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Kristine Walentik, 36

STAFF ATTORNEY, ST. FRANCIS COMMUNITY SERVICES CATHOLIC IMMIGRATION LAW PROJECT, ST. LOUIS

kristine-walentikPractice area: Immigration
Law school: University of Denver

Ask Kristine Walentik about the best part of her job and she doesn’t hesitate.
“My favorite moment is when I watch one of my client’s faces as the judge grants him or her asylum,” she says.
She’s in the right place to experience that moment at the Catholic Immigration Law Project where she provides free legal representation to low income immigrants and refugees helping them navigate everything from DACA status and waivers of inadmissibility to removal proceedings and naturalization.
She’s also been a tireless advocate for victims of human trafficking and has presented more than 20 “Know Your Rights” and “Power of Attorney” workshops for undocumented immigrants.
Before graduating law school in 2011, Walentik, who is co-founder of the Immigrant Service Providers Network, carried on similar work in Colorado as a legal assistant with the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network. Other efforts have included time as a CASA volunteer, a case manager for an Arizona family emergency shelter as well as work at the Colorado Center on Law and Policy and the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center.

What advice do you have for young lawyers?
Find a type of law you enjoy practicing and do not be afraid to ask questions.

What is the best career advice you have received?
Make sure you call back your clients in a timely manner.

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