Tag: Ourteam

Accident Attorney

Jazmin Alagha, Esq.

Accident Attorney
Jazmin Alagha, Esq.
Attorney

Jazmin J. Alagha is a partner with Ybarra Maldonado & Alagha, PLLC.  Her practice areas include plaintiffs and personal injury litigation.  She has been practicing law in the valley for the last ten (10) years.  

Born and raised in Salvatierra, Guanajuato, Mexico.  At the age of six (6), her family immigrated to the United States in search for a better life.  Her struggles shaped her passion and drive for the law and justice. Ms. Alagha quickly fell in love with Arizona and is proud to call Phoenix her home.  

Ms. Alagha graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science major and a minor in Women’s Studies from Arizona State University.  In 2008, she continued her legal studies at Arizona State and graduated with a Juris Doctorate degree in 2008 from Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU.   During law school, Ms. Alagha focused on trial practice and participated in the Jencks Closing Arguments competition. She also worked with the Federal Public Defender’s office during her second and third year in law school.

Ms. Alagha continued her pursuit to becoming a trial attorney when she joined the Maricopa County Public Defender’s office following a year of practice in immigration law at a local boutique immigration firm.  As felony trial attorney, she managed a heavy caseload ranging from minor drug possession to large scale drug conspiracy and aggravated dangerous offenses.

Eventually, Ms. Alagha opened her own law firm and eventually partnered with Ray Ybarra Maldonado to provide exceptional services and reliable representation to Latinos, immigrants, and Hispanic communities in Arizona.  

Ms. Alagha is a 2015 graduate of the Bar Leadership Institute.  She served on the Committee on Minorities and Women in the Law from 2015-2018. She has also been named Super Lawyers Rising Stars.

How to Become an Attorney

By: Lizeth Escalante

Becoming an Attorney

We had the honor of having Gerardo V. reach out to our firm and request to shadow one of our attorneys. While most High School Juniors spend most of their time hanging out or playing video games, we were inspired by Gerardo’s initiative to inform himself on a possible future career. Furthermore, he spent the entire day at our firm! In addition, he took the opportunity to interview Abogado Ray.

“Everybody works as a team and all work hard to create a positive work environment.”

Gerardo shared, “The attorney I was able to job shadow was very friendly and answered all of my questions about the profession. I had the opportunity to interact with the entire staff. This allowed me to get different perspectives. They all shared how they felt at my age and their journey to get to where they are now. Everybody works as a team and all work hard to create a positive work environment. I had the opportunity to be included in one of the meetings and was able to witness true teamwork. After spending the day with the attorney, I feel like I have all my questions answered and a much clearer perspective of the job.”

We appreciate your enthusiasm for the future Gerardo! We look forward to seeing the amazing accomplishments bound to come your way in the future!

Below is the video of Gerardo interviewing Abogado Ray. If you are a high school student or parent whose child has an interest in the profession, check out the video below!

Lizeth Escalante

Lizeth Escalante
Marketing Director 
Executive Assistant
Department: Administration

Lizeth Escalante is our Marketing Director as well as an Executive Assistant for our firm. She was born in Chihuahua, Mexico and she migrated to Arizona with her family at the young age of 4 years old. She attended Arizona State University where she earned her Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Business Communications. Lizeth joined our team after an extensive career in finance and the mortgage industry. Here at YMLG, Lizeth is responsible for the firms marketing needs and strategies as well as working closely with our lead attorney to ensure the needs of the family members we help are met. “After working in the financial industry for over 5 years, I wanted to ensure that I merged my passion for social justice with my passion for advertising. Working alongside some of the absolute best criminal and immigration attorneys in the state of Arizona has allowed me to do just that.” In her spare time, Lizeth enjoys spending time with her family and her 2 dog children. She loves books, coffee and the San Francisco Giants.

Carina Guillen

Carina Guillen
Director of Business Operations
Department: Admin

Ms. Carina V. Guillen was born in Mexico and grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. She became involved in the immigration movement after the passage of Proposition 300, designed to prevent undocumented students, who are residents of Arizona, from achieving the dream of higher education, by disqualifying them from paying in-state tuition. Since 2006, Carina became closely involved in the immigrants’ rights movement in Arizona and was an instrumental community organizer for grassroots organizations, nonprofits, and labor unions locally. She was an organizer for Tonatierra during the Pruitt’s Protests, and was instrumental in coordinating the legal observing efforts during Arpaio’s raids. In addition, she was a community organizer for the Somos America Coalition where she played a fundamental role coordinating community immigration and educational forums that brought much needed resources to the immigrant community. Her work and commitment was also showcased during the ¡Ya Es Hora! Ciudadania Campaign where she provided a myriad of volunteer hours assisting eligible Legal Permanent Residents apply for their Citizenship. Carina has worked for UFCW Local 99, National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO), Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and Mi Familia Vota uniting Latino, Immigrant and Allied Communities to promote social and economic justice through increased civic participation. She also has over five years of experience in the legal field, and was the former Business Operations Director at Cima Law Group. She has worked with several prominent immigration attorneys in Phoenix. Carina’s passions are music, justice, activism, traveling and cooking. She believes firmly that “Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere” (Martin Luther King, Jr.).

