Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. (“CLASI”) is excited to announce that Deputy Director Laura Graham has been named a 2023 “Top Lawyer” by Delaware Today magazine. She was selected as a top lawyer for immigration and international law, based on a poll of lawyers across the state regarding the best practitioners in various areas of law.
Over the course of her 17 years at CLASI, Laura has developed a deep expertise in immigration law and has become a respected leader in the field. She currently oversees CLASI’s Domestic Violence and Medical-Legal Partnership practices along with the Immigration Unit, which assists immigrant survivors of domestic violence, trafficking, and other violent crime, as well as abused, abandoned, or neglected immigrant children and youth.
Laura represents clients seeking immigration relief through Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Self-Petitions, U Visa Petitions, Special Immigrant Juvenile Petitions, and T Visa Petitions in administrative hearings and removal proceedings. She also assists clients with citizenship applications, green card or Temporary Protected Status (TPS) renewals, and renewal applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
In addition, Laura represents immigrant clients in a range of other civil legal matters, including family law cases for survivors of domestic violence, such as Petitions for Protection from Abuse, and related divorce, custody/visitation, property division, and support cases to help them achieve safety and independence. She also helps clients access critical supports including health insurance, food benefits, and safe housing.
Beyond individual client representation, Laura regularly gives community presentations and trainings for service providers statewide. She trains state agencies, law enforcement, counselors, social workers, and educators. Laura also actively engages in legislative advocacy on issues impacting immigrants, domestic violence survivors, and low-income people in Delaware, ensuring that their needs and interests are considered fully.
Laura serves as Vice Chair of Delaware’s Domestic Violence Coordinating Council (DVCC), and she is Chair of the DVCC Immigration Committee and the DVCC Family Justice Center Steering Committee. She has also served as Co-Chair of the Delaware Victims’ Rights Task Force Latino Immigrant Victim Working Group. She has published articles on unaccompanied immigrant youth and relief for battered immigrants in Delaware Lawyer and Delaware Law Review. Laura has also testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs’ Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations regarding oversight of HHS and DHS activities to protect unaccompanied immigrant children from human trafficking and abuse.
In recognition of her efforts, Laura received the 2023 Vision of Peace Award from the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the 2017 Delaware State Bar Association Multicultural Judges and Lawyers Section’s Judge Haile Alford Community Service Award, the 2014 Latin American Community Center (Delaware) Hispanic Community Hero Award, and the 2013 YWCA (Delaware) Leadership in Racial Justice Award.
Laura is a graduate of the Temple University Beasley School of Law and Juniata College. Congratulations, Laura!
For the full list of Delaware Today‘s 2023 “Top Lawyer” honorees, please visit: https://delawaretoday.com/life-style/delaware-top-lawyers/