Staff

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We are in the business of assisting our clients with their greatest resource: their human capital. The importance of this resource is not lost on us. We pride ourselves on the exceptional caliber of our workforce. Many of our staff hold advanced degrees and have been in the field of immigration law for a number of years. Further, as one of very few women-owned law firms, LAC understands the importance of diversity and the perspective it lends to the workforce. We employ individuals of various backgrounds who are fluent in a number of languages, including Japanese, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Russian, Spanish, French and Italian.

Adrian Brody-Accounting Manager

Adrian Brody attended the University of Illinois where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a double minor in Psychology and Spanish and certification to teach English grades 7-12. Prior to joining the LAC team as the Accounting Manager, Adrian was a high school English teacher in Albuquerque, NM where she specialized in teaching creative writing and Shakespeare.  A former cheerleader herself, Adrian coached the cheerleading squad, choreographing routines and traveling to local tournaments.  A serious enjoyment of making things balance influenced Adrian to transition into Accounting. She was previously Vice President of Finance and Human Resources for a manufacturing firm and was a Controller for a nonprofit organization.  Currently she is in search of an illustrator for two children’s books she has written and hopes to self-publish.

Alex Shriver-Paralegal

Alex is a California native, raised in the Northern California city of Rohnert Park.  He came to San Diego to escape the cold and rain.  Alex is a proud Alumni and supporter of the San Diego State Aztecs.  Alex has been working in the legal field for seven years.  He began his career with a civil litigation firm before moving over to immigration and LAC.  He was drawn to the immigration field from his fond childhood memories of his family’s 12 year involvement in housing foreign exchange students from Sonoma State University.  Alex has a deep passion for sports, especially basketball and golf.  He also is a sneaker and candy fanatic.  When asked to describe an ideal day off, Alex would spend the day watching basketball and eating candy while wearing a pair of new sneakers.

Anna Ho-Senior Accounting Assistant

Anna was born in Hong Kong and came to the U.S. to attend Northern Illinois University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, graduating Magna Cum Laude.  Anna worked in a senior accounting role for several years with successful companies prior to joining LAC in 2002. Anna is also a Notary Public.  Anna was attracted to immigration law because she experienced firsthand the positive benefits of becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen.  She wants to contribute to the firm’s success of helping its clients achieve the same goal.  Anna also enjoys a healthy lifestyle, loves nature and being out in the great outdoors.

Anna Riazanova-Senior Paralegal

Anna has over 20 years of experience in the field of immigration law and is a member of LAC’s Labor Certification Team. Prior to joining LAC in 1996, she worked for various law firms in Los Angeles. Anna was born in Moscow, Russia and graduated from the State University in Moscow with an honors Master’s degree in Linguistics. She also completed a year of study on the Urdu language and literature at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. After graduation, she worked as an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Asia and Africa in Moscow and was an editor of an Urdu-language magazine. She earned her Paralegal Certificate from the West Los Angeles School of Law in California, graduating magna cum laude. She has personal experience with the immigration process, having immigrated to the U.S. as a winner of the Diversity Visa Lottery. Anna loves working in the challenging and rewarding area of immigration because it gives her an opportunity to help people achieve their dreams.

Caroline Kobayashi-Senior Paralegal

Caroline has been with the firm since August of 1997 and she is well versed in all of the immigration case types handled at LAC.  Currently her work with the firm focuses on nonimmigrant and immigrant cases, as well as naturalization applications.  She also has in-depth experience with labor certification cases.  Prior to joining the firm, Caroline was a Legal Assistant with Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich LLP where she gained experience in immigration, litigation and trademark law. She graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in Studies in Progressive American Social Movements.   Caroline enjoys working directly with the firm’s foreign national clients from all over the world as it allows her to continually learn about other cultures and customs, which has always been an interest to her.  In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and paddling in the ocean with her outrigger canoe team.  She also looks forward to traveling with her husband and their daughter.

Daniela Alvarez-Malo -Legal Assistant

Daniela was born and raised in San Diego, California. She graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and continued her education by receiving her Paralegal Certificate from the University of California, San Diego. Prior to joining our team, she has had some experience working within Family Law, Surrogacy Law, and Consumer Protection Law.  During her free time, she likes to hike and explore new areas with her boyfriend and their dog and spend as much time as she can relaxing and visiting with her family and friends.

Diana Carrillo-Receptionist

Diana Carrillo was raised in Los Angeles and moved to San Diego in 2013. In her spare time, she loves to enjoy the beautiful beaches and hiking trails that San Diego has to offer. She is an avid runner and loves to explore the new upcoming restaurants. Prior to joining our team, she worked in the Hospitality Industry where she specialized in customer service.

Jenifer Collins-Senior Paralegal

Jenifer has been with the firm since March of 2001 and her work with LAC focuses on nonimmigrant petitions and immigrant petitions, including first preference outstanding researcher and extraordinary ability immigration petitions.  She enjoys broadening her knowledge of science, technology, business and art by writing about the diverse fields in which our clients work.  Over the years, she has worked with clients who have specialized in fields ranging from biotechnology to Islamic calligraphy and from computer science to synchronized swimming.  Jenifer earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego and a Master’s of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship and Management from San Diego State University.  She is a Southern California native, who appreciates everything San Diego has to offer.  In addition to an active family life, she is a member of the Modern Quilt Guild and has exhibited her work at the annual San Diego Quilt Show.  She also loves to sew, knit and garden.

