Founding Partner | Attorney
Laura Vilim is a founding partner of Valdez & Vilim, LLP and of her prior firm, Valdez Vilim & Wunrow, LLP. She focuses her practice in the area of immigration and nationality law, including family-based immigration, humanitarian immigration (asylum, VAWA, U Visas, T Visas and SIJS), naturalization, immigration appeals, and removal defense. She represents clients with cases before the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State, and the Department of Justice. She has been selected to the 2019, 2020 and 2021 Illinois Rising Star List by Super Lawyers.
In addition to maintaining her own private practice, Ms. Vilim is a Practitioner in Residence with the Asylum & Refugee Law Clinic at DePaul University’s College of Law. In that role, Ms. Vilim mentors immigration practitioners at community-based organizations in the Chicago area and gives presentations on removal defense. During the 2017-2018 school year, Ms. Vilim was an adjunct professor at Valparaiso University School of Law, where she taught and supervised the immigration law clinic.
Prior to co-founding Valdez & Vilim, LLP, Ms. Vilim practiced immigration law at a private firm in Chicago. She also served a 2-year term as an Attorney Advisor through the U.S. Attorney General Honors Program at the Chicago Immigration Court, Executive Office for Immigration Review, Department of Justice. She has a background in human rights and advocacy work, which she gained by working at Amnesty International before she became an attorney.
Ms. Vilim speaks Spanish. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and sits on the AILA EOIR Liaison Committee and the AILA Midwest Regional Conference Planning Committee. She has been invited to speak at events sponsored by the Chicago Bar Association’s Immigration and Nationality Committee as well as community organizations such as the Albany Park Community Center, Southwest Organizing Project, and Latinos Progresando.
Ms. Vilim obtained her J.D. cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center with a Certificate in Refugee and Humanitarian Emergencies. She obtained her B.A. magna cum laude in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame. She is admitted to practice law in Illinois.