Barrios & Virguez Dec. 2017

DEC 2017

THE MONTHLY ADVOCATE

678.934.4958 www.barriosvirguezlaw.com

In law school, I was still set on becoming a prosecutor. I did an internship with a district attorney’s office, and it was another turning point. Instead of seeing lawyers fighting for the voiceless, I saw plea deals exchanged. As a victim of a crime, it was hard to comprehend helping a person who had hurt someone else. I lost a sense of justice witnessing these deals. After the internship, I realized immigration law was my calling. It was a way I could empower the most vulnerable. I would be there to represent them fairly and, hopefully, influence the outcome of any legal decision to change their lives for the better. I met Jorge in law school, and he’s been another life-changing part of my journey. Up to that point, I hadn’t realized I was still healing from the trauma I’d faced as a 10-year-old. Jorge encouraged me to talk with a professional counselor, and that helped me face and overcome a lot of my fears. It’s been a long process of healing, but I feel grateful that it has led me to my husband and to a career that I’m passionate about. This year, Jorge and I are evaluating ways to help more people in our community. Recently, after a minor car accident, I went through physical therapy. It was frustrating to work through it. When you’re an immigrant, I know it can feel even more frustrating and intimidating. Scary, even. In the last year, we’ve realized that a lot of people, especially immigrants, don’t know all of their rights. And we are working to change that by educating our community for free via workshops, radio shows, newspapers and social media. We even host a weekly Facebook Live where viewers can ask questions. In addition to immigration law, we’ve also added personal injury law to our practice, because we see it as a way to give back. We understand both sides. If you need guidance, whether it’s an immigration or personal injury matter, we can offer it. We are highly experienced in both practice areas, and we would love to be your voice. We want you to know there’s always hope, and all you have to do is place your trust in the right hands. You matter to us, you have rights, and we’ll fight for them together.

When we started our practice in 2013, my husband, Jorge, and I knew we wanted to focus on serving immigrants in our community. We’re immigrants ourselves, and it helps us understand what people go through to become a part of this nation. Immigration law has the power to change someone’s life, and I’ve seen both sides of it. I’m from Guatemala, and as a kid, my family owned a successful business, so we were well off. We drove nice cars and enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle. Unfortunately, this success also made us the target of kidnapping. When I was 10 years old, I was kidnapped and held for ransom for 13 days. Against all odds, I became one of the few children rescued alive. It was a miracle that the police were able to locate and save me. After the kidnapping, we moved to the United States, but I had to go back to court in Guatemala so my case could be tried. It was a defining moment in my life. I experienced the scariest time of my life that year, and it helped define to a great extent who I am today. Can you imagine a 10-year-old kid trying to explain to a court what they’d faced when they were kidnapped? The prosecutor for my case became my voice. When I was weak and vulnerable, he defended and fought for me. His dedication had a huge impact on me. I was amazed that an attorney had the power to impact someone’s future. I decided I was going to law school so I could be a voice for people who were fragile and defenseless. THE SCARIEST MOMENT OF MY LIFE Led Me to My Passion

We look forward to sharing our knowledge and getting to know you through this newsletter every month. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us.

Merry Christmas, and until next time,

–Keren Barrios

1 678.934.4958

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