she gives back to the community that has shaped her into who she is today. Her commitment to serve the community and her passion for public service derive from the fact that she is a product of a community that never gave up on her. She is able to fulfill her public service calling through Fragomen’s Pro Bono opportunities and her law school’s initiatives, volunteering with various organizations such as Safe Passage Project and Catholic Charities Immigrant and Refugee Services to help those who desperately need it.

When Paulina is not studying to complete her final year in law school, working at Fragomen, or volunteering, she currently is enrolled in a clinic as a Student Assistant District Attorney with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office. In this role, she represents all residents of Brooklyn and is humbled by the responsibility and trust entrusted to her to seek for the truth. She is handling her own caseload at the office and says that her Polish-American upbringing and work ethic demands that she serve others.  This is just one more way she says she could give back to the community that made her: she was born and raised in Brooklyn.

When asked about the impact of WGS on her career, Paulina says that she hopes to combine her legal and personal experiences into a role that allows her to be an effective advocate for individuals in dire need of legal assistance. She truly exemplifies this in her personal life; for example, last October she walked up 34 flights of stairs of the historic Helmsely Building. All the profits raised benefited the organization Her Justice, a non-profit that provides free legal assistance to many women living in poverty in New York City, many of whom have experienced intimate partner violence and now need help navigating the family, divorce, and immigration systems. Finally, Paulina says that her WGS education at F & M has helped her as she progresses in every step of her career and was critical in reminding her of the gendered perspectives that impact all aspects of our life. Most of all she says that being aware of gendered perspectives, while keeping an open mind, building a strong network, has been and will continue to be highly valuable to her legal career as an advocate.

Paulina is happy to speak to any F & M student who is interested in her career path and her passion for immigration law. She can be easily contacted via her LinkedIn page: 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/paulabaginska/.

 

  • Paulina Baginska '14 Paulina Baginska '14
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