Paula Roa is the Community and Family Justice Attorney at the Shriver Center on Poverty Law. Before coming to the Shriver Center, Roa spent a short time as a regional counsel at Illinois Department of Children and Families. Prior to that, she worked at the National Immigrant Justice Center, where she practiced immigration removal, primarily representing victims of crime and domestic violence. Earlier, she worked as a staff attorney for Americans for Immigrant Justice (AIJ), Children’s Team, where she represented unaccompanied children in removal proceedings; she also provided direct representation and victims’ rights advocacy to survivors of human trafficking at Legal Aid Chicago. Roa began her career as an attorney with Cabrini Green Legal Aid, providing direct representation to youth facing juvenile parole hearings before the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, and worked on the expungement and sealing of juvenile records.
Before attending law school, Roa worked as a Juvenile Correctional Officer for the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice Youth Centers. She received her undergraduate degree cum laude from Loyola University in 2008, majoring in Criminal Justice and Psychology, and graduated from SIU College of Law in 2014.