Hispanic Bar Association of Michigan Member Spotlight

Amy Maldonado

What legal practice area(s) do you primarily focus on?

Immigration law (100%), with a focus on high-end employment-based immigrant (permanent) and nonimmigrant (temporary) visa petitions and applications, as well as family-based petitions, naturalization/citizenship applications and J-1 212(e) waivers.  My clients include Major League sports teams, professional athletes in baseball, squash, equestrian and tennis, agents and coaches, artists, entertainers and musicians, fashion designers, physicians/nurses/physical therapists, journalists, university professors, scientists, researchers holding advanced degrees, and venture capital firms, technology companies, and executives/entrepreneurs.

Where did you attend law school, and when did you graduate?

The University of Pennsylvania Law School, JD 1998

What has been the biggest accomplishment/victory in your legal career?

Being part of the legal team representing a 6-year old girl from Guatemala assigned to the “MPP” or “Remain in Mexico” program in E.O.H.C. v. Sec’y United States Dep’t of Homeland Sec., 950 F.3d 177 (3d Cir. 2020) (precedential case finding subject matter jurisdiction for claims brought in federal district court pursuant to paragraph 24B of the Flores Settlement Agreement by detained immigrant children challenging their detention placement and conditions).

Describe the biggest challenge you’ve had to face in your legal career.

Knowing my limitations. For example, knowing when maintaining my professional obligations means that I need to step back and ask for help during a personal crisis such as the death of a close family member.

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a lawyer since I was eight years old!

What word would you use to describe yourself?

Extra (my teenagers call me this all the time).

What is your favorite quote?

I have two favorite quotes: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” – Maya Angelou and “On second thought, I think I am more crazy than my goat.” – Remedios Varo

What’s a great book you read recently?

I reread Dune after watching the film.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?

When I was first interviewing at law firms as a 2L and I was worried about making a good impression, my mother said,  “Be who you are in interviews, and you’ll end up someplace you belong.”

If you could time travel, where would you go?

I would go visit the Minoan civilization in Crete (Middle Bronze Age), answer questions about Minoan civilization and learn how to translate Linear A.