AILA members are sharing their first person accounts of life and work at the moment – if you’re an AILA member, please email your 400-800 word submission to for consideration. Thank you for all you do!

We immigration lawyers are all working at home right now. For some of us, this may continue past the current health crisis. I am a solo practitioner.  I have been a tenant at a particular executive suite for the past eleven years.  Last Friday, I found out that the executive suite is not going to survive the current crisis at this location.  The executive suite sent an email to all of its sub-tenants informing us that they will not renew the master lease in the building.  As of June, all 70 or so tenants will either transfer to a different location at that company or terminate and pursue different options.  Working virtually is not only my present, but my foreseeable future.

Many of my past decisions were based on the location of this executive suite.  I simply loved the location. I was first a member of the gym in that building.  I remember the gym managers signing a bunch of people up to memberships and then disappearing in the middle of the night, leaving the gym empty with chains on the front door.  It didn’t matter.  I was already a tenant in the executive center on the second floor by that point and pretty invested. I later moved to that area.  I found a pretty small place, but it was less than a mile away.  I biked to work.  The point of living so close to work was to not have my living space invaded by work ‘junk.’  This probably sounds old school, but I never used a laptop.  I did not need or want to use one.

Well, best laid plans and all that. I now have a bunch of stuff at home.  The largest invader is the desktop PC, followed in descending order by the printer, scanner, office phone, desktop speakers, webcam, etc. I spent a couple of weeks going to different Best Buy and Staples stores to find wireless adapters for the PC and the office phone. Apparently, none of these relics had built in WIFI.  But hardwiring into my internet connection isn’t an option due to space constraints.  I never built my home space thinking it would be an office.  A lot of my thoughts recently are about space management.  I find myself walking around with a tape measure wondering if something will fit here or not.  I am clearing out closet and garage space.  Now that I am at home, how do I make this work?

It will take a financial investment, but this is my purchase plan to manage work and home space:

  • Standing desk with the included wire management system to cut down on clutter
  • One laptop with a docking station (I’m giving in you guys!)
  • Network Attached Storage device for data/cloud storage

Even with what we have all had to go through the past few weeks, I still managed to file a couple of petitions for my clients. I filed an adjustment of status two weeks ago and an I-751 last week.  I’m not the only one to notice that we immigration lawyers are pretty resilient. We are adapting to the situation at hand and moving forward to protect our clients’ interests.