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Michelle is a Partner in the Chicago office of Fragomen and has practiced immigration for nearly 20 years. With extensive experience in corporate immigration law, Michelle provides strategic immigration representation to multiple startup, multinational and Fortune 500 companies. She leads client teams in the establishment and modification of immigration compliance policies to ensure business compliance. Michelle is a trusted advisor to clients’ business, international mobility, HR, talent acquisition and legal teams, and helps them understand the impact of administrative decisions on their immigration programs and business continuity. She manages large teams to provide innovative success-driven solutions while managing risk and compliance-oriented strategies.

Michelle is an active member in the legal and broader community, and has a strong commitment to serving others and helping to advance those around her. She was appointed to the Advisory Committee of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration. In this role, Michelle provides critical counsel to the Commission in its efforts to ensure fair treatment and full due process rights for immigrants and refugees within the United States, and helps to develop and implement immigration-related policy for the ABA. Michelle also serves as Diversity Officer to the American Bar Association’s International Law Section.  She  was also recently elected to the Board of Directors for the Chinese American Service League, an organization that has long dedicated its efforts to serving the Chicago community with essential services, including providing immigrants with pathways to citizenship.

A strong advocate for pro bono work, Michelle assists with asylum, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) cases through the National Immigrant Justice Center. She routinely assists with DACA and citizenship workshops through The Resurrection Project. She also provides pro bono legal services to immigrant adults and children who are detained at the southern border in Texas.

Michelle is regularly recognized as a leading lawyer in well regarded legal and business publications. Michelle speaks English, French and Spanish.

Education


Boston University | J.D., 2001
Northwestern University | B.A., 1998, honors

Awards

Listed in Best Lawyers, 2021

Listed in Who's Who Legal: Corporate Immigration, Future Leader, 2020 to 2021

Listed in Who's Who Legal: Corporate Immigration, 2019
 

Professional Accomplishments / Memberships

Bar Admissions: Illinois

Diversity Chair, American Bar Association Section of International Law

Senior Advisor, American Bar Association Immigration & Naturalization Committee of the Section of International Law

American Bar Association Presidential appointment, American Bar Association Commission on Immigration

Board of Directors, Chinese American Service League

Justice Advisory Selection Committee member, The Resurrection Project

Counseled U.S. and global companies on employment strategies, including strategic planning for global assignments and development of best practices to establish efficiencies across multiple jurisdictions.

Advised corporate clients in developing compliance programs for defending workplace sanctions and establishing internal processes that ensure timely and compliant on-boarding of international personnel.

Conducted I-9 audits and advised clients on hiring and discrimination issues.

Managed nonimmigrant and immigrant employment-based visas applications, including PERM labor certifications and outstanding researcher and extraordinary ability petitions.

Counseled employers on corporate mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and other forms of corporate reorganization.

Publications and Lectures

Speaker, “PERM Audits – Beyond Business Necessity.” Panel Presentation, American Immigration Lawyers Association, Chicago, IL, 2019.

Speaker, “Increasing Diversity at Law Firms: The Role We All Play.” The Women, Diversity & Change Summit, Chicago, IL, 2019.

Speaker, “How to Advise Clients on Global Mobility Matters: Employment, Immigration and Tax Law, Oh My!” Panel presentation, American Bar Association, New York, 2018.

Speaker, “Compliance Issue in the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9: Raising Awareness for Employers.” Webinar, The Knowledge Group, 2015.

Speaker, “I-9 Verification and Compliance.” Lecture, 2014 Hospitality Law Conference, Houston, TX, 2014.

Panelist, “What you need to know about the latest compliance changes.” Panel presentation, The Forum for Expatriate Management, Oakbrook, IL, 2014.

Panelist, “Preparing for a Smooth Flight: Understanding Global Compliance.” Panel presentation, Midwest Relocation Conference, Rosemont, IL, 2014.

Moderator, “Going Global: A Corporate Case Study in Entering an Emerging Market.” Lecture, 2014 Spring Meeting of the American Bar Association’s Section of International Law, New York, NY, 2014.

Speaker, "The Globalization of Law Practice - Visa Pitfalls to Avoid when Practicing Overseas." Lecture, 2012 Fall Meeting of the American Bar Association’s Section of International Law, Miami Beach, FL, 2012.

Panelist, "Counseling Corporate Compliance in Today's Climate." Panel presentation, Federal Bar Association Chicago Chapter’s 6th Annual Workplace Enforcement and Immigration Conference, Chicago, IL, 2011.

Panelist, "Corporate Compliance." Panel presentation, Federal Bar Association Chicago Chapter’s 5th Annual Workplace Enforcement and Immigration Conference, Chicago, IL, 2010.

Panelist, "E-Verify, IMAGE, and SSNVS." Panel presentation, Federal Bar Association Chicago Chapter’s 4th Annual Workplace Enforcement and Immigration Conference, Chicago, IL, 2009.

Panelist, "Future of Workplace Immigration Compliance: Verification and Storage." Panel presentation, Federal Bar Association Chicago Chapter’s 3rd Annual Workplace Enforcement and Immigration Conference, Chicago, IL, 2008.

Panelist, "Future of Workplace Immigration Compliance: Verification and Storage." Panel presentation, Federal Bar Association Chicago Chapter’s 2nd Annual Workplace Enforcement and Immigration Conference, Chicago, IL, 2007.