Migrant Legal Aid is fortunate to not only have a solid team of professional staff in the office, but that it also can rely on the assistance and generosity of its volunteers and interns to help MLA expand beyond, from organizing fundraisers and events, to traveling to migrant camps. In addition, MLA has an all-volunteer board of directors to govern executive-level decisions.


Teresa Hendricks

Attorney – Executive Director – Senior Litigator

Ben O’Hearn

Staff Attorney

Mary Bennett


Molly Spaak

Law Clerk

Karen Barrose

Office Assistant

Summer 2020 Interns and Clerks

Name: De’Chelle Richards
School: Western Michigan Cooley Law School, Juris Doctor Candidate
Expected graduation date: Fall 2021
Future Plans: I hope to start a private practice surrounding Probate (wills, trusts, estates), and operate a nonprofit focusing on community engagement and minority literacy.
Quote: “I love animals. I love advocacy. I love cooking”
Name: Lupita Perales
School: Michigan State University
Major: Pre-Law Humanities and a minor in Spanish 
Future Plans: I plan on attending Law School to become an immigration attorney and assist my Latinx community. I am very passionate about helping farmworkers and advocating for their rights. During this pandemic, they are the most vulnerable and deserve to have a voice. My role is to empower farmworkers and let them know they are more than essential workers. 
Quote: “Migrant Legal Aid has provided me with an amazing opportunity to impact many farmworkers. As a farmworker myself, I know the challenges that we encounter on a daily basis. We work long hours from sunrise to sunset in order to provide food for many families here in America. The challenges and injustices that we face only motivate me to fight for better wages, working conditions, and proper housing.” 
Name: Esperanza Garcia
School: Aquinas College
Major: Sociology 
Future Plans: I graduated from Aquinas in May 2020, so I am currently making future plans to go back to school. I am deciding between obtaining my master’s degree or going to law school.
Quote: “I am very excited about working with the migrant community this Summer and being able to be part of the Migrant Legal Aid team!”

 Halsey Smith
School: Middlebury College
Major: Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies and Geography
Future Plans: I am currently in school at Middlebury but am hoping to continue my education and attend law school in the future.
Quote: “I am working on marketing, communications, and social media for Migrant Legal Aid and am grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of MLA this summer!
Name: Hope Kennedy
School: University of Michigan
Major: History and Spanish
Future Plans: After graduating in the spring of 2021, I am planning on attending law school after a gap year.
Quote: “My favorite part of the internship is seeing the positive impact Migrant Legal Aid and their outreach program has on the lives of Michigan’s migrant farm workers.”

Our Mission

Helping the Community Protect Migrant Farmworkers

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