Aaron Lopez

Aaron Lopez

Legal Assistant
Department: Legal
Aaron A. Lopez was born in Sonora, Mexico and migrated to Phoenix, Arizona at the age of 8 years old. He is one of our Legal Assistants at YMLG. Aaron’s passion for immigration and civil rights began during his high school years at Camelback high school, organizing students and the community with his involvement at TONATIERRA, an Indigenous Peoples grassroots community based organization. In 2011, he helped mobilized his neighbors in the mobile home park he lived to fight for tenants’ rights. Since 98% of the people living in that mobile home park were Mexicans the landlord took advantage and had discriminated against them for many years. He helped organized the tenants to take action into court and fight for against this injustice. After a long battle in court the judged ruled that the landlord was responsible for the sewage, having a clean environment for tenants, repairing all electrical hazards which some were classified as immanent dangers and lowering rent. With all his involvement in the community it lead to Aaron becoming a Community Organizer and Activist for the Comites De Defensa Del Barrio. Aaron has worked for Former Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, and has three years of experience working for renowned immigration and criminal law offices. Aaron wants to pursue his education in Justice Studies and be able to give back to the community that continues to see him grow. Aaron is an ordained minister trough the American Marriage Ministries. He enjoys hiking, photography, spending time with family and friends and he loves turtles.

Juliana Manzanarez, Esq.

Juliana Manzanarez

Juliana Manzanarez, Esq.

Associate Attorney – Immigration

Department: Legal

Email: juliana@abogadoray.com

As the daughter of Mexican immigrants who made great effort to succeed in this country, Juliana appreciates not only cultural differences but also the importance of a solid education and hard work.

Outside her home environment, Juliana’s dedication for social justice and helping people stems from her time as a delegate at the Cesar Chavez Leadership Institute where she cultivated leadership skills, understood the importance of civic engagement, and the principles of respect for human dignity in all forms.

Juliana has experience is both in the public and private sectors. During her undergraduate years, she was a United States Senate intern in Washington DC for Senator Jeff Bingaman and with the Arizona Attorney General – Drug Enforcement Unit. During law school, Juliana completed internships with the Federal Public Defenders Office – Capital Habeas Unit assisting death row inmates on immediate warrant of execution, tried misdemeanor cases at Mesa City Prosecutor’s Office, and participated in the Diversity Writing Program at Fennemore Craig.

Juliana has appeared in immigration courts representing her clients in removal proceedings. She has experience representing clients in a variety of proceedings including: asylum cases, cancellation of removal, withholding-only proceedings, credible and reasonable fear interviews, and bond hearings. She has also represented clients before the Board of Immigration Appeals, the U.S. District Court of Arizona, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Outside of the courtroom, Juliana also has experience representing clients in affirmative applications like adjustment of status, consular processing, waivers of inadmissibility, U nonimmigrant status, and deferred action.

In addition to her immigration experience, Juliana also represents clients accused of committing crimes before U.S. District Court of Arizona, Maricopa County Superior Court and lower courts. Juliana uses her immigration experience to analyze the outcomes of certain convictions for immigration consequences, if needed.

Juliana earned her juris doctor from Arizona Summit Law School. Before law school, She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Arizona.

Janet Rocha

Janet Rocha
Director of Family Satisfaction
Department: Admin

Janet Rocha is the Director of Family Satisfaction. Her role at YMLG is to ensure that our clients are treated like family when they enter our doors. She understands the importance of quality service and is committed to creating a positive experience for new and current clients. She is the first point of contact for our firm, and will work with families in connecting them to their assigned paralegal. Janet has over thirteen years of customer service and administrative experience after working for many years at Bank of America. She is in the process of obtaining her Paralegal Studies Certificate at Phoenix College. “Immigration is something I relate to personally, I love my job because I get to come in and help facilitate the legal process for immigrant and Spanish Speaking families.” Janet loves cosmetology, sports, and spending time with her daughter.

Ray A. Ybarra Maldonado, Esq.

