By Licelle Cobrador, Esq.
New York – Overworked, handling hundreds of active immigration files, and appearing in court three to four days a week, I spent late nights and weekends at the office. I lived there. When I joined the firm in 2010, the offer was towards a partnership track. It has not materialized even after several years. My win rate was at 85% and I brought in substantial business. However, I had to suck it up because I relied on this job to legitimize my immigration status—a bitter pill to swallow, I know. It’s also a typical immigrant story.
The death of my father in 2016 shook the foundations of my beliefs. It was the catalyst that forced me to take stock of my life. The following year, I resigned from the law firm I helped build from the ground up. A week after I tendered my resignation, the same law firm finally offered partnership and a six-figure salary. My bubble then was, “Too little, too late. No, thank you.”
Mampi Ghosh, a paralegal I worked with, shared a similar vision. She reinforced what I already knew to be true: We had what it takes to blaze our own trail. Our scrappy startup firm was born. As soon as the word was out, we were in the center of a misogynistic maelstrom. Our former employer disseminated rumors about us having moved outside of New York City, having given up on law practice altogether and other unsavory ones. The tail end of 2017 was a crucial time. We figured we could either give up or forge on. We chose the latter.
And there was our life’s work. Being instrumental in changing people’s lives was our why. Everything else was just logistics. It’s rewarding to witness the impact of our work when clients who received their green cards or employment visas relay their milestones –from new positions, promotions, business ventures, amazing collaborations, winning awards, book deals, top hits, blockbuster films, viral videos to getting engaged, tying the knot and welcoming a newborn. It’s truly heartwarming to receive pictures of the baby right after the delivery, pictures of families reuniting at the airport, pictures of couples getting married and also pictures of clients holding their naturalization certificates.
Today, four years later, I write this from our office in New York City, with incredible gratitude. Cobrador & Associates, PLLC is a thriving female-led full service immigration law firm with a focus on extraordinary ability green cards and nonimmigrant visas; serving clients from 57 countries across 6 continents. We’re pursuing our mission to empower others to live their best lives through quality service with integrity. Being immigrants ourselves, we have the determination to make our clients’ immigration journey as smooth as possible.
It’s been a wild, thrilling and amazing ride! We continue to navigate through these unprecedented times. All the challenges make this moment that much sweeter.
Thank you to everyone who’s been with us. Your referral, your feature, your stellar review, your mention, your endorsement, and your support mean the world to us.
(Licelle Cobrador, Esq., heads her immigration law firm Cobrador Law in Manhattan, NY)