Monica Valencia received a Juris Doctorate from the University of San Francisco School of Law. Prior to graduating from law school, she served in the U.S. Air Force for six years, with station appointments in the U.S., South Korea, and Germany. With an honorable discharge, she returned home to California to pursue her education.
As an undergraduate at the University of Southern California, Monica excelled academically and received numerous awards, scholarships and fellowships at USC. She was accepted into the Honors Thesis program and was able to design, conduct and complete an Undergraduate Honors Thesis. Monica successfully presented her research findings at numerous sociological conferences around the nation. Monica spent a year and a half in the field conducting sociological research based on participant observation, ethnography, and in-depth interviews, which focused on indigenous Oaxacan immigrants and the discrimination they face in Mexico, during migration, and once they arrive in the U.S.
Monica graduated from USC (Magna Cum Laude) with a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in Human Rights. She received one of the highest honors; the Order of the Laurel and the Palm, among other honors that celebrated her academic abilities.
While in law school, Monica focused on indigent criminal defense, immigration, and human rights. In 2015, Monica spent her summer in Jackson, Mississippi working on the death penalty at the Mississippi State Capitol Defender's Office. She returned to San Francisco to volunteer as a law clerk at the Immigration Center for Women and Children, a legal advocate for persons in prison at Justice Now in Oakland, CA, and an extern at the Immigration & Deportation Defense Clinic at USF Law. She was also selected to present her law & policy paper at the Migration Conference in Athens, Greece.
In addition to her community service and civic engagement, her work has been recognized with scholarships, fellowships and awards to include the Arthur C. Zief, Jr. Scholarship, the San Francisco La Raza Lawyers Association Fellowship, the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association Fellowship, the OneJustice & USF Law Pro Bono Publico Awards, and the Equal Justice Works Public Interest Law Award. At her law school graduation, she was awarded the "Pursuit of Justice" award.
Monica is a practicing attorney in San Francisco, California.