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The Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, P.C. Staff

Our Staff

Managing Attorney Mariela Sagastume

Mariela SagastumePrior to her hire as Managing Attorney of The Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, P.C. Attorney Mariela Sagastume was the founder and owner of Ayuda Law Firm, LLC, a boutique immigration and family law practice in Denver, Colorado. Her practice focused on complex contested family law matters, removal/deportation defense, appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals, family based visas and humanitarian based petitions. Ms. Sagastume is highly skilled at drafting extensive legal briefs, memoranda and motions for complex cases that deal with a variety of federal and state criminal issues.

Since 2011, Ms. Sagastume has also had the privilege of teaching about complex immigration and family law issues as a guest lecturer at the University of Denver. Ms. Sagastume has been a board member on the board of directors for nonprofit organizations who advocate for social justice for immigrants and other marginalized communities. While working with these non-profit organizations, she participated as a panel member for youth empowerment conferences and was a leader in successfully organizing dual language immigration seminars and clinics.

Ms. Sagastume is a graduate of Western Michigan University - Cooley Law School, located in Lansing, Michigan. While there, she received the Hispanic Law Society Leadership award, the Alumni Memorial Scholarship and the Benjamin and Ida Alpert Scholarship. Prior to Law School, Ms. Sagastume graduated from the University of Calgary in Canada. While at the University of Calgary, Ms. Sagastume volunteered for several nonprofit organizations working with indigent women and women in conflict with the law.

During her professional career, Ms. Sagastume has gained not only nationwide legal experience but also international experience. In 2013, she was chosen as a participant in an exclusive delegation in Guatemala through the Guatemalan Human Rights Commission. During this delegation she met with leaders who have been on the front lines of struggles to defend land and the environment, promote women’s rights, and push for justice for femicide and crimes of the past. In October, 2015, Ms. Sagastume traveled to Nepal and volunteered at Raksha Nepal. This non-governmental organization located in Kathmandu, Nepal provides shelter, legal support, trauma counseling, and educational programs for sexually exploited girls, women and their children.

Ms. Sagastume understands personally, the plight of her clients; she was born in Guatemala and her family was forced to flee their native country due to persecution suffered at the hands of the Guatemalan government. Her father was eventually successful in seeking refuge in Canada. Because of her own personal experience, Ms. Sagastume has dedicated her career to assisting other immigrants with their legal issues.

Ms. Sagastume is dedicated to continuing her track record of being a compassionate and effective advocate for immigrants, survivors of horrific crimes and individuals of different populations.

Scott McVarish

Scott McVarish

Scott McVarish is an attorney that has achieved success with immigration work for his clients at all levels including Family or Employer Petitions at USCIS, Consular processing worldwide, BIA Appeals, Immigration Court Motions to Reopen, Ineffective Assistance of Counsel lawsuits, Federal District Court and the Ninth Circuit Court Appeals, Asylum, prosecutorial discretion cases, appeals, motions to reopen and Post-conviction Relief in superior court to overturn criminal convictions. His skills include writing persuasive legal briefs and hardship cases, taking depositions, witness preparation, working with Country experts, criminal defense issues for immigrants and putting together the right team and resources to win your case, among many other skills. He is also on the executive committee for the advocacy non-profit, Clergy Laity United for Economic Justice- Los Angeles (cluela.org), where he focuses on matters related to immigrant communities. He is serving as faculty for the 2013 national conference of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).

Scott graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in International Communications (through the College of Honors Program), and then later earned a joint- J.D., and M.A. from the UCLA School of Law and School of Public Policy respectively.

Scott studied "Ethics and Theology" one year at El Seminario Biblico Latinoamericano in San Jose, Costa Rica and remains fluent in Spanish. At the age of 20, Scott wrote the book The Greening of New Zealand, published by Random House, detailing strategies of local environmental, labor and community groups in New Zealand where he lived for two years.

Of Counsel Attorney Diana Cobar Lang

Diana Cobar Lang Also with The Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, P.C. is Attorney Diana Cobar Lang, the firm's Of Counsel. Attorney Lang brings years of experience handling employment immigration and deportation cases to the firm. She also has experience with Ninth Circuit and Board of Immigration Appeals cases as well as appearances before various immigration courts across the county. She has been helping individuals resolve cases involving adjustment of statuses, cancellation of removals, adoption and fiancé(e) issues as well as other cases. Furthermore, like Mr. McVarish, Ms. Lang is also bilingual, being fluent in English and Romanian.

Immigration law is rife with complexities. Only those who have the work ethic and the drive to excel can truly provide dependable representation in the area. In her developmental years at Loyola Law School, Ms. Lang achieved high honors in her class, graduating with her Juris Doctor in the top 25 percent. She also acted as the chief research editor of Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review. From graduation onward, she amassed extensive experience as both an attorney for various firms in Southern California and as a mediator for the Los Angeles Superior Court. Exceptional attorneys never stop learning and striving to improve, and Attorney Lang hopes to continue expanding her legal knowledge and experience.

Gianina Haro

Gianina HaroGianina Haro is the firm's legal assistant. Gianina has 20 + years of experience in immigration law working as Legal Assistant to many law firms in the Los Angeles area. In addition, Gianina is fully bilingual (Spanish/English) and has experience as interpreter and translator. She has worked on many types of immigration cases such as adjustment of status, naturalization, cancellation of removal, removal of conditional status, and many others.

Aileen Bernal

Aileen BernalMs. Bernal has spent much of her adult life in Latin America before coming to the Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, P.C. She handles all new client initial intakes. She is widely respected for her compassion, equanimity and patience. Her work for ILOLA includes coordination of attorney calendars, scheduling consultations, reminders for clients and troubleshooting issues for our clients and for the firm. She is married with a three year old son. She can be reached at aileen@immigrationhelpla.com or (800)792-9889.

Toni Gilliard Senior Attorney, of Counsel

Toni GilliardGilliard has practiced immigration law for 14 years. She has a diverse legal background within the immigration arena, including but not limited to family based immigration, employment based immigration, business immigration and deportation defense. Gilliard graduated from the prestigious University of Maryland School of Law with a focus on Immigration and International law. Gilliard also served as a Judicial intern for the Executive Office for Immigration Review [EOIR] - Immigration Court as well as employed by the Department of Homeland Security-USCIS.

Gilliard has studied abroad in Mexico, England, Scotland and Barbados. Gilliard is also a published author of a book relevant to the separation many immigrant children have from family members who have been deported. Gilliard has served as an immigration law professor with various Bar Associations, law enforcement agencies, nonprofits, educational institutions as well as law school. Gilliard provides each client with the utmost professional service in the area of Immigration law which is complex, expansive, and evolving. Attorney Gilliard speaks English and Spanish.

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6080 Center Drive, Suite 600, Los Angeles, CA 90045 | Phone: (800) 792-9889  Local Phone: (310) 242-8936 Office Location

6080 Center Drive, Suite 600, Los Angeles, CA 90045 | Phone: (800) 792-9889  Local Phone: (310) 242-8936 Office Location

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Copyright © 2017 The Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, P.C. - All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.