1L Fabiola Gretzinger: Paralegal Turns Law Student to Make an Impact

September 10, 2019

Fabiola Gretzinger hails from San Jose, Costa Rica. Fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, she works part-time as a paralegal at Igbanugo Partners, an immigration law firm in Minneapolis. Last spring, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, and minors in Economics and Portuguese.

Welcome to the Minnesota Law class of 2022! You have an interesting background as a paralegal. Could you discuss that experience?

It’s some of the most rewarding work I have ever done, and I love it because it keeps me on my feet. Although it’s very difficult to lose a case, I’ve discovered my passion to do everything humanly possible to help someone who may not be able to help themselves.

Minnesota Law Class of 2022Could you describe a bit about your work on Inter-American Democracy?

It was a three-day conference organized by Harvard University. Of the three times I went, I discussed youth violence and drug involvement, abortion and the right to marriage, and the right to go off life support and copyright infringement. My work included research, debate, and persuading a jury.

How did you wind up moving from Costa Rica to Minnesota?

I knew I wanted to return to the United States for my higher education, so I was looking for a rigorously academic school that was also a Big Ten school. The University of Minnesota was highly diverse, financially affordable, and academically recognized, so definitely the best fit for me.

Minnesota Law is a place known for putting an emphasis on leadership. What does leadership mean to you?

It means being able to speak up and acting when others don’t or can’t. It also means including everyone in the team, hearing their opinions, and taking the approach that helps us reach the end goal in the most effective way.

What do you hope to do with your legal education?

I want to make an impact, and use my legal education to give a voice to those who can’t. Although I am keeping my options open, I would love to focus on immigration, Constitutional, or international law.

What three words describe you best?

Optimistic, hardworking, joyful

Do you have any hobbies or interests that you would like to share?

Reading, discovering new restaurants in the Cities, traveling, playing volleyball

What else would you like to share with the Minnesota Law community about yourself and/or your aspirations?

I’m really looking forward to starting law school!

Fabiola Gretzinger, 1L
Fabiola Gretzinger, 1L

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