Veronica Douat is a native Spanish language speaker. Born and raised in San Jose, CA to immigrant parents from Jalisco, Mexico. Veronica attended Willow Glen High School where she participated in the Mock Trial Program and discovered her passion for the law and advocacy. Veronica spent 4 years at the University of California, Berkeley majoring in History. She graduated with honors in 2006. In 2008, after two years working as a File Clerk/ Legal Assistant in the legal department of a local software company, she began attending Law School at Santa Clara University. Veronica spent her summers during law school interning at various non-profit and criminal defense organizations including, the International Institute of the Bay Area in Redwood City as a U Visa Program Law Student Intern, the California Appellate Project as a Law Student Summer Intern working with Death Row inmates, and as a Bar Certified Law Student with the Santa Clara County Public Defender’s Office in San Jose. At the public defender’s office she represented criminal defendants with their misdemeanor criminal cases in court, negotiated plea agreements, filed and argued motions in Santa Clara County Superior Court under the supervision of a supervising attorney from the Santa Clara County Public Defender’s Office. Veronica graduated from Santa Clara University, School of Law in 2011. Following graduation, she spent six months completing a Bar Certified- Post Bar Exam Internship at the Santa Clara County Public Defender’s Office in Morgan Hill, where she was responsible for approximately 60 cases per week from beginning to end. Here, Veronica was able to conduct a bench trial for a misdemeanor count of disturbing the peace case and sit as second chair on a misdemeanor domestic violence criminal trial. All under the supervision of a Deputy Public Defender.
In June of 2012, Veronica was inspired by President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) announcement and returned to volunteering for the International Institute of the Bay Area (IIBA), Redwood City. Within weeks she was hired to run the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program in Redwood City. Six months later, in January 2013, Veronica was promoted to Staff Attorney for the Redwood City office of IIBA where she was responsible for the largest caseload. In July 2013, Veronica was again promoted, this time, taking on the role of Immigration Program CoCoordinator. For the next year and a half, Veronica helped run the largest of the International Institute of the Bay Area’s 5 offices. She attended several trainings in and out of the state including a weeklong CLINIC training in El Paso, Texas on Family Based Immigration Consular Processing that included a tour of the US Consulate in Ciudad Juarez in Mexico, the largest US Consulate by case volume, in the world. In June 2014, Veronica attended the weeklong American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Conference in Boston, MA where hundreds of immigration attorneys convene to get the most up to date training and information in the practice area. In October 2014, Veronica was one of ten Bay Area attorneys who participated in the AILA Artesia Pro Bono Project (see below). She spent a week in Artesia, NM defending recently arrived immigrants from deportation. These immigrants came to the US from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras fleeing gang and other violence in their native countries.
In November of 2014, again inspired by President Barack Obama’s Administrative Relief for Parents of US Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident children, Veronica decided to go into private practice with fellow immigration attorney Rosa Gomez to continue serving the local immigrant community, but this time, back in her native San Jose.
“AILA NorCal is a proud sponsor of a cadre of volunteer attorneys who have taken the trip to Artesia, New Mexico, to defend women and children in asylum and removal and other humanitarian cases in October 2014. Below is the most recent photograph of our volunteers.”
(From left to right: Helen Lawrence, Jacqueline Brown Scott, Lara Polstein, Nancy Powell, Veronica Douat, Natalia Santanna, Jennifer Doerrie Melissa Martinelli, Tala Hartsough Jesse Lloyd.)
Read more about the work that these and many other attorneys have done in Artesia at http://www.ailanorcal.com/ http://www.aila.org/practice/pro-bono/find-your-opportunity/artesia-pro-bono-project