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Practicing immigration law in the COVID 19 era – Post 13 Us Immigration

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It’s a Saturday in May – I have to check the date in the corner of my laptop three times because the days somehow fit together. I sit at my kitchen table / office and look at my fiancee, who is working opposite me in her own “office” at the same kitchen table. I am lucky that Miami spreads for miles in the north and Biscayne Bay in the east. Behind me is my customer filing cabinet / personal bookshelf, which is in Ira Kurzban’s sourcebook next to a novel by my favorite author Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Love in the time of cholera. I assume this is the immigration law in the time of COVID-19.

I have been a lawyer for 7 years and I mainly practice immigration. For the past 3.5 years I have worked for the law firm Kurzban Kurzban Tetzeli & Pratt P.A. My experience in the company was a wild, exciting ride of cross-country appearances and submissions within tight deadlines, packed with a colorful crew of clients from whom I learned and with whom I laughed. But nothing could have prepared me for hearings about emergencies at the start of a pandemic or for the apparent evaporation of many areas of immigration law overnight. The past 2 months have been surreal. That we are all together doesn’t seem to make it any less.

I wake up a little dazed every day. But I also wonder why I feel impulsive. After all, I have a great job, a lot of work and can stay at home with the one I love. Perhaps, I think, this whole experience is the beginning of something great, a catastrophic change in work-life balance that shows everyone – including me – that lawyers can achieve the same success with their kitchen tables as with an office building. If so, then at least the pandemic has a silver lining. In a way, it has something to do with it Immigration courts (finally!) Accept electronic submissions. What do 6 additional months of pandemic practice bring? If there is evidence of cable news, probably some good, bad, and ugly.

In the first few weeks of the pandemic, I couldn’t help but feel the irrational feeling that I was obliged to take this unique opportunity to pursue something New. I knew the feeling was a luxury of having (a little) free time and I knew it was irrational, but I couldn’t shake it off. So I bought equipment and started a podcast. I now spend my weekends at my kitchen table / office, discussing priority immigration decisions every week. The podcast is called up Immigration checkand can be found on BuzzSproutin addition to all major podcast platforms.

It was a lot of work, but it is exciting. If nothing else, I hope there is something immigration lawyers can smile about during this pandemic. I know I needed it.

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A blog post from July 2019, in which other podcasts from AILA members are presented, is linked here.

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