Law Office of Sheila Quinlan

Firm Overview

We handle all Immigration and Nationality Matters. My practice was founded in December 1995 at our 211 Gough Street location in San Francisco, California. We moved to the Historic Flood building at Powell and Market in Downtown San Francisco in February 2005 in order to be more conveniently located for our clients.

Example cases

Four of my favorite cases: (1) My client had lived his entire life in Canada and wanted to reside in the U.S. We were able to show that unknown to him he had automatically acquired U.S. citizenship due to his grandfather's birth in Vermont early last century. (2) Two Russian orphans were adopted by a U.S. citizen parent and we were able to show automatic acquisition of citizenship through recently passed law. (3) My client, age 20, was here under provisions of the LIFE Act and we were able to use successfully the new Child Status Protection Act to show her eligibility for a greencard. (4)A Honduran young man was here since childhood and we were able to show his eligibility for a greencard by use of both Honduran paternity/legitimacy laws and the 245(i) grandfathering provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Main Office
870 Market St
Suite 570
San Francisco  CA  94102-3016
  • (415) 399-9075
  • (415) 399-9416


Free Initial Consultation?
We offer free office consultations for person seeking advice concerning family and marriage-based immigration, fiance visas, employment-based immigration and naturalization. For consultations where the primary question concerns a criminal matter we require a fee of $150. Simply phone or email us to schedule a consultation. If you have a simple question or request, feel free to phone or email for a quick response.
Services Offered For Fixed Fees?
We offer flat fees at reasonable rates. Our fees generally range from $750 to $2,500.
Hourly Rates

Office Information

Office Hours
Monday through Friday
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Emergency after hours by appointment
Office Manager
Genie Lagrosa
Emergency After Hours
Languages Spoken
Tagalog, some Spanish

How did your firm decide on the primary area of practice(s)?

I married into a Canadian/ British family. They live on the border of Canada and the U.S. I had a great deal of experience going back and forth across the U.S. border. There are many bi-national and tri-national members of my family. After all this I knew about immigration issues so I decided upon this field by the first year of law school. My son Roy and my niece Ella are now both documented Canadians citizens and U.S. Citizens thanks to my efforts!

What is your firm's point of view regarding clients educating themselves on legal issues?

I admire clients who research immigration issues. However, immigration law is very complex and constantly changing, so the advice and assistance of an experienced immigration attorney is frequently necessary. That being said, at least once a week I tell a client or a potential client that they do not need an attorney for a particular issue. For example, it is often possible for a person with no immigration issues to file his or her own naturalization application or attend a naturalization interview without an attorney. This decision always should be made with attention to the facts of the particular case and the capability of the client.

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?

This is a frequent request. I cannot review documents that the client intends to file on his or her own. The reason for this is that in the context of immigration law, attorneys prepare documents at a different standard and I would have to re-prepare the document entirely to meet this standard.

Is your firm willing to coach clients who want to represent themselves?

I am very willing to assist my clients in representing themselves at interviews before the immigration services. When a decision is made that a client will attend an interview without me, I conduct a mock interview so that the client will know precisely what to expect. I have attended hundreds of interviews at INS/CIS in San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland and I can re-enact them very accurately for the client. We do this routinely for clients who will have me attend with them, as well.

Sheila Quinlan

Public Defenders Office

Working as an intern with the Public Defender.

Our practice focuses on problem solving. We analyze the facts of your case and determine the correct strategy for your immigration needs. If you are U.S. citizen married to or intending to marry a foreign national, for example, we discuss all possible options available to you. Since I have a wide range of experience in filing applications and petitions with the immigration services, I can advise you from a practical standpoint as well as a legal standpoint.

I prefer to meet with every client personally and determine an appropriate legal strategy. I am continually available for follow-up questions to those who retain me for services. I personally supervise and complete all necessary paperwork. Ideally I like to get an idea of the case initially on the phone so that I can tell a potential client what to bring to the initial consultation.

Personal interests:

I enjoy spending time with my family, especially with my husband John and my six year old son Roy.

  • Bar Number: 180611
    California , 1995
  • Northern Illinois University, College of Law
    J.D. , 1994
    Dekalb, IL
    Law Review
  • University of Chicago
    M.A. , 1986
    Chicago, IL
    Major: Anthropology
  • Reed College
    B.A. , 1984
    Portland, OR
    Major: Anthropology

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