The Alfond Ambassador hoping to change how we think about immigration and national security

Jordan Hernandez is ready for Maine Law. She’s so ready.

“I feel about as equipped as one can be,” Hernandez said. “I’ve had lots of hands-on experience through work, now I’m excited to understand the theory and philosophy behind the law, to better understand aspects of legal research.”

Portrait of Jordan Hernandez
Jordan Hernandez

For the past three years, Hernandez, one of two incoming Maine Law Alfond Ambassadors, worked as a legal assistant for a Bangor-based law firm. In this role, she worked with clients in Maine on immigration issues, an area of law Hernandez long felt drawn to.

“A large part of that interest came from personal experience,” she explained. “I was born in Maine, but my dad emigrated here in the 80s from Mexico and met my mom. He wanted to petition for his family to join us but was told that it would take 13 years. That’s always made me wonder about our immigration system and how we can fix it to unite families faster.”

It was during her first year of undergraduate studies in Maryland that Hernandez realized her passion for the law. She was initially studying to join the medical field, but instead returned to Maine and graduated in 2020 from Husson University with a degree in Legal Studies.

“It was a philosophy course I took that actually changed my goals,” Hernandez recalled. “My life pivoted at that moment when I understood how much I enjoyed thinking deeply about the underpinnings of the legal systems that exist today.”

Hernandez plans to explore the intersection of immigration law and national security. Many people who talk about national security in regards to immigration use it as a smoke screen for anti-immigration sentiment, Hernadez said. She feels, however, there is space to support legal immigration while also having discussions around homeland security.

“Helping our population of immigrants in Maine remain here and thrive here is really important to me,” Hernandez said. “I’m really enthusiastic about the experiential learning options available through the Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic and an annual trip students take to Laredo, TX to assist immigrants at the border.”

For Hernandez, Maine Law offers a perfect ratio of rigorous academics, experiential learning, and community. What tipped the scales for her, however, is its location in Maine, where she hopes to live and practice after law school.

Hernandez (left) is an avid soccer player and played throughout her time in college.

She said people talk about how intense the first year of law school is, but she’s excited about that intensity. Hernandez is especially eager to dive into constitutional law. “I really like getting into the nitty-gritty side of things,” she laughed.

Long ago, Hernandez also learned how to balance academic interests and life outside of school, each equally important to her. She played on the soccer team at Husson and still enjoys the sport and staying active. Reading, cooking, hiking, and time with family are all ways Hernandez tempers her academic ambition.

“I don’t think I’d feel as confident going into law school without these other passions to rely on,” she said. “I also know the Maine Law community is famously close and supportive, and I think that’s going to make for a beautiful experience.”