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Helen Harnett

Helen Harnett | Pelton + Balducci

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Helen graduated magna cum laude in 2001 from American University’s Washington College of Law and has been working for immigrant rights since that time. She first worked as a bilingual staff attorney at Farmworker Legal Services in Michigan, where she provided know-your-rights presentations at migrant worker camps and litigated for employment rights in federal court. She then moved to Baltimore, Maryland, where she started the Immigrant Rights Clinic at the University of Baltimore School of Law.

She later worked in a policy position at CLINIC, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, where her work focused on fighting state and local anti-immigrant legislation. In 2009 she moved back to her hometown of Chicago to help care for her immigrant parents. In Chicago, Helen first worked in a policy position at the National Immigrant Justice Center, where she focused on administrative advocacy for detained immigrants. Later Helen worked as an associate attorney at Immigration Attorneys LLC, where represented clients before Immigration Court, USCIS, and in federal court.

Helen earned her undergraduate degree in European History at Northwestern University, where she studied for a year at the University of Sevilla, Spain. She earned a master’s degree from the University of Chicago in British and Irish History. Prior to attending law school, she served as a VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) volunteer in the Maternal Infant Health Outreach Worker Project in southern West Virginia.

Helen passed the state bars of New York, Michigan, Maryland, and Louisiana. She currently has active bar memberships in New York and Louisiana. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the National Lawyers Guild’s National Immigration Project. Helen speaks Spanish fluently.


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