Advocating in International Law
Delann Fraschetti Finch ’22 was born and raised in Puerto Rico. Growing up, she saw the issues affecting the territory, including political, economic and natural. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which hit the territory in 2017, Fraschetti Finch volunteered with the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico Law School Clinic to help citizens facing evictions. It was there that she found her passion as an advocate for those without a voice.
When she decided to apply to law schools, Fraschetti Finch explored options in Puerto Rico and the contiguous United States. She wanted to build on her undergraduate degree in international and global studies, so the JD/LLM in International Studies joint degree program at Villanova Law sparked her interest. After learning more about Villanova’s community, she was inspired to come to Villanova Law to begin her legal career.
“When you speak to alumni or other lawyers, you see what a strong connection the Villanova community has, which really stands out in the legal field,” commented Fraschetti Finch. “Villanova alums want to work with Villanova grads and it’s a tight knit community for life, not just law school, that I’m proud to be a part of.”
Fraschetti Finch has always been drawn to advocacy. As the child of a healthcare worker—her mother is a pediatrician—she found her interest in healthcare law. She grew up seeing the impact her mother made on the community and learning firsthand the importance loving your job while helping others. At Villanova Law, she works with the Interdisciplinary Mental and Physical Health Law Clinic, advocating for patient rights.
Last summer, Fraschetti Finch returned to Puerto Rico and externed with Irizarry Law Firm, focusing on medical malpractice defense. She worked with a solo practitioner, where she received one-on-one mentorship and gained experience in many aspects of the field. She credited her externship experience as the biggest impact on her legal career, so far, because she was able to fully immerse herself in the work of an attorney.
“My externship showed me the day in and day out of being an attorney,” recalled Fraschetti Finch. “And beyond that, being able to ask for help and get mentorship was so instrumental. Coming out of my first year of law school—where everything you learn is theory—and putting my education into practice took it to the next level.”
Although she did not end up pursuing a joint degree, Fraschetti Finch still believes Villanova Law has set her up for success in any opportunity she tackles after law school. Her ultimate goal is to return home to Puerto Rico and become a community leader and develop local policies to improve the lives of Puerto Ricans.