As Lorena Rivas recently conveyed during the University of Central Oklahoma’s Pre-Law Society monthly meeting, the Fry & Elder immigration law attorney learned at a very young just how important a lawyer can be to people and families.
About the time Rivas was 4, her father was injured in an Oklahoma oil field accident which landed him in the hospital for a spell and unable to work. With her mother working but struggling to make ends meet and juggle the obligations of caring for Rivas and her sister, the family enlisted the services of an attorney to help them get some much-needed relief and aid needed following the accident.
“We were a low-income family, but I remember who came to the rescue for (my parents) and it was an attorney,” said Rivas, a first-generation Mexican-American. “Somebody who took up their case, fought for them and got us some funds. Did we get a lot? No, probably not … But it was something to keep us going and allowed us to keep our house, keep food on the table and keep us dreaming. That is (when) I got my first taste of what an attorney is and how important they are to people.
“After seeing the importance of a lawyer, I knew I wanted to be somebody that important to somebody in their life and help them out.”
Fast forward some 25 years later and Rivas has become just that – having established herself as one of the best Oklahoma immigration law attorneys as a trial lawyer with Fry & Elder.
Rivas shared what was her first legal memory and a whole lot more during the October Pre-Law Society meeting at UCO.
“I’ve been very fortunate to be invited to speak at some different events over the years, and this was one of the more memorable ones I’ve been able to attend,” Rivas said. “It wasn’t long ago when I was sitting where they were sitting as an undergrad. It’s such a great and important time of life. I chose to focus my talk on what led me to my current career path and the current trials and tribulations I face as an immigration attorney, especially in this political climate.”
Being One of the Best Oklahoma Immigration Law Attorneys is no Easy Task
As Rivas alluded to, immigration law is a very controversial topic in Oklahoma and throughout the United States. During her presentation, which lasted approximately 45 minutes, Rivas told her audience that when she goes to court, she travels to Dallas and often flies out of Tulsa as early as 5 a.m. the day of court.
“Immigration law is administrative law,” Rivas said. “The practice is very hard. It’s very harsh. It’s very exhausting.”
But it is rewarding.
There is tremendous satisfaction that comes with successfully advocating for a client in the realm of immigration law. Rivas got her first taste of that satisfaction as a second-year law student at the University of Tulsa College of Law when she successfully prevented a Haitian national from being returned to Haiti after he plead guilty to drug possession without fully understanding the consequences of his plead.
“He plead guilty to those drug convictions without knowing the true consequences of pleading guilty,” Rivas disclosed to her audience. “You see, justice is a pretty word. When I go to criminal court and I see the district attorneys and the prison systems and the judicial systems, I don’t know how much justice is truly taking place because people are ushered in and urged to take a plea deal without truly understanding the consequences of things.”
Fry & Elder’s Best Oklahoma Immigration Law Attorneys Available to Assist
It’s been a busy year for Rivas to put it mildly. She visited Capitol Hill in April where she met with Oklahoma lawmakers and attended the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s National Day of Action. Rivas also was in Kansas City this past September for the 2017 HNBA (Hispanic National Bar Association) Latina Leadership Academy.
If that were not enough, Rivas brought in fellow immigration law attorney Ruth Calvillo to further bolster Fry & Elder’s high-regarded immigration law staff. Calvillo recently delivered a passionate speech to TU College of Law students this past August in which she challenged them to give at least one hour back to the Tulsa community per week.
Rivas and Calvillo, along with Fry & Elder’s other immigration law personnel, provide the following immigration law services:
- Business Immigration
- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
- Deportation/Removal Defense
- Family Immigration
- Fiancé Visa
- Humanitarian Relief
- Immigration Consequences of Criminal Activity
- Special Immigrant Juvenile Status