Faculty: Monica Valencia

Monica Valencia

Adjunct Professor of Law
San Francisco

Adjunct Professor Monica Valencia is a Supervising Attorney for the Immigrant Rights’ team at Centro Legal de la Raza in Oakland, California. She is also the Founder and Co-Executive Director of the Dreamer Fund in San Francisco, California; a nonprofit focusing on education equity for the undocumented community. Ms. Valencia’s experience focuses on asylum, deportation defense, and family-based immigration.

Ms. Valencia is passionate about immigrant and human rights. As a Post-Bar Fellow at the USF Law Immigration & Deportation Defense Clinic, she trained under the "Rebellious Lawyering" model to create an intentional and collaborative learning process between her legal advocacy and the community she serves. Ms. Valencia is dedicated to increasing access to underserved and underrepresented communities of color through the lens of pro bono service.

Ms. Valencia received a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Human Rights at the University of Southern California and graduated magna cum laude. At her graduation, she received one of the highest honors; the Order of the Laurel and the Palm, among other honors. Monica then went on to graduate from the University of San Francisco School of Law with juris doctorate and a public interest law specialty.

While at USF Law, she gained practical skills by interning and externing at various organizations including the Immigration Center for Women & Children, Justice Now, and the Immigration & Deportation Defense Clinic at USF Law. Monica taught Street Law to high school students in the Mission District of San Francisco, CA and competed on the Asylum Moot Court Team at USF Law. She was also one of ten students selected to participate in the Keta Taylor Colby Death Penalty Project and was assigned to the Capitol Defenders Office in Jackson, Mississippi.

As the founder of the nonprofit, Dreamer Fund, Ms. Valencia hopes to assist undocumented students looking to attend law school in California, through community fundraising, legal advocacy, policy, education equity, and grassroots collaborations.

As a result of her dedication to the profession of law, she has been awarded several awards including the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association Fellowship, the Equal Justice Works Public Interest Law Award, and the OneJustice Pro Bono Publico Gold Award two years in a row. At her graduation, Ms. Valencia was the recipient of the "Pursuit of Justice" award.

Ms. Valencia is a Los Angeles native born to immigrant parents from Mexico and a proud veteran of the armed forces. Prior to attending law school, Ms. Valencia served her country for six years in the U.S. Air Force, with station appointments in the South Korea, Germany, and the U.S. Monica also serves as a Commissioner for the Culture Commission of the City of Modesto. In her spare time, Ms. Valencia is an avid traveler and adventurer, having visited over 25 countries, and a photographer.