Carol Pelton

Carol Pelton’s interest in fighting to help others make a better life for themselves started long before she became an attorney.

She spent a year traveling Latin America while studying Spanish, and met countless people suffering the push and pull factors of migration due to the human rights abuses under recent dictatorships, as well as economic factors.

Carol recognized the strength in their struggles and the heroism of their journeys. She came back inspired to work to ease the passage of immigrants seeking to build a life for themselves and their families in the United States.

Carol
Pelton

Carol Pelton

Carol Pelton’s interest in fighting to help others make a better life for themselves started long before she became an attorney.

She spent a year traveling Latin America while studying Spanish, and met countless people suffering the push and pull factors of migration due to the human rights abuses under recent dictatorships, as well as economic factors.

Carol recognized the strength in their struggles and the heroism of their journeys. She came back inspired to work to ease the passage of immigrants seeking to build a life for themselves and their families in the United States.

Carol lived in both Guanajuato, Mexico and Montevideo, Uruguay while studying Spanish and Latin American literature at the University of Iowa. After graduating, she obtained her J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology.

As an attorney, she immediately began working to serve immigrant communities all over the United States.

Carol first worked with the underserved immigrant population on Chicago’s southwest side as a Staff Attorney and then Director of the Immigration Program at Chicago Legal Clinic, Inc.

She then moved to the Washington, D.C. area and worked with two non-profit organizations there. She served as Acting Director and Staff Attorney for LIRS, a national refugee resettlement agency, and as Coordinator of the Board of Immigration Appeals Pro Bono Project at the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. 

Throughout her 20 years of experience representing families seeking protection from various forms of persecution, Carol has often been involved in litigation before the Immigration Courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals, including cases of individuals detained by the Department of Homeland Security.

“Carol Pelton and the staff at Pelton & Balducci helped transform me from a hopeless immigrant to obtaining my green card/permanent resident status. Ms. Pelton guided us from Step 1 to the very end. She will take personal responsibility for every case, and she is approachable and extremely prompt in responding to every query.”

- A. V.

Carol’s work in private practice has allowed her to create meaningful relationships with clients, including those who came to the U.S. from Mexico and Central America in recent years as unaccompanied youth. She finds it heartening to watch these young people getting their green cards, finishing high school, and going off to college.

When a woman once tried to hand Carol her baby at the southern border, she came face-to-face with the utter desperation of a mother trying to give her child a better life. 

Now a parent herself, Carol identifies with this urgency, and uses that emotional connection with her clients’ stories to fight relentlessly for their life in the U.S.  

Carol is an outdoor and nature enthusiast. She spends much of her free time gardening, running, skiing, and spending time with her children and their dog. She is also fluent in Spanish and enjoys taking part in book clubs to broaden her horizons.

Experiences with her clients – and the stories of what they have been through – are inspiring and humbling.

Read more about Carol's cases here

Education

  • B.A. in Spanish Literature from the University of Iowa, 1996
    • Certificate in International Business
  • Chicago-Kent College of Law-Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), 1999
    • Certificate in International and Comparative Law

Accolades and Organizations

  • Member, American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)
  • Renewing Hope Seeking Justice Certificate of Recognition, 2008 National Migration Conference
  • The Chicago Coalition for Law-Related Education Most Supportive Judge-Coach Award, Mock Trial 2003 Competition

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois Bar Association

Carol feels fortunate that her job allows her to share in the joy of her clients’ real, tangible results: a child reunited with a parent, an asylum seeker finding safety from persecution, people building lives for their families in the United States.

But when an outcome in a case strikes Carol as truly unfair or inhumane, she believes there is always another avenue to pursue to fight for her clients.

She knows the drastic nature of the situations they are often leaving behind, and is prepared to do everything in her power to help them achieve their status and build a new life here in the United States.

Carol feels fortunate that her job allows her to share in the joy of her clients’ real, tangible results: a child reunited with a parent, an asylum seeker finding safety from persecution, people building lives for their families in the United States.

But when an outcome in a case strikes Carol as truly unfair or inhumane, she believes there is always another avenue to pursue to fight for her clients.

She knows the drastic nature of the situations they are often leaving behind, and is prepared to do everything in her power to help them achieve their status and build a new life here in the United States.

“I'm more than satisfied with my experience with Pelton & Balducci! I was very stressed about my steps for my H1B visa, but thanks to their efficiency and seriousness, I was reassured. They answered all my questions quickly and even responded to my telephone calls from France. I would recommend them to all my compatriots and colleagues without hesitation!”

- Loic B.

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