Marisel always knew she wanted to help others who lacked the know-how to navigate a system or faced language barriers. Growing up in the South Bronx as the product of two parents from Puerto Rico, by age nine Marisel was already serving as an interpreter for her neighbors, which quickly led to also serving as their advocate. So it was a natural fit after her graduation from Fordham University and then New York University School of Law to continue that advocacy for others. She worked at the National Labor Relations Board in New York and Chicago and at the Chicago office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission prior to joining the Firm in 1988.
In her 35+ years as an attorney, Marisel has represented public and private labor clients in a variety of industries including retail, health care, food processing, construction, education and transit. In addition, she represents several Chicago public pension funds, on a variety of issues in state and federal court and before administrative agencies such as the EEOC and the Illinois Department of Human Rights. She provides advice and handles personnel matters. She advises union clients on a daily basis regarding contract interpretation, grievances, arbitrations, unfair labor practices, organizing and representation matters. Marisel negotiates agreements on behalf of employee benefit funds with service providers and assists with the negotiation of investment and investment-related contracts.
Marisel has tried jury cases in federal court on behalf of individual plaintiffs in employment discrimination matters and has been first chair at trials involving the Fair Labor Standards Act. She also handles individual and class action cases under the Family & Medical Leave Act and collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Marisel is fluent in Spanish. She is a member of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, the Puerto Rican Bar Association of Illinois, and the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois, and she is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Since March 2008, Marisel has been recognized as one of the Women Leading Lawyers in Union Labor Law.
Marisel has held various civic positions with the City of Chicago. Presently, she is the Chairwoman of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners. She also sits on the board of both IIT Kent Law School Institute for Law and the Workplace and the Center for Conflict Resolution.