Camelia Ghiuzeli Mitchell, Safe Passage Project Attorney of the Week

CameliaCamelia Ghiuzeli Mitchell is an Associate at Baron & Shelkin, P.C., where she handles all aspects of Immigration law, including removal defense, business, waivers and family and employment based petitions. She is a graduate of New York Law School and is admitted to the bar in both New York and New Jersey. Prior to joining Baron & Shelkin, Camelia worked at the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs as a program director, coordinating the public-private civic engagement initiative. She is an active member of the AILA New York Chapter and AILA NY Committee on Local Government. She is fluent in Romanian and proficient in Spanish.

Camelia started working with Safe Passage after learning about the organization from Professor Benson. When she first started volunteering at Immigration Court with Safe Passage, she didn’t completely understand how great the need for pro bono representation was — but then quickly realized that there was a need for counsel for young people who are predominantly from Central America.  Because of the incredible need, Camelia decided to take on her first pro bono case with the project and successfully represented a young girl from Guatemala.

Camelia has now been involved in Safe Passage for many years and has worked on numerous cases. She regularly assists with client interviews at Immigration court, and her firm Baron & Shelkin, has taken on a number of cases, from Special Immigrant Juvenile Status to Prosecutorial Discretion.

Camelia finds working with clients from Safe Passage exceptionally rewarding and finds that she is often impressed and humbled by her client’s perseverance. She finds it inspiring to meet kids who have gone through so much and still maintain a positive outlook on life and their future.  She feels lucky to be able to help her clients navigate an otherwise complex legal system, and considers working with Safe Passage a highlight of being a lawyer. And, while Immigration cases tend to take a long time, she finds this beneficial because it helps her really get to know her clients and their families.  For Camelia, all of her Safe Passage clients have been beyond extremely appreciative and gracious. For example, one especially sweet client sent her a “Happy Valentine’s Day” text with a picture of flowers and candy.

When she is not practicing law, Camelia enjoys yoga and travelling with her husband. Her next trip will be to California wine country, which she’s very much looking forward to.

***Safe Passage Attorney of the Week Profile written by Safe Passage volunteer, Amy Zhang and Safe Passage Post Graduate Fellow, Astrid Avedissian.

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