Nicole Nelson
Nicole NelsonPartner
Nicole is a partner with NELSON | SMITH, LLP in Portland, Oregon and Honolulu, Hawai’i. Nicole represents individuals and employers in all areas of immigration law, including family and business-based immigration and federal court litigation. Nicole’s practice also includes asylum, U visas (victims of crimes), citizenship and deportation defense. She also advises criminal defense attorneys about the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. Nicole is fluent in Spanish. Nicole has been invited to speak at regional and national immigration conferences. She is currently serving as chair-elect of the Oregon Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and is a mentor for AILA National on Temporary Protected Status and Expedited Removal issues. In her time off, Nicole enjoys traveling.

Professional Profile

Nicole Nelson
Partner
208 SW First Avenue Suite 360
Portland, Oregon 97204
  • NELSON | SMITH, LLP, Offices in Portland, Oregon and Honolulu, Hawai’i Partner, September 2006 – Present
  • Hecht & Smith, LLP, Portland, Oregon
    Partner, January 2002 – August 2006
    Attorney, April 2001 – December 2001
  • Immigration Counseling Service, Portland, Oregon
    Attorney, January 1998 – March 2001
    Volunteer, 1997
  • Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians, Siletz, Oregon
    Intern, 1997
  • Columbia Legal Services, Everett, Washington
    Summer Fellow, 1996
  • Willamette University College of Law, Salem, Oregon
    Doctor of Jurisprudence, 1997
  • Institute of International and Comparative Law, Geneva, Switzerland and Strasbourg, France, Santa Clara University School of Law, 1995
  • International Institute of Human Rights (Institut International des Droits de L’Homme) Strasbourg, France, 1995
  • Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington
    Bachelor of Business Administration, 1992
  • Gonzaga-In-Florence
    Florence Italy, 1990-1991
  • Supreme Court of the State of Oregon
  • United States District Court for the District of Oregon
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association, Member Since 1999
    Mentor on Temporary Protected Status and Expedited Removal Issues
  • Chair, Oregon Chapter of American Immigration Lawyers Association, June 2014 – Present
  • Chair-Elect, Oregon Chapter of American Immigration Lawyers Association, July 2013 – June 2014
  • Secretary, Oregon Chapter of American Immigration Lawyers Association, July 2012 – July 2013
  • Treasurer, Oregon Chapter of American Immigration Lawyers Association, July 2010 – July 2012
  • Board of Directors, Immigration Counseling Service, Portland, Oregon, 2005 – Present
  • Legal Committee, Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services, Portland, Oregon, 2004 – Present
  • Planning Committee, AILA NW Regional Conference
    Portland, Oregon, March 10-11, 2011
  • Faculty Presenter, Trial Skills in District Court Panel, AILA NW Regional Conference Seattle, Washington, February 13, 2009
  • Faculty Presenter, Asylum One Year Bar Panel, AILA National Conference Orlando, Florida, June 15, 2007
  • Faculty Presenter, Asylum Panel, AILA NW Regional Conference Seattle, Washington, March 9, 2006
  • Faculty Presenter, Cancellation of Removal Panel, AILA NW Regional Conference Seattle, Washington, March 3, 2005
  • Speaker, The Price of Freedom: Who Pays? Willamette University College of Law Salem, Oregon, February 22, 2003

Chapter Updates for Aliens with Extraordinary Ability O and P Nonimmigrants and Adjustment of Status, Immigration Law and Procedure: Desk Edition, LexisNexis

  • 2013 Oregon Super Lawyer, Immigration, Oregon Super Lawyers
  • 2012 Oregon Super Lawyer, Immigration, Oregon Super Lawyers
  • 2011 Oregon Super Lawyer, Immigration, Oregon Super Lawyers
  • 2010 Oregon Rising Star, Immigration, Oregon Super Lawyers
  • 2008 Oregon Rising Star, Immigration, Oregon Super Lawyers
  • 2005 Wise Sage Award, Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services
  • McLeod v Mukasey, No. 07-70694 (9th Cir., July 10, 2008) (a conviction vacated as a result of a defect in the underlying proceedings should no longer be considered a conviction for immigration purposes)
  • Rivas-Gomez v. Gonzales, No. 03-72087 (9th Cir., Mar. 22, 2007) (the court found that the IJ erred when he applied the “extreme hardship” standard in adjudicating a waiver of inadmissibility without first making a determination based on the facts underlying the asylee’s conviction that the asylee’s crime was violent or dangerous)
  • Lazli v. USCIS, Case No. 05-CV-1680-BR (D. Or., Feb. 12, 2007) (mandamus granted by Court, holding that USCIS had a duty to adjudicate both I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence and N-400 Application for Naturalization within a reasonable time and failed to do so)

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