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APALSA President Israel Del Mundo’s Dedication to Diversity and Inclusion

Israel Del Mundo

Israel Del Mundo ('22) was the most recent president of the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (APALSA) and served on the Law Student Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee. He was recently celebrated at the College of Law's annual diversity scholarship reception, which honors students who show a strong commitment to DEI in law school and the greater legal community. Ben Alba, APASLA faculty advisor, says, “I am impressed with Israel's commitment, leadership and ability to follow through. Two years ago, he and his fellow 1Ls approached me with their request to revive APALSA, which was dormant the preceding year. They were undeterred by the pandemic, and through his leadership, APALSA is once again an active affinity group, informing and advocating on DEI issues."

Before attending DePaul Law, Israel studied philosophy and psychology at the University of Illinois Chicago, and after earning his undergraduate degree, he worked at a law firm, which provided great practical experience in many areas of the law. It was his interest in philosophy, however, that most influenced his decision to attend law school due to the many shared similarities between law and philosophy:  using critical and analytical skills, reading complex materials, considering and articulating differing viewpoints and perspectives, and defending one's beliefs to those who do not necessarily share them.  It was this skillset that Israel wanted to use in his future career. 

Israel ultimately chose DePaul Law because of its strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. He remembers, “Before my 1L year, I attended a diversity reception at an admitted law student program, and I could tell that DePaul really values its diverse law students." Another reason, he says, was DePaul's “deeply rooted alumni network, which has been, and continues to be, very instrumental to me in navigating law school and the legal profession." 

Since joining DePaul Law, Israel considers one of his top accomplishments being selected to join the DePaul Law Review. The publication of his law review article, “Face Masks and Freedom of Speech: The Constitutionality of Illinois Face Mask Mandates Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic," proved to him that he had become a better writer, which he considers key to his future success.  

Another top accomplishment, he says, was working with Ben Alba to restart the dormant APALSA chapter.  To Israel, the Asian/Pacific American community is very underrepresented in law schools and the greater legal community.  He believes that pairing 1L students with upper-level student mentors, as well as providing professional connections and networking opportunities, is crucial to bolstering the educational and career opportunities of Asian/Pacific American law students, and this exactly is what DePaul's revived APALSA chapter does. Despite the challenges of resurrecting the association during the COVID-19 pandemic, Israel says, “I'm very proud of what we were able to do together; membership doubled from one year to the next." 

After graduation, Israel will join Hinshaw and Culbertson LLP as an associate attorney. He is particularly interested in transactional law with a focus on tax law. “I enjoy the mix of strict legal analysis with the art of contract drafting, as well as the ability to identify loopholes and close them." He discovered his interest in tax law after taking Federal Income Taxation where he realized that “taxation is everywhere. It's in every facet of the law, and it's salient to everyone. That's interesting and beautiful." 

For future law students, Israel advises them to “network now. Make a LinkedIn profile. Get to know your current classmates, the classmates above you and alumni, because you never know where a connection will take you. And be kind to others, because kindness will take you far."  Israel is a role model for following that advice.