Alan Carrillo’s journey in advocacy

February 13, 2024 by

“My career is law, but my calling is advocacy,” Alan Carrillo (Government, ‘12) said. He interned for International Justice Mission (IJM) in Kenya for about a year after graduating from PHC, serving as the executive assistant to the field office director. “I pursued the internship with IJM because I was drawn to IJM’s mission of advocacy for people all over the world who deserve access to functioning public justice systems,” he said.

Carrillo learned about IJM’s human rights casework—from investigation to litigation to victim aftercare. In Kenya at the time, IJM focused on defending people who were falsely imprisoned, as well as prosecuting police officers who abused their authority and people who sexually assaulted children.

My career is law, but my calling is advocacy
“I saw how a functioning public justice system transformed our clients’ lives in Nairobi,” Carrillo said. “I became convinced that I wanted to invest in the public justice system back home in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas.” So, even though he did not plan to attend law school after PHC, he decided to do so after working in Kenya. “I believe I’d be an advocate for others no matter my career, but law seemed to be the best fit given my skills, education, and personality,” he said.

Carrillo currently works as a commercial litigator at Brown Fox PLLC, where he helps businesses and business leaders navigate and resolve legal disputes. He joined this law firm in January 2023 after about four years at two international law firms and a year as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge Brantley Starr on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Dallas.

Thinking back to his time at PHC, Carrillo said that learning “how to think and not just what to think” meant cultivating a personal conviction and initiative to learn. “That personal drive to learn and adapt is absolutely essential to succeed in law school, and they are essential to succeed in any career,” he said. “They are essential to grow in your faith and as a person.”

Carrillo served as Vice President of the IJM chapterResident AssistantTeen Leadership Camp counselor, and Student Body President while at PHC. He said that even though PHC provided helpful opportunities for him to explore how he could live out his calling through a career, that’s not how PHC best prepared him.

“PHC best prepared me by surrounding me with some of the most genuine and good people—professors and fellow students—that I’ve ever met, many of whom I still call friends and fellow believers, and, most importantly, Susanna, my wife of nearly eight years,” he said. “I wouldn’t be who I am today without my Patrick Henry College community.”

Written by Hannah Gaschler. 

This article, originally entitled “Alumnus Alan Carrillo’s Journey in Advocacy”, is reprinted with permission from the author and Patrick Henry College.

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