Justin Walters-Senior Paralegal

Justin was born and raised in Porterville, California, located in the Central San Joaquin Valley. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism at San Diego State University in December of 2002 and received his Paralegal Certificate at the University of San Diego in the Spring of 2003. Justin joined the firm in July of 2003 and his work is primarily focused on applications for Permanent Residency, as well as Immigrant and Nonimmigrant visa petitions. Justin enjoys spending time with his wife and 2 daughters, cooking good food, eating good food and playing outside with his friends until it’s time to come home.

Kristi Cavanaugh-IT Administrator & Records Specialist

Kristi joined LAC in April of 2001 and is responsible for the administration of our online case management system, internal computer programs and document management systems, troubleshooting hardware/software issues, and assisting with all IT related issues.  Kristi also regularly generates firm client reports, manages the file room and assists with the LAC website.  When Kristi is off the clock, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, watching ridiculous movies, and dancing to the beat of her own drum.

Matt Sparks-Senior Paralegal

Raised in San Diego, Matt is a member of the first generation of his family born in the U.S.  He understands how important American citizenship is to today’s immigrants and enjoys working with clients on their permanent resident and naturalization applications. Prior to his work with LAC, Matt worked as an Account Coordinator for the public relations firm The Grove Agency before joining the firm in September of 2000.  In his free time, Matt plays for a local soccer team and is a co-chairman of the San Diego Region Porsche Club.

Meagan Knepp-Senior Case Writer

Meagan was born and raised in Southern California and lives in San Diego with her husband and her cat.  She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles and a Visual Arts degree in Film/Media from the University of California, San Diego.  She joined the firm in 2006 and uses her creative writing skills to discuss scientific research, art, and social theories in Outstanding Researcher and Extraordinary Ability immigrant petitions as well as in nonimmigrant cases.  When she’s not at work, Meagan runs, tours local craft breweries, plays the piano, goes to the movies, reads, and watches a lot of NHL hockey.

Michelle De Lara Ibarra-Senior Paralegal

Michelle holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a double minor in International Relations and Sociology from the University of San Diego.  She also earned a Paralegal Certificate from the University of San Diego and is fluent in Spanish.  Before joining the firm, Michelle worked as a Program Analyst Intern at the National Crime Prevention Council in Washington, D.C.  Michelle has more than 13 years of experience working in the area of employment-based immigration and is a member of LAC’s Labor Certification Team.  She also assists with other immigration case types, including nonimmigrant petitions, permanent residence applications, and naturalization.  Michelle has worked extensively on immigrant and nonimmigrant petitions for engineers, information technology professionals, professors, scientists, international executives and managers, and performing artists.   In her spare time, Michelle enjoys traveling, practicing yoga and spending time with her husband and two young children.

Nadia Gamboa-Administrative Assistant

Nadia was born in Veracruz, Mexico and moved to the United States with her family to pursue greater opportunities.  Nadia was drawn to immigration law because of her personal experience, and began working in this field in 2003.  Prior to joining the firm, she was a legal assistant for three well-regarded law firms in San Diego, California, and has worked in all areas of immigration law. In the fall of 2007, Nadia participated in the Panetta Institute Congressional Internship Program, and served as a congressional intern in Washington D.C for the Hon. Grace F. Napolitano.  Nadia graduated from California State University, San Marcos in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.  In her spare time, Nadia pursues her passion for boxing and kickboxing, traveling, watching foreign and independent films, and expanding her “foodie” resume.

Satoko Hasegawa Simonds-Senior Case Writer

Born and raised in Japan, Satoko is bilingual in Japanese and English.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from San Diego State University.  After several successful years in Los Angeles as an Editor-in-Chief for the largest Japanese media in the United States, Satoko moved back to San Diego and joined the firm in April of 2006.  She finds the immigration law field challenging yet rewarding, and enjoys sharpening her skills and expanding her knowledge on the Non-Immigrant Visa Team.  Outside the office, Satoko has passions for Formula One, foreign films and books, rugby, and cooking.

Vanessa Gonzalez-Paralegal

Vanessa earned her Associate of Science degree from Maric College in Paralegal Studies and also obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Technical Business Management from DeVry University.  Prior to joining the legal field she worked in the customer service sector for 4 years.  Vanessa has been a paralegal in the legal industry for over 10 years.  She has over 7 years of employment based immigration law experience and 3 years of family law experience.  Her immigration knowledge consists of both nonimmigrant and immigrant petitions.  In her spare time she enjoys runs on the beach, hikes, watching movies and spending time with her family and friends.

Yuki Murata-Senior Paralegal

Yuki is bilingual in Japanese and English with an understanding of both Japanese and American business practices and customs. Yuki has assisted the firm’s international clients with the preparation of non-immigrant and immigrant petitions for many years; she has worked with the firm for 15 years.  She finds her work intriguing and rewarding as she meets and assists so many interesting people from all around the globe with their immigration needs.  In the last decade, she has helped countless individuals and their families to make the U.S. their home away from home.