Meet Latinx Attorney and Content Creator Elisa Lunell
In Celebration of Latinx Heritage Month
Tell us a bit about yourself...
Hola! I’m Elisa (@elisalunell). I’m a content creator and attorney from Los Angeles.
I was born in Mexico City and raised in Los Angeles. Prior to doing content creation, I practiced immigration law. On my corner of the internet, I like to share my life in LA, personal style, the occasional cocktail, and speak on social justice issues that are important to me. I currently live in Pasadena, CA with my husband and have been calling this suburb of LA home for over a decade.
Can you tell us about your career path as a lawyer?
I was influenced very early on by my family’s experience with the US immigration system. The US immigration system is extremely complex and does not make it easy for individuals to navigate through it. Having seen first-hand how my parents were affected because of ineffective legal counsel, I knew I wanted a service-oriented career.
After college and before law school, I worked at a homeless shelter in the heart of Skid Row of LA. While I loved what I did there, I wanted to help individuals in a more fundamental way. Once in law school, I became immersed in all things immigration law. I helped families and individuals legalize their status after experiencing very traumatic events. After law school, I worked for a law firm in Los Angeles where I continued to represent families and individuals.
What are some of your favorite Latinx-written books, podcasts, or films that you would recommend to others?
I’ll be honest, the legal profession doesn’t leave much of a desire for leisurely reading, but some shows and films I recommend: Selena, Pose (I don’t know that this is by a Latinx but it centers Afro-Latinx characters), Gentefied, Coco, One Day at a Time, Luis Miguel: The Series.
How does living in Los Angeles specifically inspire what you do and keep you connected to your culture?
Latinx culture is embedded into the fabric of Los Angeles. I see our culture almost everywhere in LA—through the people, style, music, and food. I love that on any day I can get authentic Mexican food, or other Latinx dishes. I’m inspired by our community’s hard work and ability to overcome adversity. Despite laws and policies that exist to make it almost impossible for some of our community members to survive here, our people our resilient.
What do you wish you could have told your younger self?
One of the most important things I’ve learned is to set boundaries—in your personal life, at school, at work. It’s okay to say no to doing things or no to being around people you don’t want to. Don’t keep relationships (family included) that don’t serve you. In short, don’t put up with things because you’re afraid of hurting someone’s feelings. Be kind, but protect yourself from negative energy.
Lastly, I’d tell her not to yield to society’s expectations of what you’re “supposed” to do in life. Create your own expectations and timelines. You don’t have to have it all figured out—no one does.
Elisa also shared one of her favorite cocktail recipes to make at home, The Paloma: