Lawyer Licelle Cobrador is Maryknoll’s youngest Amazing Alumni Achiever

Cobrador, HS ‘96: ‘Maryknoll was where I learned to love the art of debate.’

Immigration and human rights lawyer Licelle Cobrador has been named one of 10 Maryknoll/Miriam Amazing Alumni Achievers for 2022, the youngest-ever awardee in the Triple A’s 21-year history.

The Triple A Award created in 2001 honors alumni who have made “perceptible impact on the lives of people despite obstacles and adversity,” according to the school’s website. They are known to exhibit the Maryknoll/Miriam “spirit of trailblazing and making positive change.”

Cobrador, an immigration attorney who has a private practice in New York City, attended Maryknoll High School from 1992 to 1996.    She obtained her law degree from the Ateneo de Manila University in 2004. After passing the Philippine Bar, she was an associate in Rodrigo, Berenguer & Guno, a leading law firm in Makati City.

She passed the New York Bar and served as an associate in a law firm and worked as a senior lecturer at the University of the Philippines Manila. Under a scholarship, she pursued further studies on intellectual property at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law while working as a law clerk in various New York law firms. 

At her law office in New York.

She established the Cobrador & Associates, PLLC in 2017 with her legal director Mampi Ghosh, focusing on business immigration, extraordinary ability visas and asylum. Their first location was in Long Island City, Queens. In 2021, they opened their Manhattan office. 

“Maryknoll/ Miriam had a significant part in my formative years,” she said in a statement provided to The FilAm. “The Maryknoll/ Miriam spirit has always been that of compassion and generosity. Our goal was to contribute to building a society of truth, justice and peace. I learned to value integrity above personal convenience or gain.

“This glorious institution encouraged critical thinking, and this was where I learned to love the art of debate. They celebrated our debate team’s wins in the same way they celebrated the victories of athletes and other talents. Maryknoll/ Miriam also emphasized service to others, caring for the environment and strengthening relationships.”

Ma. Luisa Razalo Cobrador (3rd from left) receives the award on her behalf of daughter Licelle.

As an immigration attorney, Cobrador has been a frequent supporter and volunteer speaker on topics such as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, human trafficking, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and “Know Your Rights”. She is currently the executive director and vice president of the Filipino American Legal Defense Fund, and has led free immigration clinics to provide legal advice to Filipino nationals in need of assistance.

She has, since 2020, served as a volunteer lawyer at The Migrant Center of New York, a Roman Catholic ministry assisting immigrants seeking a legal path to citizenship. There, she has offered her time and expert counsel for free to immigrants through personal consultations or webinars.  Its Executive Director, Fr. Julian Jagudilla, OFM, wrote that “Atty. Cobrador’s selfless service to others has epitomized Jesus’ Gospel call to love the less fortunate among us.”

“The sound foundations I learned from Kindergarten to High School prepared me for what’s out there in the world,” Cobrador said of her Maryknoll education.  

This year’s Triple A honorees also include trade advocate for Mindanao Development Edylinda Balaoing-Pelkmans; medical administrator Glenda Faye Ledesma-Pereira; Mildred Christine Flores Piad, a civic and business leader; pulmonary specialist Ma. Bella Reyes Siasoco; banker Teresita Bautista-Tan; science educator Ma. Lourdes Bartolome Bautista; Ma. Aurora Araneta-Gutierrez, a farmer and environmental advocate; visual artist Pamela Gotangco; and Mary Joy Ruiz-Molleston, an addiction medicine specialist. – Cristina DC Pastor

This year’s Triple A honorees

© The FilAm 2022

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