ATTORNEY Ray A. Ybarra Maldonado

Ray A. Ybarra Maldonado is a human rights activist, author, filmmaker,, and public speaker.  Born in Douglas, AZ, Ybarra Maldonado’s mother was born just a few miles to the south in the town of Agua Prieta, Sonora.  As a lawyer, Ybarra Maldonado is an aggressive trial attorney who has attained not guilty verdicts for his clients in both state and federal courts.  In addition to attaining not guilty verdict he has won motions to suppress evidence that have resulted in complete dismissal of cases and has attained victories at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

In the immigration context, his clients have successfully been bonded out of immigration detention, attained U Visas, have had VAWA applications approved, won appeals after denials from USCIS, and attained permanent resident status following an individual hearing (equivalent of trial in immigration court), and he has had multiple cases completely dismissed or had stay of deportations granted.  Ybarra Maldonado co-wrote and co-produced the award-winning documentary, “Rights on the Line: Vigilantes at the Border,” was instrumental in bringing about a major civil rights lawsuit against one of the vigilantes, and created and coordinated the Legal Observer Project during the Minutemen’s operations.  He has trained hundreds of volunteers and spent months following the minutemen as they patrolled along the U.S. – Mexico Divide.  His book “Born on the Border: Minutemen Vigilantes, Origins of Arizona’s Anti-Immigrant Movement, and a Call for Increased Civil Disobedience” was published in 2013 and was a required reading in an Immigration class at Harvard Law School.

Ybarra Maldonado has written about and given numerous talks on vigilantism, the militarization of the border and the growing immigrant’s rights movement at numerous universities including Stanford, Harvard, University of California at Berkeley, and the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and to community groups from Washington to Iowa.  In addition to receiving awards for his commitment to social justice, Ybarra Maldonado has testified in front of local and state bodies as well as having his work quoted at the United Nations.  Ybarra Maldonado is frequently quoted in both the national and international media and his work has been profiled in the Intelligence Report, Stanford Lawyer, and in a documentary that premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, entitled “Crossing Arizona.”  Ybarra Maldonado spent a year vounteering at a migrant center in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico and in Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico assisting with cleaning, preparing food, and conducting human rights discussions amongst the migrants.

“Human beings like all other animals should not be restrained by prisons, cages, or borders.”

Ybarra Maldonado was awarded an athletic scholarship to play baseball at Cochise Community College in Douglas, AZ and later graduated Summa Cum Laude from Arizona State University in 2002 with a degree in Religious Studies and fromStanford Law School in 2007.  He has previously worked for United Farm Workers of America, AFL-CIO, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and was a proud public defender in Cochise County and with the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Tucson, AZ.He currently lives in Phoenix, AZ with his wife, Angeles Maldonado, and their handsome boys, Ray Emerson and Stokely Daniel.” -Ray Prior to his marriage to Angeles he was “Ray Ybarra” and legally has changed his name to “Ray Ybarra Maldonado.”  The family are avid fans of the Arizona State Sun Devils, Stanford Cardinal, and all things Arizona (minus the anti-immigrant politics).

Angeles J. Maldonado, Ph.D.

“My role at LRYM is to oversee the business component of the firm, while ensuring that our mission remains at the forefront of all our efforts.  There are many great attorneys in Arizona, but what differentiates our practice is that we provide holistic representation, not only is Abogado Ray committed to winning your case, but I am also concerned about the experience that families go through when navigating the legal process, subsequently our entire team is dedicated to creating a positive experience with stellar results.”

Angeles J. Maldonado, Ph.D.
Operations Director
Department: Administration
Extension: 104

Angeles Maldonado, Ph.D. earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Arizona State University, with a specialization in Social and Philosophical Foundations.  She also holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies, with a Minor in Philosophy.  Her research focuses on analyzing discourse in the immigrant rights movement.  She applies Critical Race Theory and “Border Crit Theory,” a new and emerging theoretical framework she developed for understanding research in the borderlands.  Her focus areas of interest are immigration, critical pedagogy in education, community organizing, and social movements.

For the past thirteen years, Dr. Maldonado has been closely involved in the immigrant rights movement in Arizona.  Presently, she sits on the Community Advisory Board in the racial profiling case Ortega Melendres vs. Joseph Arpaio.  Her role is to represent and engage the community in holding the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office accountable as they embark on the long journey of reform and restoring public trust in its operations.

Dr. Maldonado’s interest in immigration stems from her own background.  Born in Guanajuato, Mexico, her family immigrated to Phoenix in 1989.   Dr. Maldonado was an organizer for a variety of nonprofit and labor organizations such as the grassroots organization Tonatierra, the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW Local 99), the Service Employees International Union’s Civic Participation Campaign (SEIU Local 5).  She has also worked for Chicanos Por La Causa, as the Program Director for La Union Del Pueblo Entero (LUPE), a branch of the United Farm Workers of America (AFL-CIO), and for PUEBLO Center for Legal & Human Rights.

Currently, Dr. Maldonado serves as the Operations Director for the Law Office of Ray A. Ybarra Maldonado, while living in Phoenix, with her husband Ray Ybarra Maldonado and their boys Ray Emerson and Stokely Daniel.