Helena Younossi, an Afghan-German U.S. national immigrated to the United States when she was 16 years old. From an early age, Ms. Younossi knew she wanted to practice immigration law as she experienced first-hand the struggles immigrants face when coming to a new country. Upon graduating law school, Ms. Younossi practiced in boutique immigration law firms in the Bay Area until in 1998, when she joined the largest corporate immigration law firm in the U.S. After a successful career as a managing attorney and later having achieved partnership status there, Ms. Younossi ventured out in 2005 to create an immigration law firm that prides itself on compassion, integrity, and accessibility.
Helena S. Younossi has extensive experience helping companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500 multinationals with their U.S. business immigration matters, including employee work authorizations, I-9 IRCA Compliance, M&A, LCA Compliance, Immigration Program and Policy development, as well as Consular and Global work visa coordination. She also represents individuals and families in their immigration related needs. Ms. Younossi has been invited to speak on immigration and legal ethics by organizations such the American Bar Association (ABA), the Public Law Institute (PLI), the California State Bar, the Sixth Annual Statewide Ethics Symposium, and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, to name a few. Her work has included membership in the State Bar Executive Committee of the International Law Section, the AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association) National Ethics and Practice Management Committee, service as the AILA NorCal Ethics Liaison and as Vice Chair of the BASF Ethics Committee. She serves on the Board of Advisors for the AILA National Ethics Compendium, which will result in the first comprehensive publication of the ABA Model rules’ application to the practice of immigration law. Helena has also been peer-selected for inclusion in “The Best Lawyers in America” each year since 2010, “Northern California Super Lawyers” each year since 2010 and “San Francisco’s Best Lawyer” each year since 2012. She was selected as a ‘2013 Top Rated Lawyer’ by Martindale-Hubbell and listed among “Women Leaders in the Law” in The American Lawyer Magazine, January 2013 issue. She is a three-time recipient of the Wiley W. Manuel Award for her pro-bono work and a triathlete who has completed Ironman Canada.
On weekends you will likely find Helena outdoors on a bike or by a pool whenever possible. In her home, she has two boys as well as 2 dogs, 1 Sphynx cat, and a loud Sun Connor Bird. She has great memories of growing up in Afghanistan and in Germany and speaks German, Farsi, English, and conversational French. Her utmost desire is to learn the language she considers most beautiful: Spanish!
Education & Admissions
- J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law
- B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles
- California Supreme Court
- Washington, DC (Inactive Member)
- U.S. District Court Northern District of California
- U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
- Supreme Court of California
- Member of the California Bar Association
Recent Select Speaking Engagements & Publications
- Ethical Considerations in Online Marketing and Messaging, Presenter, California AILA Conference, January 2014
- Practicing Immigration Law Across State Lines, Presenter, AILA National Webinar, December 2013
- Smooth Operator: Tips & Tricks to Efficient Productive Practice; Discussion Leader, AILA National, June 2013, Washington, DC
- Ethical Considerations in Drafting Client Retainers & Electronic Communications, Presenter, Northern California AILA Chapter, June 2013
- Immigration and Export Control, Renewed Focus of DHL, CA State Bar Annual Meeting, 2011.
- From I-9 Employment Verification Liability, Completion and Compliance Training Seminar, MyOHR (HR Consulting Services), November 18th, 2010, Campbell, California.
- Ethical Issues of Outsourcing Legal Support Services Overseas, 83rd Annual Meeting of The State Bar of California, September 23, 2010, Monterey, California.
- Ethics, Practice Management, and Marketing, AILA Spring 2010, Austin, Texas, 2010.
- Immigration and Export Control Considerations in Employing Foreign Nationals, Cooley Godward Kronish LLP, Palo Alto, March 20, 2009.
- Immigration Practice in a High Tech World, AILA NorCal, San Francisco, CA, 2008.
- Conversational French
- Selected as a ‘2013 Top Rated Lawyer’ by Martindale-Hubbell and listed among Women Leaders in the Law in The American Lawyer Magazine January 2013 issue
- Peer recognized among San Francisco’s Best Lawyers each year since 2012
- Helena has been peer recognized for inclusion in Super Lawyers, Northern California, each year consecutively since 2010
- Selected by peers for inclusion in the ‘The Best Lawyers in America’ every year as of 2010
- The 2007 edition of “Who’s Who Legal, ” calls Ms. Younossi a “very sharp” attorney who is among the “leading lights” in California
- Three-time recipient of the Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services
- Competed in and completed Ironman Canada in 2004
Professional Associations & Memberships
- Board of Advisors, AILA National Ethics Compendium 2013 – present
- Executive Committee Member, International Law Section, State Bar of California 2009-2012
- Board Member, Pangaea Global Aids Foundation
- Board Member, San Francisco Aids Foundation
- Board Member, Norcal American Immigration Lawyers Association
- Member, National AILA Ethics and Practice Management Committee
- Chair, Norcal American Immigration Lawyers Association Ethics Committee
- Cultural Advisor, Alliance for International Women’s Rights
- Member, California Minority Counsel Program
- Admitted to practice law by State Bar of California & District of ColumbiaLifetime Member of Strathmore’s Who’s Who
- American Bar Association
- American Immigration Lawyer’s Association
- San Francisco Bar Association
- San Mateo Bar Association