CLEO, Inc.

CLEO EDGE PODCAST Ep. 2 – From Undocumented Immigrant to U.S. Military Attorney Attended CLEO’s Flagship Program in 2013


Alexandria, VA —October 17, 2022—When Eduardo Reyes-Chavez entered the United States as an 11-year old child and without proper documents, he had walked through the hot desert without food and water. Ultimately, he was led to Utah. But there was no way he could have predicted that one day he would become a military lawyer serving in the United States Navy’s Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps. Even so, the “Road to Law School” was fraught with impediments, “struggle, and persistence,” according to J.C. Polanco, Esq., MBA, Council on Legal Education Opportunity, Inc. (CLEO) Chief Executive Officer, who recently interviewed the Navy lieutenant.

Lt. Eduardo Reyes-Chavez is the second guest for “The CLEO EDGE” (Education, Diversity, and Greater Equality) podcast. The podcast, which can be accessed here:, touches on the importance of Hispanic Heritage Month and highlights the impact this accomplished CLEO alumnus is having in both the profession and society. His inspiring journey from being an undocumented immigrant to legal resident in 2009 and a full U.S. citizen in 2014 gives momentum to the rich story he shares on the podcast.

After he and his mother came to the United States from Mexico, they moved to Utah and Reyes-Chavez subsequently attended the University of Utah where he was Phi Beta Kappa and consistently on the Dean’s List. “Education is key to achieving your dream,” he said. About this time, this young man had begun to dream about becoming a lawyer. It was also at this time Reyes-Chavez became involved with CLEO.

In 2013, Lt. Reyes-Chavez attended the historic CLEO Pre-Law Summer Institute at Georgia State University College of Law where he became a CLEO Fellow. To learn more about this story of a successful young undocumented immigrant’s rise to a prestigious position in the United States military, view the podcast video here: or listen to the audio on ANCHOR at:, or on SPOTIFY here:

“The CLEO EDGE” podcast offers insights into diversity, law school admission, and highlights trailblazers in the legal community. The content and discussion can be enjoyed by any fan of podcasts and/or great conversation! “We have thousands of heartfelt testimonies of success,” stated Polanco. “And, we want to share them widely with the legal community and beyond.”

Future podcast guests will be trailblazers in the legal field and diversity pioneers. Our first podcast in August was an interview with the well-regarded, New York-based defense attorney and proud CLEO alumna, Bernarda Villalona. That episode can be found at To contact CLEO for more information or other queries, email:

About the Council on Legal Education Opportunity, Inc.

CLEO, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to diversifying the legal profession by expanding legal education opportunities for persons from traditionally under-represented racial and ethnic groups, low-income, and disadvantaged communities. Founded in 1968, when the number of lawyers of color was less than one percent, CLEO has since had more than 28,000 high school, college, prelaw, and law students participate in its programs. CLEO alumni have excelled in every area of the legal profession to include judges, corporate attorneys, law school deans and professors, practitioners, and politicians. More information about CLEO, its 50+ year history, and its programs can be found at and

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