Month: May 2019

Seeing All Sides at the Federal Bar Association’s 2019 Immigration Law Conference.

Seeing All Sides at the Federal Bar Association’s 2019 Immigration Law Conference. 2 minute read

Earlier this May, our Poarch Law attorneys traveled to Austin, Texas to attend the Federal Bar Association (FBA) Immigration Law Section Conference. For two days, Christine Poarch and Jamie McGuire attended panels that discussed immigration law and its recent policy changes.

For several years now, our attorneys have been attending the FBA’s annual Immigration Law Conference. However, this year, all three attorneys participated in this year’s conference as panelists. On a variety of immigration subjects, they were on stage, alongside other top attorneys, answering questions, giving advice and discussing how best to navigate the complexities of immigration law.

“What is unique about the conference,” explains Christine Poarch when asked why she continues to return to this conference year after year, “is that it is small enough that you get a good deal of interaction with your colleagues within the private and public sector, as well as a lot of interaction with both government officials and attorneys.”

Jaime McGuire also commented on the importance of diversity in the conference’s attendees and how the opportunity to be able to hear the different perspectives of the attending government and private bar attorneys is crucial to how our attorneys handle their cases.

All three attorneys are planning on attending FBA’s Immigration Law Section Conference next year in Detroit, MI.

PLF Attorney Christine Poarch with Kate Goettel (Litigation Attorney, National Immigrant Justice Center, awarded FBA-ILS’ NGO Lawyer of the Year) and Lauren McClure (Attorney at Kriezelman, Burton & Associates in Chicago, awarded FBA-ILS’ Younger Lawyer Award)

PLF Attorney Elizabeth “Betty” Stevens, President of FBA-ILS awarding Lauren McClure (Attorney at Kriezelman, Burton & Associates in Chicago) the FBA-ILS’ Younger Lawyer Award.
Texas State Capitol
Texas State Capitol
UT Tower
Inside the Capitol Rotunda
Inside the Capitol Rotunda

Upcoming Webinar for immigration attorneys on U Visas & VAWA consular processing.

At the recent Federal Bar Association Immigration conference in Austin TX earlier this month, our own Jaime McGuire along with Lauren McClure from Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC and Danielle Fritz from Immigration Center for Women and Children, presented a very well received talk on U Visas and VAWA consular processing.

The U visa is set-aside for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity. The Federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), allows you to become a lawful permanent resident (if eligible) if you are the victim of battery or extreme cruelty committed by a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who is a family member.

Jaime McGuire

These extraordinary circumstances are challenging to navigate and Lauren McClure and Jaime McGuire, in this one-hour webinar, will be presenting on ways to bring clients into the United States and will include practical pointers and challenges they have faced.

Congress created the U nonimmigrant visa with the passage of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (including the Battered Immigrant Women’s Protection Act) in October 2000. The legislation was intended to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking of aliens, and other crimes. It also is designed to protect victims of crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse due to the crime and are willing to help law enforcement authorities in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity. The legislation also helps law enforcement agencies to serve victims of crimes better.

Lauren McClure

This will be an interactive program, so please email any questions you might have in advance to

The webinar can be accessed on May 28 at 3pm EST  by clicking the following link: Please remember to turn off your video and mute yourself upon entering the webinar.

The Annual Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys Conference 2019.

Earlier this year our own Christine Poarch was named a fellow of the prestigious Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (AAAA or “Quad-A”). Fellows of AAAA are considered legal thought leaders and are a highly vetted, experienced group.

Last week Christine attended the annual conference in Seattle for the first time. So we sat down with her, over a lovely emerald city coffee to ask what she thought of it.

What was the conference?

I just returned from the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys annual conference in Seattle. This was my first year attending because only Fellows can attend the annual conference and I was just accepted this past April into the Academy. I was among 34 new fellows who attended the conference, and 300 or more other adoption lawyers. There are only about 500 Fellows worldwide.

Why did you go? What were you hoping to get from it /learn/connect?

All new Fellows are required to attend the first annual conference after they’re accepted, but honestly, that wasn’t a burden. The sheer number of adoption attorneys, like me, who believe that adoption law isn’t something you dabble in, that it’s an area that requires practitioners to develop competencies beyond the knowledge of state law and procedures, was inspiring. And I got to meet a number of colleagues who, like me, have grown a practice where immigration and adoption law meet.

I also met adoption lawyers in person that we had worked with on client matters in the past and other members whose names were familiar to me online. AAAA Fellows are incredibly generous in connecting on and offline, but having some facetime with folks that I have worked with or will be working with was great.

The benefit of this conference wasn’t just being among like-minded professionals, it was also the wealth of resources it gathers under one roof–both in vendors/companies that help you offer better family adoption lawyer resources, but especially in the combined experience of its attendees and presenters.

Freshman year at AAAA conference 2019

The “Freshman 2019”, including our own Christine Poarch (11th from the left).

What are your three main takeaways? and what do they mean for prospective parents, families?

I plan on attending this conference every year because the work of this organization goes beyond furthering attorneys’ understanding of concepts like abandonment and trauma and their effect on adopted families. It’s also about advocacy on issues that matter to adoptive families. For example, the fact that the tax code doesn’t permit adoptive parents to take the Child Care Credit when they are not in receipt of the permanent social security number for their child. The conference was a platform not just for networking and knowledge-sharing, but also pointed calls to action on issues that affect adoptive families and the adoption process.

Where their specific speakers that were impressive, had things that resonated with you?

The first plenary session was an in-depth review by Neha Desai of issues related to migrant child detention, much of which I knew as an immigration attorney. It was moving to watch attorneys who work with children, but not within immigration law witness and respond to the injustice of child detention. And it’s not just at our southern border, but also at youth detention facilities including ones in our own backyard here in Virginia. The other sessions I attended led by Stephen Pennypacker about the new accreditation process for international adoption agencies and ethical considerations in representation by Mark Johnson, was also well-presented, informative and helpful.

Worthwhile? Main takeaway? What two things are you going to do as a result of going?

I’m certainly going to be more involved in the International Committee work and have already reached out to those established AAAA members on that Committee about what’s needed.

If there’s a main takeaway from the meeting it is that AAAA members are committed to constantly improving their practice. They are willing to put significant resources in play to further better representation for clients and that they’re willing to engage governmental and regulatory agencies to advocate for their clients. It was also so refreshing to see how they are so generous with their time and knowledge.

Thank you, Christine.

Working with Poarch Law on domestic and international adoptions

Poarch Law are experts in the legal adoption process and will help you every step of the way to navigate domestic and international adoptions, private adoption, foster care and open adoptions, semi-open and closed adoptions. We will help you complete what can seem like a daunting amount of paperwork, assist with your plans, adoptive parent profile, home study, and ICPC submissions if adopting from another state.

Our promise is that our friendly and attentive team will be by your side, managing the case to a happy and final conclusion.

Contact us for more information and help.

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