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HEATHER PRENDERGAST

Partner

Heather Prendergast, Partner | Aljijaki, Kosseff & Prendergast, LLC

EDUCATION

• Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland, OH (J.D. 2008)

• Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY (B.A. 2004)

ADMISSIONS

• New York

• Ohio

• U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

• Federal District Court, Northern District of Ohio

NEWS

 

Heather Prendergast’s diverse immigration practice focuses on complex removal defense including trials, appeals, and federal court litigation; employment-based immigration for skilled professionals; family-based immigration; asylum; and naturalization.

She is one of 21 Directors elected to serve on the Board of Governors for the Washington, D.C. based American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the premier bar association of more than 15,000 immigration attorneys and law professors. Heather regularly speaks about immigration issues at local, regional, and national conferences, serves on conference planning committees, and is an Adjunct Law Professor at Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Her remarks have been quoted in Rolling Stone, the Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Bloomberg Law, the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as other publications. 

In 2018, Heather joined the faculty at Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law as an Adjunct Professor teaching the law school’s Immigration & Nationality Law course.

Practice Areas

Employment Visas

Permanent Residence (Family and Employment Based)

Asylum / Humanitarian

Waivers

Removal Defense

U.S. Naturalization and Citizenship

Experience

Heather has been practicing immigration law since 2009. Before joining Nadeen and Lauren in 2016, she worked with David Wolfe Leopold & Assoc. Co., LPA.  Heather has experience in all areas of immigration and nationality law including:

Employment based nonimmigrant and immigrant visas for physicians, researchers, IT professionals, financial analysts, engineers, healthcare workers, architects, scientists, and other skilled professionals

• H-1B nonimmigrant visas; L-1A and L-1B intra company transfer visas; E-1, E-2, and E-3 treaty visas; O-1A nonimmigrant visas for extraordinary ability; TN nonimmigrant classification under NAFTA; labor certification (PERM); immigrant visas for extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, managers and executives

• Family based immigration for spouses, children, parents, and fiancées

• Waivers of the J-1 two-year foreign residence requirement

• Asylum and Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

• Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

• Representation at U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide nonimmigrant and immigrant visa applications and waivers of inadmissibility

• Naturalization including initial applications, appeals, and federal court litigation

• Complex removal defense including bond redetermination hearings, trials in immigration court, appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals, and federal court litigation

Honors

• Heather has been Recognized by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star in the field of Immigration from 2016 to 2018 and again in 2020. This honor is conferred on no more than 2.5 percent of attorneys in each state.

• In 2016, Heather received AILA’s President’s Commendation Award for her exemplary service to AILA and its President

Professional & Community Involvement

Heather is one of 21 Directors elected to serve on the Board of Governors for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), a national association of more than 15,000 attorneys and law professors who practice and teach immigration law.

Elected Director, AILA Board of Governors, 2017 – Present 

• Chair, AILA University, 2019 – Present 

• Member, AILA Department of State (DOS) Liaison Committee, 2018 – Present 

• Chair, AILA Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) Liaison Committee, 2015 – 2018

• Vice Chair, AILA ICE Liaison Committee, 2014 – 2015

• Member, AILA ICE Liaison Committee, 2012 – 2014

• Member, AILA 2017 Midwinter Conference Planning Committee

• Member, AILA 2017 & 2018 Spring Conference Planning Committee

• Member, AILA 2017 Fall Conference Planning Committee

• Member, Ohio AILA Conference Planning Committee, 2015 – Present 

Community Involvement

Member, Parks Commission, Moreland Hills, OH, 2019 – Present 

Race Organizer, Superheroes 5k Run for Justice, Orlando, FL, June 2019

Polling Location Coordinator, Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, 2016

• Volunteer, Family Detention Center in Dilley, TX, 2016

Presentations

2018

• Panelist, “Reframing Immigration Reform: Is It Legally Possible to Let The ‘Good People’ In and Keep the ‘Bad People’ Out?” Tucker Ellis, In House Counsel Summit, Cleveland, OH, October 25, 2018

• Discussion Leader, “Waivers”, Ohio AILA Fall Conference, Columbus, OH, October 18 – 19, 2018

• Panelist, “Challenges Facing Immigrant Communities in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana: Laying the Groundwork”, Center for Migration Studies’ Promoting Just and Inclusive Communities in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana: A “Whole of Community” Approach to Immigrants and Refugees, Cincinnati, OH, July 16 – 18, 2018

• Panelist, “Hot Talks: Immigration”, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Cleveland, OH, July 10, 2018

