Name, Position: Kailey, Paralegal
Alma Mater: Drexel University
Hometown: Florham Park, New Jersey
What inspired you to choose this career path? My long-term goal is to attend law school to study international law. I am fascinated by international affairs, and motivated by a desire to stimulate positive international relations through the exchange of people, culture, and ideas. Before doing this, though, I wanted to gain experience working at a law firm with an international focus. Working at Klasko has been ideal for gaining hands-on legal experience, as well as focusing on a critical facet of international exchange—immigration.
What do you like best about working at Klasko? I love that the paralegals work on a variety of cases, and usually work on cases from conception to completion. This has allowed me to learn a lot in a short time, and to develop skills that are critical in a legal environment. Also, no two days are the same—I am never bored of what I am doing, and there are always new and interesting challenges to tackle.
What is unique about your position at the firm? I think that the attorneys and account managers place a lot of trust in the paralegals at Klasko. We are trained to really understand the law governing our work, and to find critical discrepancies in our cases to ensure that our output is flawless. In this way, we are given the opportunity to take ownership of our cases, and feel proud to see them realized to completion.
What experiences have been most rewarding for you so far? It has been a pleasure to work with such accomplished, experienced people at this firm. I love being able to ask an attorney or account manager an obscure question, and receive a detailed, sophisticated answer. My colleagues have been, by far, my best resource at Klasko, and it has been fantastic to cultivate relationships with such talented people.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself. I lived and worked in Russia for a year, and love speaking Russian any chance I can get!
Name, Position: Sean, Paralegal
Alma Mater: Georgetown University
Hometown: Hellertown, PA
What inspired you to choose this career path? I taught English in Dubai for a year after college and many of my students were seeking to emigrate to English speaking countries. I was surprised that many of them did not consider the U.S. because of the challenges and barriers our immigration system poses to them. When I returned, I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of our complex immigration system and work with people who were coming here from diverse and distant places to start a new life or career.
What do you like best about working at Klasko? I most enjoy working with the Klasko team. The firm is full of smart and hard-working people and we’ve created a friendly and cooperative atmosphere.
What is unique about your position at the firm? Paralegals at Klasko are exposed to a wider variety and more challenging cases than paralegals at many other immigration law firms. The attorneys and account managers also have a keen interest in our professional growth.
What experiences have been most rewarding for you so far? I’m always happy to see a client obtain permanent residence, citizenship, or any other immigration benefit, but it’s most rewarding when we’ve helped them overcome a legal obstacle to do so. Among the more challenging and rewarding cases I’ve done was one that involved obtaining an H-4 Employment Authorization Document, which was enacted in May of 2015 under President Obama’s executive action on immigration. USCIS released guidance on H-4 EAD eligibility, but it did not cover all possible scenarios. We successfully argued that one of our clients was eligible for an EAD despite the fact that their situation was not covered in USCIS’ guidance at the time.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself. I’ve been a vegetarian my whole life so I’ve never eaten steak.
Name, Position: Rachel, Paralegal
Alma Mater: The College of William & Mary
Hometown: Williamsburg, VA & Abu Dhabi, UAE
What inspired you to choose this career path? I come from an international background. My mother is Egyptian and I was born and raised in the Middle East. My dad's company would send us to a new country every couple of years. Growing up I met people from all around the world who left their home country in pursuit of greater opportunity. Klasko's international clientele piqued my interest on a personal level. I value diversity a great deal. I enjoy helping hard-working people such as those I admired growing up to now find opportunity in my own country.
What do you like best about working at Klasko? The office community. Our firm embodies the "work hard, play hard" attitude. While there is never a shortage of casework and we often find ourselves racing the clock to meet a tight deadline, we also know how to enjoy ourselves. The firm celebrates everyone's birthday, anniversaries, weddings, etc. I never find myself wanting for cake at work (seriously, we have cake all the time). Everyone knows your name and cares about you at Klasko.
What is unique about your position at the firm? The amount of time Klasko invests in training and mentoring its paralegals is truly unique. There are few other law firms where the managing partner will invite junior paralegals to participate in client consultations the way Klasko does. Klasko associates and partners each take a personal interest in fostering the growth of the paralegals on staff. They work closely with us to help expand our understanding and mastery of complex immigration processes.
What experiences have been most rewarding for you so far? Sometimes USCIS can make it extremely difficult to obtain immigration benefits. On one occasion, USCIS twice contested a client's petition and I needed to draft a compelling argument for our client's legal eligibility. It was very rewarding when we eventually prevailed and got our client the approved petition they deserved.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself. I have lived in 8 different countries, most recently The UAE.