I practice immigration law fearlessly. Often times I describe it as “having my heart at the border”. This is why I don’t want common logos used in the law industry such as a courthouse, lady justice, the scales of justice or a gavel. I also do not want a globe or a map. I opened my law practice in November of 2017 – 8 months ago. I’ve worked at several law firms and have seen how far good branding can get you; I’ve also seen how not investing in a logo and brand can stagnate a business.
When I started learning this area of law, it was complicated and challenging. Senior attorneys told me: “you will never be a good immigration attorney”. I felt like a failure. But I had the skills and my family supported me, both financially and emotionally. I am completely bilingual in both English and Spanish. My biggest strength is emotional intelligence; I have the ability to recognize emotions and their impact both on my clients and myself. I consider myself to be authentic; I don’t say everything I think, but I mean what I say and I stick to my value and principles. I keep my commitments. I connect with my clients because I understand their thoughts and feelings. I think that judging or labeling them hinders the legal representation I can offer them. I thrive on deep meaningful relationships and most of my business is through word of mouth.
Immigration law is complex and my clients are simple, humble and many haven’t studied past the 6th grade. They all come from Latin America and most speak Spanish. Most have low-earning jobs such as cleaning, food prepping, painting, landscaping, etc. I work with clients who are in deportation proceedings before the immigration court. They are young men and women, and middle-aged men and women who are seeking asylum in the U.S. They are fleeing gang violence, domestic violence and/or a corrupt government. I also work with couples and families who have been in the U.S. for several years and are trying to obtain legal status by petitioning for family members.
I traveled to South America because I felt I had a calling for Latin America. While traveling thru Argentina and Bolivia, my stomach turned when I saw the conditions in which people live. The experience helped me better understand what pushes immigrants to cross the border into the U.S. I flipped a map and saw what it might look like if the U.S. was down south and Latin America was up north. Brazil is huge. It should have been obvious to me, but I understood that if I was going to serve Latin Americans, I had to push myself out of my comfort zone. This is why I have spent the last 3 years learning Portuguese so that I can serve the Brazilian population as well.
My current letterhead only includes the name of my office and contact information. I started this competition because I want a logo/brand that will be included on my business cards, letterheads, web design, etc. and that will also inform the design and décor of my physical office. I want the design to look professional yet not like a traditional lawyer’s office. I like feminine but not overly feminine as the same design will be used when addressing judges, prosecutors and colleagues.
This isn’t about me – it’s about them: my clients. I’m the vessel through which we try to achieve justice and fairness in their lives. While I’m flattered at designs that enhance my initials in the logo, I don’t want the logo to be just my initials. I encourage designers to choose colors for the logo and be creative with their designs.
I frequently compare my practice to a doctor’s work. If I was diagnosed with cancer and needed chemotherapy, I would not expect the doctor to give me a biology class. But I do want to understand the basics, such as: what are the alternatives for treatment? What is my prognosis? What will be the physical symptoms? What is the timeline? In the same way, I want to empower clients through their cases. I thrive on breaking down a complex area of law and making it accessible to clients. This is their life, they bear the consequences, and they should be fully informed and in control of their cases.
When clients walk into my office, I want them to feel that they can trust me. I want the environment to be welcoming and reassuring. There are a lot of “notaries” that scam the immigrant population and steal their money. If a client does not come through a referral, they are usually distrustful. I want a design that is unique and that conveys compassion and empathy but also fearless lawyering, someone who is undaunted by this administration’s (Trump’s) continuous violation of human rights.
I will be actively providing feedback and will leave the competition public so that you can use other designer’s submissions to inform your own designs. Thank you.