2021 Tillman Scholar

Alejandra Rocha

Military Spouse
University of Virginia

“I’m a lawyer focused on international human rights and transitional justice. I’m passionate about finding legal solutions to expedite the resolution of armed conflicts in societies all around the world.”

Alejandra comes from Colombia, where she grew up seeing inequalities, political corruption, and war as part of everyday life. She studied law because she had the desire to find legal solutions to armed conflicts with the goal of being a change agent. After becoming a lawyer, she gave a pro-bono service, where she learned how to understand, and represent vulnerable populations in need. It strengthened her resolve to help others through her knowledge of law.

Afterwards, she became a law clerk in an administrative court, where she dealt with the reparation of the death of young soldiers in the middle of the armed confrontation, who were forced to join the military through conscription, fell in love and got married to a U.S. Special Operations Army officer. She has continued to see the effects of war through the lens of a spousal volunteer in Fort Polk, Louisiana, where she currently lives. She has studied transitional Justice and the processes of many countries, including Colombia’s, which even though is relatively new, it’s already producing results and showing that legal structures can create a real avenue to peace.

In order to meet her goals of being an agent of positive change she has elected to pursue an LLM at the University of Virginia. Her objective is to keep learning and doing research of legal strategies that can conclude armed conflicts in completely different societies around the world. By doing this, she hopes to limit the international human rights violations and finally achieve post-conflict stability.