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Colleen O’Conor L’20

Colleen completed her undergraduate education at Marquette University, where she was named a Burke Scholar in recognition of her commitment to community building and social justice. During undergrad, she was fortunate to spend two semesters studying Swahili in Kenya and Tanzania. She graduated summa cum laude from Marquette with a B.A. in International Affairs in 2012.

After graduating, Colleen remained in her hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She 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. Colleen decided to pursue a law degree after repeatedly seeing families become homeless because they could neither afford market rent nor access state-subsidized housing. 

During her 1L summer, Colleen will be working at Daniel & Beshara, P.C., a civil rights law firm that represents plaintiffs in public housing desegregation lawsuits in the Dallas and East Texas areas. Colleen is concurrently pursuing a Master of Science in Social Policy while completing her J.D. She hopes to use these degrees to directly support families resisting evictions and to work toward broader policy changes that guarantee housing for poor and working-class people.