1611 Telegraph Avenue
Oakland CA 94612
Mention NOLO for a free initial phone consultation.
Most of my fees are flat fees that include everything from start to finish.
I generally set a flat fee with each client.
Monday through Friday
9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Having immigrated myself over seventeen years ago, I naturally relate to the motives and concerns that come with establishing a new life or business in the U.S. I enjoy the many facets of immigration law and their relevance to the lives of immigrants
To better understand a situation, I always encourage everyone to independently educate themselves about all legal questions. On the other hand, unless you have a complete legal understanding of all the "ins and outs" of your case, I strongly urge caution when it comes to taking matters into own hands. I have seen too many clients make wrong choices based on perceived competence or bad advice.
I generally review legal documents prepared outside my office only when I am retained to handle a case. I see my role as a partner in achieving goals effectively and an educator on legal options. I am also a firm believer that any application for an immigration benefit extends beyond forms in that it should be made only after a full and complete assessment of the short and long term implications.
Coaching clients to be their own attorney where legal issues are at stake is a disservice in my view because the success of a case can quickly depend on the ability to think on one's feet to get it right. That said, I am willing and I often do coach clients on navigating the system and/or on how to manage immigration interviews where legal representation is not absolutely necessary or clients seek to minimize costs. In the end, though, nothing replaces experience and legal knowledge when it comes to reacting to the facts that will make the difference and win a case.
After working as an attorney in Germany and immigrating to the U.S., I served for many years as Executive Director of a San Francisco non-for-profit organization. Which coordinated training opportunities in the U.S. for social workers and AIDS educators from developing countries. I subsequently worked as pro-bono attorney for the Louisiana Pro Bono Net, in New Orleans, in the areas of family and immigration law.
My experience as a lawyer in Germany and the U.S. has given me broad exposure to the practice of law. And while practicing immigration law for over ten years has provided me with the opportunity to solve a host of legal problems, every consultation and representation continues to make me a better lawyer. Life can trigger a host of unanticipated legal issues and the possibility of solving these issues adds another wrinkle to the face of my experience. Adding to this, I myself have had to depend on a lawyer to represent me in an area where I knew little. This experience has given me a unique client perspective and insight into the anxiety and frustration clients often feel.
Many clients tell me I am very German meaning that I am detail oriented and reliable. I take that as a compliment, and like to think that I am also very personable and committed to pursuing my clients' best interest. I am determined to leave no stone unturned, and often think outside the box to see whether there are better ways to resolve a matter.Personal interests:
I like to read and always enjoy preparing and eating a good meal. I am an avid tennis player, travel as much as possible, and I greatly value the company of family, friends, and Salem, my dog.
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