Feldman Feldman & Associates (immigrateme.com) is an immigration law firm that represents businesses and individuals. They have handled over 10,000 cases covering virtually every immigration category and their experienced immigration attorneys will advise how a foreign national can legally live and work in the United States. Pretty much, if you want to come work in America legally, these are the guys to call!

Behind Feldman Feldman & Associates, which is based in San Diego, California, is Managing Partner Lynne Feldman, who is known cross America as one of the top lawyers in the field and was previously a professor of immigration law at the University of Illinois Law School. Lynne took the time to chat with The Levity Ball about her firm, life, lawyers in general, what grinds her gears and more… 

When did you know you wanted to go into law? 

I graduated from college with a degree in psychology and few prospects for employment in that field without a graduate degree.  At that time – late 1960’s / early 1970’s almost all of the graduate programs were in experimental psychology and not in clinical psychology so I decided to take some time after college and I enrolled in VISTA (the domestic Peace Corps).  After a year in rural Georgia with 20 fellow VISTAS – 18 of us decided to go to law school as the best way to right the wrongs we saw during the program.

What is one thing people don’t realize about lawyers that they should?

A decent law school gives you a great background in being able to read anything for content, analyze, but more importantly how to write and express yourself.

What is your favorite type of case to take on personally? Immigration? Newlyweds? Investments? Etc.?

Immigration cases are the only ones I have taken on for the last 25+ years.   I still enjoy the satisfaction of successfully steering the client to a favorable outcome whether it be a green card through an employer, fulfilling their dream of being an entrepreneur in the U.S., the ability to leave an abusive spouse and still stay in the U.S., or demonstrating someone’s extraordinary ability or work in the national interest and reward them with a work card or permanent residency.

What is your advice to people wanting to immigrate to the United States and finding the right lawyer for the process? 

Finding the right lawyer is critical.  Don’t select a lawyer just based on the price. Talk to several lawyers, talk to your friends, read online reviews and if necessary schedule a consultation with a couple of lawyers until you meet the one you feel is most knowledgeable and makes you comfortable.  You should have complete trust that your lawyer is on your side and won’t let you make mistakes and has the confidence to refute much of the bad information on the internet. Price may be a consideration but many immigrants do themselves a disservice by just shopping price.  Your lawyer can make or break a case for you.

Where do you see your law firm in five years?

Perhaps with 1 or 2 more lawyers and 2-3 additional paralegals.  We don’t want to be too big but it would be nice if our revenues would continue to grow so we can handle our cases and our clients the way we would like.

What makes your firm different than others?

Unlike most immigration firms in San Diego we handle all types of immigration cases.  Immigration law is the only area of law we do and we believe we do it very well.  As the Managing Partner I have almost 40 years of experience as a lawyer.  I handle 75 percent of the intakes (another attorney handles clients in removal proceedings and clients preferring to speak in Spanish).  Since I know the full breadth of programs that Congress and the Executive Branch have come up with over the years I can often suggest a more obscure solution that a newer immigration attorney may not be so aware of.

You previously were a professor of immigration at the University of Illinois Law School… Do you see yourself ever going back to teaching?

Not unless I gave up private practice as it was too hard to do both well and I feel I am better at private practice.  I have little patience with students just wanting the grades and not to learn.

What is the best advice you were ever given?

Best advice was when I moved with my spouse to central Illinois where I had absolutely no “source” for clients and there were 600+ lawyers in a town of less than 100,000 all of whom had grown up there or went to college and law school there was to teach myself immigration law since 60% of most of the graduate students were from other countries.  There were no other immigration lawyers in a radius of three hours to Chicago, three hours to St. Louis and 3 hours to Indianapolis so it was a little scary (no mentor to run into with my problems so I had to learn to solve them myself).

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

World peace would be nice. Or re-fashion Congress so it is not the political animal it is today, afraid of their shadows, and afraid to do anything that could jeopardize their re-election rather than focusing on what is best for the country – their paralysis is painfully obvious in the field of immigration where there is almost no disagreement on certain issues such as allowing the best and brightest who graduate from our universities to stay here, build companies, create jobs etc. but yet they can’t act to increase the number of visas to permit this. I would suggest longer terms so they time to learn their jobs and no right to re-election.  Similarly, there seems to be little disagreement that we want our food grown here in the U.S. where it can be inspected; but Congress won’t give the farmers the workers they need to get the fruit and produce picked – Americans certainly don’t want those jobs.