The end and the beginning of an era (in my life)

January 13, 2011

Well, blogging fail this last month. Things have been crazy. I graduated, celebrated the holidays, rented an office, got certified as fit and of good character, got licensed (call my counselor!) and turned 32. And we moved back to Milwaukee, or are in the process of doing so now. No time to write at this moment, but here’s something I posted on this week.

Also check out my new website: Laura Fernandez Immigration Law.


As many of you know, I have been in law school for the last 2.5 years. I graduated last month and because I live in the last state that allows law students graduating from in-state schools to avoid the bar exam, I’ll be licensed on Tuesday. As I have basically planned all along, I’m starting my own immigration practice officially next week. I’ve already rented a small office, gotten some furniture, and done a whole host of other set-up tasks like building a website, setting up the business organization, getting bank accounts, etc.

This is a new stage in my life in many ways, and I’m so excited. I’m also humbled and apprehensive. Like so many people on this board, I came into the immigration process exceptionally naive, with zero knowledge of the law and a faint sense of entitlement. My husband and I carelessly walked into the immigration process by filing the I-130 with the help of (gasp!) a notario. We did not know any better. At the time, I did not even realize this person was doing something illegal.

By the time we got my husband’s visa interview, a job change had given me more free time and the good sense to conduct a little of my own research. I found one internet forum and was quite amazingly greeted by a woman in the same situation who lived just miles away from me in the same city. We had coffee and she guided me to I2US. I wish I could access my first posts (gone with the crash of 2007) because it would be a hilarious walk down memory lane.

I wrote, gathered evidence, and organized our waiver, which is certainly not a model by today’s forum standards, but good enough at the time. My husband was gone for 11 months. During that time I spent a LOT of time on this forum. I also occasionally wrote about immigration issues for my city newspaper and just generally became obsessed with immigration issues. When our waiver was approved, it seemed like an act of God, for many reasons.

A few months later, with my husband back, I still spent so much time thinking, writing, blogging and talking to people about immigration. I was constantly on this forum ( I somehow went from being completely naive, to somewhat of an “expert” (and I use that term loosely). And then, I started having these crazy law school thoughts, and Laurel Scott (and others) encouraged me to go for it, so I studied for the LSAT, and I did okay, but I still got into my first-choice school. And now I’ve had 2.5 years of legal training, and a baby, and an amazing time, and now that’s over. It’s sad and great at the same time. But now it’s time to be a lawyer.

One of the most amazing things about having been around here so long now is watching other people similarly go from having no clue about whatever their immigration dilemma, to reading and researching and “getting” it to finally starting to pay that forward by helping others. This is why I have stayed around here so long. This “place” changed my life, and even though it’s cheesy and it’s the internet, that is so entirely true. And I’ve developed great friendships here, as have so many others, which is amazing.

Thanks for reading.


Thanks for reading here too. I’m hoping to do a lot more personal blogging again soon. But for now it’s time to get Laura Fernandez Immigration Law organized and running.