Revathi Truong

Revathi Truong

Immigration Attorney - Vriezelaar, Tigges, Edgington, Bottaro, Boden & Ross, LLP
Sioux City, IA
Juris Doctor, 2015

"You earned your seat at the table, so show up for it. And in the event you don't like the table at which you're seated, build your own."

Q&A with Revathi:

Describe your current educational or professional pursuits.

My current professional pursuit is to inspire others to get involved in immigration law while continuing to make immigration legal services accessible to our growing communities in rural areas. Part of this pursuit was made possible by the amazing opportunity to co-adjunct teach Immigration Law at USD School of Law School and one I hope to continue throughout my career. Growing access to immigration legal services entails the future opening of a non-profit organization, but in a non-traditional scope. This is a project very near and dear to my heart and is not something I’m ready to delve into detail quite yet, as we are still in the model planning phase. However, once it is ready to be launched, I know it will be a game changer for those in need, and I can’t wait to share it with you down the road.

How did your USD experience influence your career path?

My USD experience influenced my career path by providing me an environment to pursue what I wanted without fear. When I was looking for immigration clerking opportunities, we had nothing. No connections, literally nothing. But that didn’t stop Leah Piersol, our then career services director, from helping me find ways to create those connections. With her support and dedication, I continued to push through, and Leah found Taneeza Islam, an immigration attorney newly relocated at that time to Sioux Falls who took me under her wing and showed me the ropes. Now, as an immigration practitioner myself, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to become this connection for the school and talk to other students interested in entering this particular field of law.

Tell us about your proudest achievement.

My proudest professional achievement is having been able to help so many of our residents achieve their version of the American Dream. Getting thank you notes from clients who can’t wait to serve on jury duty now that they’re U.S. citizens, reuniting with their loved ones whom they’ve been separated from for decades, helping businesses hire and retain qualified employees in various sectors, to helping our newest residents open up their own small shop – these professional achievements are what I am most proud of.

What was your USD experience like? Were you involved in any campus organizations or activities?

My experience at USD encompassed everything that is important to me: giving back to the community, receiving a well-rounded education and trailblazing a path for myself.

During my time as a law student, I was involved in the following activities and organizations: Public Interest Network, where I also served as co-president from 2014-2015; Women in Law, where I also served as vice president from 2014-2015; Trial Team; Law School Disciplinary board member; Diversity and Inclusion Committee member; Law Students for Reproductive Justice; OUTLaws, where I also served as secretary from 2014-2015; and Domestic Violence Law Project, where I also served as secretary. I also was an active member in the R.D. Hurd program that assisted in providing legal services to low income and underserved populations in the realm of family law.

I also earned a coveted graduate assistantship position with the University’s Housing Department. Through this position, I served as the program coordinator for Coyote Village. Here, I supervised and worked alongside twelve resident associates in developing over 35 programs per semester for the students living in Coyote Village. I also helped run the Coyote Village Complex Council and served on the Executive Board of Residence Hall Association.

As a student at USD, I was also able to create a path for myself. I was able to serve on various school boards to assist tackling challenges that would make us better. Having seen some of the issues my class and the class above me were facing, I created and authored the Law School’s Oath of Professionalism, which to this day is still taken during orientation day for newly-admitted law students. More recently, I completed my first semester as an adjunct professor at USD Law teaching immigration.

I feel incredibly fortunate to have attended a law school that was able to provide me with opportunities that met my values. It’s incredibly rare to find that in the graduate studies world, but Vermillion has quite a gem in USD School of Law.

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