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Our Attorneys

George Katsivalis- Partner

George P. Katsivalis has over twenty-eight years of experience practicing almost entirely as an immigration lawyer.  George currently concentrates his practice in immigration litigation involving deportation defense, administrative practice before the United States Immigration and Citizenship Services, federal court litigation, and appellate practice before the Board of Immigration Appeals and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.


Prior to entering into private practice, George served as an attorney and administrative law judge with the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  He was appointed as a United States Immigration Judge in February 2005 and presided over the Chicago detained docket until his retirement from the bench in 2010.  Preceding his appointment to the bench, George served as the Chief Counsel over the Chicago office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security.  Before the formation of the Department of Homeland Security, he served as the Chicago District Counsel with the former Immigration and Naturalization Service.  Concurrently, from 2010 to 2005, he served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the Chicago U.S. Attorney's Office.


He received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1982 from Elmhurst College, a Juris Doctor in 1985 from The John Marshall Law School, and a master's degree in business administration in 1986 from Rosary College.  He is a member of the Illinois bar, the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh circuit and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.


In addition to his law practice, George was an Adjunct Professor of law, instructing on the subject of immigration law and procedure at Loyola University Chicago School of Law and is an dedicated bicyclist.


To contact Mr. Katsivalis call 773-567-3633 or by email at

Laureen Anderson-Stepanek- Partner

Laureen Anderson-Stepanek has spent her whole legal career as an immigration lawyer concentrated her practice in complex immigration matters since 2002.  A graduate of Illinois State University with a degree in History and Political Science, Laureen did post graduate work in International Relations at the University of Wisconsin, Parkside and eventually obtained her Juris Doctorate from the University of Iowa College of Law. Laureen has been named a Super Lawyer every year since 2021.


Laureen practices all areas of immigration law; she started her career on the corporate side where she advised international and external clients on matters related to non-immigrant employment based visas, PERM, international relocation as well as general employment matters related to foreign labor.


As Laureen's practice has grown she has expanded into the areas of family and removal defense, specifically those related to criminal issues and appellate matters, including in federal court. Laureen takes great pleasure in representing families in their cases, specifically with waivers, adjustment of status, and naturalization.  She is a member of the Illinois bar, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh circuit and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. She has argued numerous times before the Seventh Circuit, including an argument en banc.


Outside of her practice Laureen enjoys spending time with her husband and two children and is an avid traveler.

To contact Ms. Anderson-Stepanek call 773-567-3633 or by email to

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Jennie Giambastiani- Of Counsel

Ms. Jennie Giambastiani is a retired Immigration Judge with lengthy experience in all areas of immigration law. Jennie was appointed as an Immigration Judge in May 2002. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1983 from Loyola University of Chicago, and a Juris Doctorate from Loyola University School of Law in 1986. Prior to becoming an Immigration Judge, from April 1987 until May 2002, Jennie served as district counsel, deputy district counsel, assistant district counsel, and supervisory legalization officer for the former Immigration and Naturalization Service in Chicago. Jennie is a member of the Illinois Bar and the American Immigration Law Association (AILA).

Jennie focuses her practice on complex immigration matters, specifically matters related to juveniles in removal proceedings. And providing consulting services to other immigration attorneys.

Jennie is a frequent guest lecturer at local law schools and at continuing legal education seminars. She speaks fluent Italian and conversational Spanish.  

To contact Ms. Giambastiani call 773.657.3633.

Renae Yoo- Of Counsel

Renae Yoo is admitted to practice law in the state of Illinois.  She is a graduate of the Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where she received her juris doctor and a certificate in public interest law. She completed her Master of Arts in international relations and foreign policy at Loyola University Chicago and her bachelor’s in political science, French, and Chinese at Augustana College.

Renae has experience with employment-based, family-based immigration, and humanitarian immigration cases.  Her experience spans many areas of immigration law, including Extraordinary Ability and National Interest Waiver petitions; complex student visa matters; visa solutions for entrepreneurs; adoption issues in immigration; humanitarian visas and asylum; family petitions for spouses, parents, siblings and children; visas for victims of criminal activity; and petitions under the Violence Against Women Act.

Renae has been recognized by Super Lawyers Magazine every year since 2017. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, American Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, and Chicago Bar Association. Renae  previously served as the Chair of the Chicago Bar Association Immigration & Nationality Law Committee and the Chair of the AILA-Chicago Volunteer Legal Services pro bono clinic.When not working, Renae enjoys yoga, knitting and crocheting, trying new restaurants, and spending time with her family and family pets. Mostly however, Renae enjoys spending time with her young daughter and learning about the world through the eyes of a young child discovering it for the first time.

To contact Ms. Yoo call 773-657-3633 or by email at

Ellen Kassis- Of Counsel


Ellen Kassis is an immigration law practitioner who has over 15 years of experience handling matters before United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Executive Office of Immigration Review, as well as various federal courts and agencies. She manages our Austin, Texas office.


Ellen has assisted individuals and families with their family-based immigration matters, as well as with humanitarian forms of relief, including asylum, cancellation of removal, and protection under the Violence Against Women Act.  Additionally, Ellen has experience handling appeals on behalf of U.S. entities with regards to various employment-based visa petitions. She has also assisted international scholars with acquiring and maintaining legal status in the United States while teaching or performing research at U.S. institutions of higher education.  

Ellen is fluent in Arabic and Armenian. 


To contact Ms. Kassis call 773.657.3633 or by email at

Jennifer Pernas- Of Counsel

Jennifer Pernas was born in Colombia and educated in the U.S. She earned her undergraduate degree from Florida International University (FIU) and her law degree from Indiana University Maurer School of Law.  

Jenniferhas extensive experience with family-based, employment-based, and humanitarian immigration cases.  In 2019, Jennifer was honored to be named a Consulting Attorney at the Mexican Consulate in Detroit, Michigan. She has spoken as a subject-matter expert at the 2021 American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Chicago Fall Employment Conference on Schedule A Updates relating Physical Therapists & Nurses, as well as H-1B specialty occupations. Jennifer was recognized as a Super Lawyers’ 2023 Michigan Rising Star. She was also a Guest Speaker on “Fear of First Ts & Early Adjustment Pathway For T Visa Winners.”

Jennifer speaks Spanish fluently.

To contact Ms. Pernas call 773.657.3633 or by email at



7120 West Higgins Ave
Chicago, IL 60657

342 N. Water St., Ste 600
Milwaukee, WI 53202

1102 West 6th Street
Suite 200
Austin, TX 78703

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