- Posted on: Feb 10 2020
LeMelle is a partner at Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig and leads the firm’s immigration practice.
[02.10.2020, Tysons VA] When I started my career in 1987, the daily practice of immigration law is a perfect mix of frequent client contact with fascinating people from all walks of life and all socioeconomic backgrounds and solving complex yet intriguing legal puzzles. As immigration lawyers often reflect no two clients are exactly alike. Immigration law was challenging and oftentimes, counterintuitive but in the end for those eligible, there was a pathway to help families, businesses, students, exceptional talents and terrorized people to achieve their immigration goals.
Fast-forwarding to today. Changes abound. Fixed fee arrangements now outpace hourly fees; lawyers no longer are limited to the walls of their office; clients come from almost anywhere in the world. The internet and social media have changed the types of clients we see now.
Family-related immigration is no longer dominated by bringing elderly parents or siblings. Rather as digital dating goes global and more popular and accessible, more and more clients are finding spouses online. More and more clients are young, educated, and highly technical and now the most common family immigration case is marriage.
Business immigration clients changed as well. Today foreign nationals continue to make up a growing proportion of math and engineering students in the United States, which are in high demand, particularly with a growing number of small and mid-size companies looking to compete with the large technology powerhouses and stay on the cutting edges of technological development.
Foreign businesses and investors of all sizes, spurred by globalization are seeking to enter the US market, bringing products, innovation, and jobs to US markets.
Immigration law today remains as convoluted as ever. The law has become an increasing mass of unrelated, sometimes conflicting or overly repetitive congressional and administrative tweaks that it has become virtually impossible to navigate without experienced guidance.
Yet for me, the perfect mix remains of working with amazing clients and navigating challenging terrain on their behalf.
What Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig brings today is experienced legal counsel and guidance needed to work through the labyrinth and achieve your goals Our experienced team is well-positioned to design, implement, and support legal strategies to help establish a branch of your company in the US, secure extraordinarily talented and experienced employees, invest in a top-rated EB5 Regional Center with a 100% approval rating since 2008, sponsor athletes and artists, reunite family members, allowing participation in study and exchange programs, and fight for asylum.
The added advantage of our practice is that our immigration work is fully integrated into the firm’s other work. As DBL’s Immigration Law Section Lead, I work with Tom Dunlap and other DBL attorneys to provide business and legal counsel on a wide variety of non-immigration issues including corporate, banking, finance, real estate, labor and employment, media and entertainment, copyright, trademark, and patent needs, as well as handling federal and state litigation. When needed, we can help new businesses, investors and individuals establish themselves from the ground up by initiating collaborative, and cross-functional solutions particularly for those with limited prior exposure to US markets and laws.