La Habra, CA
Ms. Padilla practices immigration law, removal defense, and family law in La Habra, California. A native of Guatemala, she immigrated to the United States in 1983 with her parents and brother. She completed high school in Los Angeles and obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and her Juris Doctorate from Whittier Law School.
A leader in the legal profession, Ms. Padilla was recently elected National Treasurer of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the premier bar association of immigration lawyers and professors in the U.S. She served as the AILA’s Southern California Chapter Chair, and has served on various national AILA national liaison and issue committees. Ms. Padilla served as the 2007-2008 chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) Immigration Section and as the 2009 and 2010 Treasurer of the Mexican American Bar Association (MABA) Board where she had served as a Trustee for five years. Ms. Padilla is also a member of the immigration and family law sections of the LACBA.
Dedicated to continuing legal education, Ms. Padilla frequently presents locally and throughout the U.S. on immigration law and its interplay with family law and small business ownership. She has also presented on the legal implications of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the administrative relief process implemented by the Obama Administration for certain undocumented youth.
As a student and throughout her professional career, Ms. Padilla has made community service a priority. She frequently volunteers her legal services to indigent clients on a pro bono basis and actively participates in “Know Your Rights” forums for immigrants and others. Ms. Padilla has also volunteered with the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), the Domestic Violence Project, the HIV & AIDS Legal Services Alliance, and the Immigration Legal Assistance Project. Ms. Padilla currently handles pro bono cases for Kids In Need of Defense (KIND) and ProBar. She has been selected to participate in the Family Law Expert Panel for KIND, providing mentorship and assistance to pro bono attorneys handling Sepecial Immigrant Juvenile Status cases (SIJS). She has been voted SuperLawyer four years in a row (2011-2014).