Career Seeker: Immigration Attorney

Immigration has played a big role all around the US. Every year immigrants migrate to the US and face discrimination.
As an immigrant in the US, many predicaments are presented such as deportation, a path to citizenship, and persecution in their home country or here in the United States. Immigration Attorney’s dedicate their time in helping such individuals in locating a justified way to resolve their situation.
An Immigration Attorney represents an undocumented individual in a hearing, depending on the situation the individual is.
“I have a number of asylum claims, which are for people who have suffered persecution in their home country or fear persecution if they were to return, as well as cancellation of removal cases, involving people who have been in the US for more than 10 years, have good moral character, and a qualifying relative who is a Resident or US Citizen.”
Ánimo Pat Brown’s senior counselor, Regina Risi took the opportunity to bring up the issue with undocumented students. What can undocumented students do to find the path to citizenship?
“I would certainly recommend that undocumented high school kids stay in school and go to college in the meantime.”
She also explained the Dream Act is a great opportunity for many students. “The federal government has been talking for years about passing its own Dream Act, which would provide a path to residency for young people who were brought to the US at a young age and go to college or serve in the military. If this law passes in the near future, it could provide a lot of kids with the opportunity to acquire legal status.”
“I would represent them in a hearing, there’s different kind of hearings, so some of them are longer some are shorter depends on the case,” said Jenna Gilbert an Immigration Attorney.
Gilbert became a lawyer after graduating from Loyola Law School class of 2010.
While at the University of San Diego, her interest in immigration law grew intensively. She majored in international relations in Spanish; making her fluent in the native language. After USD, she studied abroad in Mexico and after coming back she attended law school and studied,” international human rights law and how that has a correlation with immigration.”
After high school you must attend a four year college to get your Bachelor’s degree, before going to law school. Three years are required in order to take the bar exam, then attend law school for at least 3 years to receive your juror’s doctoral. Once you get the doctoral you can then take the bar exam and “if you pass you become an attorney… it’s a big commitment but take it step by step.”
Some factors that motivated and interested Jenna to go further into her studies she was interested in Latin American migration and international human rights laws. ’I studied Latin American politics and history and so I was really interested in Latin American migration in particular. So that’s what I studied in college. I studied abroad in Mexico a couple of times, and then I went to law school.”
In the field of being an immigration attorney the salary all depends. “In the field, well I say obviously if you are a starting attorney you get less and as you keep practicing you get more and more. If you work at a non- profit your salary will be about 40,000 and then if you work at a private you start in about 50,000 and go up from there.”
Despite the hard work many students go through to become an Immigration Attorney, the work they do to aid the undocumented individuals is a priceless feeling.

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