It’s our first dual-guest interview, with representatives from both areas of immigration law! Christina Coleman is a Canadian immigrant who owns her own practice and focuses on employment-based immigration while Katie Vannucci handles the family-based side as shareholder at a mid-sized Chicago firm.
They’ve been friends since law school, and both credit support for each other and in the legal community at large for their fortitude and patience with all a career in immigration law has thrown at them: from difficulties in launching a firm to the tumultuousness in their practice area through the past couple of decades.
Two immigration attorneys’ journeys in this changing area of law:
- The variety of paths in immigration law for attorneys (02:17)
- Practicing immigration law under an unpredictable administration (14:20)
- Guiding clients through unstable times with shifting rules (29:00)
- What Christina Coleman & Katie Vannucci want to see changed in the business of law (53:25)
The mentality of immigration attorneys, and their community:
Christina: “I started doing immigration in 1998. And I think for the first five years we would have [details] on the postings on the wall. It’s like where you file [a] kind of petition, it might have changed once or twice in five years…[since then changes have] definitely been on an accelerated pace….It certainly feels like it's been ramping up and ramping up.”
Christina: “One thing I love about the immigration community – and I really noticed it since I went out on my own – is everybody is so collaborative, so helpful. I did corporate defense work for six years, and maybe it was the particular lane I was in at Sidley, but, wow….You couldn’t just email a colleague and say: ‘Hey, have you ever had this situation? What should I do?’ You know, and it's just been amazing, and I’ve felt so supported [in immigration law].”
Katie: “I think for me one of the things that I am lucky to have – and kind of going back to the fact that we have such a great supportive community – is talking about [the challenges]….A lot of times in our weekly meetings [at Ahlgren] we go around and we just talk about what we've seen that week, and to be able to talk through it with colleagues that understand and can relate to your own feelings- just going through it and processing it….is really, really helpful.”
Katie: “The biggest thing is hoping that we actually see some comprehensive immigration reform, that we finally see a way under the law that individuals [we can’t help as attorneys] finally have a path to be able to do something. Because that's the problem. It's not because people don't want to legalize their situation. It's because they can't. And so I think [it isn’t] until we can recognize that and we can see the humanity in this, that we can finally reach across the aisle and come up with a good bipartisan solution to actually deal with the problem, instead of keeping-on kicking the can down the road and say ‘well, we'll deal with it in another administration.’ I think we really need to come to grips with the reality and actually to do something to really fix the loss.”
CHRISTINA COLEMAN, EMPLOYMENT-BASED IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY
At her firm, RC Immigration Group, Christina develops and executes immigration strategies for a wide range of corporate clients in a variety of industries, including U.S. companies seeking to hire foreign workers and multinational companies transferring foreign employees and executives to the U.S. She also represents foreign investors and serves as immigration counsel to a corporate services law firm with particular emphasis in assisting European interests in the United States. In addition, Christina helps individuals achieve their immigration goals including obtaining work visas, family-based visas, and citizenship.
Previously, she practiced as a litigator at Sidley Austin, where she defended companies in complex federal and state litigation, including multi-district litigation. has significant experience working with students and was an Adjunct Faculty member at the DePaul College of Law. Originally from Canada, Christina came to the U.S. in F-1 student status and naturalized in 2006.
KATIE VANNUCCI, FAMILY-BASED IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY
Katie is a shareholder at the Law Offices of Robert D. Ahlgren and Associates, P.C., Chicago, Illinois, practicing exclusively in immigration law. In 2015, Kathleen was recognized by AILA as a Michael Maggio Pro Bono Honoree for her dedicated efforts to promote justice and provide access to counsel, and for her proven tenacity in the fight to end family detention as part of the AILA Artesia Project. She currently serves on the Executive Board of the AILA Chicago Chapter.
Katie was published in the 2016 and 2020 Edition of Illinois Adoption Law published by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education; her chapter focused Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. She also serves on Loyola University Chicago School of Law’s Board of Governors and is a volunteer coach for their moot court program.
Law Office of Robert D. Ahlgren and Associates: https://www.ahlgrenlaw.com/lawyer/kathleen-m-vannucci/
Katie's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kathleen-m-vannucci-04abb97
Have comments, questions, or concerns? Contact us at email@example.com
"The 1958 Lawyer and his 1938 Dollar" still defines the business of law...
It's time for a change.
If you’re a lawyer, you’re familiar with the ABA article “The 1958 Lawyer and his 1938 Dollar” which gives our podcast its title, and its inspiration. That article was the start of the billable hour for law firms...And the last major change to the business of law, 70+ years ago now. Well, it’s past time for another change.
This podcast is all about bucking the status quo of the business of law. Your hosts Ron Bockstahler and Kirsten Mayfield run Amata Law Office Suites, providing law firms an alternative to the traditional fixed-cost business model that places unwanted stress on attorneys to work long hours that often-times lead to burn out, broken relationships and in many cases substance abuse. Each week they’ll discuss alternatives to the 12 hours days, endless rotation of clerks and paralegals, and the expensive offices leased to impress clients who rarely show up in person anymore. They’ll interview successful lawyers who are doing law differently, and finding a work-life balance while still running a successful firm.
Do you want to find a better way to run your law firm? It’s time for the next big change in the business of law, and you’ll get it here on The 1958 Lawyer.