• Presenter, “The ICE Man Cometh”, AILA Audio Seminar, July 10, 2018

• Discussion Leader, “Who’s Watching? What the Government Knows About Your Client”, AILA Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA, June 13 – 16, 2018

• Discussion Leader, “ICE Open Forum”, AILA Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA, June 13 – 16, 2018

• Discussion Leader, “Bond and Enforcement Priorities”, AILA Audio Seminar, May 24, 2018

• Discussion Leader, “Inside the Beltway with the ICE Liaison Committee”, AILA Spring Conference, Washington, DC, April 13, 2018

• Presenter, “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue – Advanced Topics in Family Based Immigration Part 1”, Chicago AILA Midwest Regional Conference, Chicago, IL, March 12, 2018

• Panelist, “Immigration and Painesville: a Constructive and Educational Discussion”, City of Painesville, OH, March 1, 2018

• Presenter, “Motions to Reopen in Removal Proceedings”, AILA Georgia / Alabama Chapter Conference, Atlanta, GA, February 24 – 25, 2018

• Presenter, “One Year Under Trump and What’s to Come: Enforcement”, American Immigration Council, Washington, D.C., January 24, 2018

2017

• Presenter, “Immigration Court 101”, AILA New York Chapter Immigration Law Symposium, New York, NY, December 15, 2017

• Presenter, “Removal Case Preparation”, AILA Paralegals Conference and Webcast, Washington, DC, October 12 – 13, 2017

• Presenter, “Removal Strategies Under the Current Administration”, Ohio AILA Fall Conference, Columbus, OH, October 6, 2017

• Discussion Leader, “Update on ICE ERO and ICE OCC Policy and Practice”, AILA Fall Conference, Portland, OR, September 15, 2017

• Discussion leader, “Fundamentals of a Master Calendar Hearing”, AILA Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, June 21 – 24, 2017

• Discussion leader, “ICE Open Forum”, AILA Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, June 21 – 24, 2017

• Presenter, “Immigration Court Practice in an Age of New Detention Priorities”, AILA Upper Midwest Immigration Conference, Brooklyn Center, MN, May 19, 2017

• Presenter, “Changes in International and Immigration Law with the New Administration”, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Cleveland, OH, May 3, 2017

• Discussion leader, “ICE Open Forum”, AILA Spring Conference, Washington, DC, April 7, 2017

• Presenter, “Circuit Court and BIA Update”, Chicago AILA Midwest Regional Conference, Chicago, IL, March 13, 2017

• Presenter, “Get Me Out of Here! Strategies for Getting Clients Out of Custody”, AILA Audio Seminar, March 7, 2017

• Panelist, “Immigration, Borders, and Executive Orders, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs”, NY, March 4, 2017

• Panelist, “Hot Talks: Immigration”, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Cleveland, OH, February 14, 2017

• Presenter, “Finding the Lifeline in a Turbulent Sea: Prosecutorial Discretion for the Challenging Case”, AILA Midwinter Conference, Phillipsburg, St. Maarten, January 20, 2017 

• Panelist, “Another Break In The Wall: Immigration Policy Under the Trump Administration”, Greater Cleveland International Lawyers Group, Cleveland, OH, January 17, 2017

2016

• Discussion leader, “Stacking the Deck Early in the Game: Overcoming the Government’s Motion to Dismiss on Discretion and Winning Your Appeal”, AILA Annual Conference, Las Vegas, NV, June 22 – 25, 2016

• Discussion leader, “ICE Open Forum”, AILA Annual Conference, Las Vegas, NV, June 22 – 25, 2016

• Discussion leader, “ICE Open Forum and Agency Roundup”, AILA Spring Conference, Washington, D.C., April 8, 2016

2015

• Panelist, “EOIR/ICE Panel”, Ohio AILA Fall Conference, Columbus, OH, October 9, 2015

• Discussion leader, “ICE Open Forum”, AILA Annual Conference, National Harbor, MD, June 17 – 20, 2015

• Discussion leader, “ICE Open Forum and Agency Roundup”, AILA Spring Conference, Washington, D.C., April 17, 2015

• Panelist, “Litigation and Prosecutorial Discretion Requests to OCC, ERO, and OPLA”, Chicago AILA Midwest Regional Conference, Chicago, IL, March 9, 2015

2014

• Panelist, “Building Stellar Equity Packages for Removal Cases and Beyond”, AILA Ohio/Michigan Fall Conference, Perrysburg, OH, October 10, 2014

• Panelist, “The Dreaded NTA from Bond to Victory: Removal Proceedings Part 1”, AILA Annual Conference, Boston, MA, June 18 – 21, 2014

Publications

COMING SOON!