Hayley Lutz did not have any grandiose allusions of becoming an attorney at a young age.
Hayley’s epiphany, which inevitably led her into the courtroom and as an emerging attorney with national immigration law firm Rivas & Associates, happened instead in the unlikeliest of places – at a K-12 school within the Tulsa Public School District.
Located in Tulsa, the school where Hayley worked as a music teacher after graduating with a bachelor’s in Music Education from Northeastern State University represented Hayley’s first real experience working with and supporting a diverse community.
“I grew up in Inola where there isn’t a whole lot of diversity,” Hayley Lutz said. “This school was in a primarily Latino community. I would say that 30 percent of our staff was Middle Eastern, and we had over 30 percent Latina and 30 percent African American in our student body. I was able to work with students who were living a different way of life than the one I grew up with.”
Those experiences at the school also opened Hayley’s eyes to many of the legal issues her students and their families faced on a constant basis.
“It inspired me to learn more about the immigration community,” Hayley said, “but after the bell rang, I couldn’t help much.”
Wanting to help more, the allure of becoming an immigration attorney began to appeal to Hayley, and she applied and was admitted into the University of Tulsa College of Law.
“I went to law school knowing I wanted to work in immigration law,” Hayley Lutz said. “I geared my law school experience to immigration law. I was the first person at TU to receive a concentration in immigration law, and I was able to intern at the YWCA and with KIND (Kids in Need of Defense) in Baltimore.”
Although Hayley attended law school during the Coronavirus pandemic, the up and incoming immigration attorney noted that some opportunities came her way due to the pandemic shifting the workplace paradigm to a more digitalized-remote environment.
“For me, the benefit was I got a lot of out-of-state experience,” Hayley Lutz said. “I was able to intern with KIND which was a tremendous opportunity.”
Hayley said the experience working for KIND and attending TU helped her gain a deeper understanding of not just immigration law, but how it intersects with other areas of law – criminal law, family law, etc.
After graduating from TU Law in 2021, Hayley quickly went to work for Rivas & Associates where she is an emerging litigation attorney.
“It has been very satisfying working for Lorena (Rivas) as a part of this team,” Hayley Lutz said. “Our firm and office really reflect the community we serve.”