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Colleen O’Conor L’20

Colleen decided to pursue a law degree after repeatedly seeing families lose their homes because they could neither afford market rent nor access state-subsidized housing. She is originally from Milwaukee, WI and graduated summa cum laude from Marquette University with a B.A. in International Affairs.  While at Marquette University she was named a Burke Scholar in recognition of her commitment to community building and social justice. She also spent two semesters studying Swahili in Kenya and Tanzania. 

After graduating, Colleen remained in her hometown of Milwaukee and worked as a caseworker with the Pan-African Community Association, where she assisted newly resettled refugee families. From 2012 to 2017, Colleen lived and volunteered at Casa Maria, a Catholic Worker House that takes in families in need of housing. While there, she helped families secure more permanent housing. 

During her 1L summer, Colleen worked at Daniel & Beshara, P.C., a civil rights law firm that represents plaintiffs in public housing desegregation lawsuits in the Dallas, Texas. She hopes to use her law degree to directly support families resisting evictions and to work toward broader policy changes that guarantee housing for poor and working-class people.