The following is a partial list of immigration attorneys who practice immigration law in San Diego. This list is provided for your information and does not mean that the International Students & Programs Office or the University of California, San Diego endorses any of these attorneys or accepts any liability for information or services they provide.
Leah Hurwitz (619) 239-7855
Gerald Linkon* (619) 338-9898
Kathrin Mautino (619) 235-9177
Ivan Mendelsohn (619) 491-9491
*International Center Counseling Attorney
Additional names of immigration attorneys are available through the San Diego County Bar Association Lawyer Referral and Information Services (619) 231-8585.
AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association): Go to the “Find a Lawyer” tab. Then under “Type of lawyer” you will most likely want to search “Naturalization” if you are interested in filing a permanent residency application.
UC San Diego policy
UCSD has strict policies that prohibit the use of outside attorneys for any immigration matter related to employment at UCSD. Experienced attorneys will ask you to check with the International Students & Programs Office before they agree to provide any services that involve representation of UCSD.
Choosing an attorney
Before selecting an attorney, here is a list of questions you should consider:
- Does the attorney primarily practice in the area of immigration law?
- How many years has the attorney been practicing immigration law?
- What kind of experience does the attorney have with the specific type of case you have?
- What is the attorney's honest appraisal of the likelihood of success with your case? Be wary of anyone who "guarantees" you success.
- Is there any initial consultation fee? Some attorneys do not charge for the initial office visit, but may spend only a few minutes with you. Others may charge a fee and give you a more in-depth interview.
- How much are the fees for his/her services? Some attorneys have an hourly charge; others have a fixed fee, depending on the type of case.
- Will you be working directly with that attorney? Some will turn your case over to an associate or a legal assistant after the initial interview.
- Is the attorney a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association? If not, it is very unlikely that s/he is actively practicing immigration law.
- Can the attorney give you the name of a international student advisor who can comment on the quality of his/her work?
- Does everything you know about this attorney tell you that this person is knowledgeable and competent to handle your specific type of case?
- Does everything you know about this attorney tell you that this person is ethical and honest in relations with clients?
- Are you comfortable with the attorney's style and personality?
- Are the fees comparable to other attorney's fees? If not, why not? The lowest fee does not necessarily indicate the best deal. The highest fee does not necessarily indicate the best service.
If you still have questions about the attorney's background and qualifications, contact the California State Bar Association (415-538-2000) for specific details about a particular attorney.
Know Your Rights
The safety and security of our students is a top priority. It is important that you know your rights as a student and how you can be proactive in having a safe and enjoyable program of study at UC San Diego. This information here from the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) provides tips for interacting with US law enforcement and government agencies and understanding your rights.
If questioned about your immigration status: https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights/what-do-if-questioned-about-your-immigration-status
What to do if ICE is at your door: https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights/what-do-if-immigration-agents-ice-are-your-door
If you’re stopped by police, Immigration agents or the FBI: https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights/what-do-if-youre-stopped-police-immigration-agents-or-fbi
Rights at airports and other ports: https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights/what-do-if-youre-stopped-police-immigration-agents-or-fbi