DePaul Law School a Family Affair for Mom, Dad and Now Son

When Tristan Gunn walks across the stage to claim his law degree at the DePaul University College of Law’s commencement May 15, he will be hooded by two of his favorite alumni—his mother and father.

Carlina Tapia-Ruano, a 1980 College of Law graduate, and her husband Jeffrey Gunn, a 1984 College of Law graduate, will welcome Tristan into the family business of law. The ceremony will take place at 1:30 p.m. at the Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago.

A Family of DePaul Law School Graduates

Tapia-Ruano began the family law dynasty when she decided to attend DePaul for law school while her husband went to work to support the family. “About a year after I graduated, Jeff went to law school and I supported him,” said Tapia-Ruano. “He watched me live through the law school experience and decided it was something he wanted to do also. DePaul was the school best suited for both of us.”

Gunn, who is a partner in a Chicago firm that practices insurance law and who also works as a business partner in his family’s firm, Tapia-Ruano & Gunn P.C., is looking forward to hooding Tristan at the ceremony with his wife. “I applied to DePaul law school because of its reputation and I was happy to be accepted,” said Gunn. “I’m proud of Tristan’s accomplishment and am looking forward to hooding him.”

As for Tristan, he’s eager to join his parents as a College of Law alum. “I’m furthering a family interest,” said Tristan. “I think it speaks well of Chicago that we have schools and universities that continue to draw academics generation after generation.”

Tristan will practice in the family firm, which specializes in immigration law, upon graduation. He also will extend his family’s DePaul legacy of lawyers when he marries Stephanie Basanez, a 2008 College of Law graduate, this summer.

With the addition of Basanez, four DePaul law grads in the family would seem to be enough. However, Tapia-Ruano and Gunn are hoping they can convince their 23-year-old daughter, Elena, to also come into the family business and, of course, attend law school at DePaul. “I’d like Elena to become a lawyer because I think she would be good at it,” says Gunn. “I can’t think of a better law school for her to attend than DePaul, our family alma mater.”

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