Meet Joey Carrillo ’13

A Successful Philosophy

When Joey Carrillo ’13 started college, he planned to major in political science and Spanish. Philosophy was not on his radar.

Then he took Katrina Sifferd’s Introduction to Philosophy class—and he was hooked.

“I did not want to take philosophy, but it was the only class available,” he recalled. “Little did I know that it would lead to a fruitful and fulfilling course of study.”

Carrillo enjoyed that first class so much that he added a philosophy major to his course of studies, resulting in a triple major. He’s glad he did. Today, as a first-year law student at Chicago-Kent College of Law, he regularly draws on the lessons learned in those classes.

“I received the highest grade in my class on a recent legal writing assignment,” he says. “The intensive logic, reasoning, and writing courses I took as an Elmhurst philosophy major were a great stepping stone for law school.”

Another formative experience for Carrillo was participating in the University’s Mock Trial Team and serving as its captain.

“Mock Trial was probably the best experience I had,” he said. “It developed my skills in oral communication, critical thinking and reasoning—skills that are essential, both for law school and for the real world. And our coach, Ed Momkus, was a practicing attorney. To be able to practice a case with a real attorney was invaluable.”

At Elmhurst, Carrillo also got a close-up look at the legal profession through an internship that he found with the help of the University’s Russell G. Weigand Center for Professional Excellence.

“I interned with a law firm in LaGrange,” he said. “I went to court, sat in on depositions and helped with DACA cases. As one of only two Spanish speakers on staff, I even helped translate in meetings. It was a great experience and solidified my intention to pursue a law career.”

After graduating from Elmhurst in 2013, Carrillo worked for a few years before applying to law school. He taught high school in Chicago as part of Teach for America, then took a fundraising job at Elmhurst University, which led to a similar position at Illinois Institute of Technology. Today, he juggles his work as associate director for alumni engagement and giving programs at IIT with part-time law studies.

“The opportunities I got at Elmhurst, I literally wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else,” he said.

My Elmhurst education prepared me for the real world and set me up to be successful, both academically and professionally.

Joey Carrillo '13

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