The Law Office of Helen Lawrence is an Oakland-based immigration law practice dedicated to providing direct representation and legal services to individuals before immigration courts and agencies. We bring a human rights-based approach to the practice of immigration law, advocating for improved norms in the treatment of immigrants in the United States. While providing a range of services in immigration law, our practice focuses on the complicated intersection of immigration and criminal law. Our office offers trilingual language skills (English, Spanish, and Portuguese), culturally sensitive and culturally competent representation, and vigorous, committed advocacy towards defending and promoting immigrants’ rights.
Our office represents individuals facing deportation in both detained and non-detained settings. The deportation defense practice includes:
We represent individuals in the following types of cases before immigration agencies:
In addition to direct representation in immigration courts and agencies of individuals with criminal histories that impact their immigration cases, we consult and collaborate with criminal defense attorneys on the immigration consequences of criminal convictions, post conviction relief, and federal immigration crimes, including illegal reentry cases.
“Helen is a fighter — intense, dedicated, and will always go that extra mile and then some. Because my case was very complicated, no other lawyer wanted to touch my case. She represented me with compassion – met with my parents and went out to meet with me when I was detained. Even when I wanted to give up the fight and just get deported, she didn’t give up. Helen told me, “If you let me, I want to keep fighting your case.” She saw the pain in my family and especially on my mother. She saw how hurt we all would feel when they would see me in shackles. When people say the fight about immigration is about keeping families together, it really is. And Helen is the lawyer you want on your side who will fight for you, because she’s fighting for your family. That she didn’t want to give up even during my hardest times got me through.”
– C.P., Redwood City
“As a community organization in San Jose that works with families entangled in both the immigration and criminal justice systems, we’ve seen firsthand the heartbreak that deportation — and even just the threat of it — brings upon families. It’s even more heartbreaking when the reason that their family members are in deportation is because of shoddy representation built on larger-than-life promises. When families come looking for an immigration attorney, one of the first people that comes to our mind is Helen Lawrence. She is intelligent, efficient, works closely with families and her clients to understand their life experiences, and passionately advocates for them. She is incredibly solid and strong!”
– Charisse Domingo, Silicon Valley De-Bug
Multiple sources have reported over the past few days that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will be conducting raids in Northern California. The agency reportedly will target individuals with prior deportation orders and criminal histories. It expects to arrest more than 1500 undocumented immigrants. We stand in solidarity with immigrant communities affected by the issue. […]Read more...
Helen graduated from Harvard Law School in 2009. After law school, she completed a fellowship at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center focusing on the intersection of immigrant youth, juvenile justice and gangs. Prior to law school, she worked in Brazil for several non-profits on a variety of human rights issues. While in law school she was actively involved in Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic and Harvard’s Immigration and Refugee Clinic, including human rights investigations in El Salvador and Brazil. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles where she majored in international development studies and minored in Spanish. She serves on the board of Community & Youth Outreach and she is an EOIR co-liaison for the American Immigration Lawyers Association of Northern California Chapter. In addition, she is an adjunct professor of immigration law at JFKU’s College of Law. She is inspired by immigrants’ contributions, strength and resilience. Here is a list of recent trainings.
Bonita Gutierrez graduated from Columbia Law School in 2009. She has always known that she wanted to use her law degree to serve her community. At Columbia, she focused on moot court, international law, and public policy. After law school, she started her career in New York City where she worked for both corporate and government law offices. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she studied political science and international relations with a focus on Latin America and the Middle East. She has studied abroad at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City, the Autonomous University of Guadalajara, in Guadalajara, Mexico, and the VenUsa Institute in Merida, Venezuela. She coaches elementary school girls at New Highland Academy in east Oakland.
Gabriela Monico was born in El Salvador and immigrated to the United States at the age of 16. Upon graduating from high school, she became the first person in her family to attend college. Gabriela received her bachelor’s degree in Ethnic Studies with a minor in Education from the University of California, Berkeley. At Berkeley, Gabriela’s passion for social justice led her to become actively involved with organizations that advocate for labor and immigrant rights, which include Rising Immigrant Scholars through Education, Educators for Fair Consideration, and East Bay Sanctuary Covenant. In the future, Gabriela hopes to continue her education with the goal of further engaging in labor and migrant justice work.
436 14th Street, Suite 801
Oakland, CA 94612