EB5 Investors Magazine - Page 70

[ IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS ] Martin Lawler has devoted 30 years of legal practice to immigration law, helping individuals build lives in the United States. Working in the firm that his father started, Lawler & Lawler Law Offices, Martin first began working with E-2 investment visas, which paved the way for his entrance into the EB-5 sphere in 1991. Since that first case, he has continued to represent individual investors and regional centers because he believes in the viability of the EB-5 program and its positive effects on the American economy. Martin practices in San Francisco. Martin sees EB-5 as an opportunity for people to change their lives and their business career paths, especially in times when immigration to the United States is difficult and the capital markets are still recovering. Visiting completed projects—and actually seeing people working the jobs he has helped create—is deeply satisfying for Martin. An educator in the immigration community, Martin is highlyliterate in the Gordian knot that EB-5 can be; he understands that the program is a marriage between immigration laws, business development concepts, economic models, and more— all grounded in ever-changing governmental policy. Martin is also constantly and proactively seeking more information about the EB-5 program. For example, when he attended the most recent USCIS EB-5 stakeholder engagement, he received answers to all three questions he put forth. He is a frequent Nelson Lee did not intend to be an EB-5 immigration attorney. In 2010, Nelson left a 17-year career as a senior deputy prosecutor with the King County prosecuting attorney’s office to start his own law firm, Lee & Lee, PS, in Seattle, Washington. Like Nelson, many of the attorneys at his firm had backgrounds in prosecution, without extensive interest in EB-5. Nelson also admits that he was aware of a certain stigma surrounding EB-5 at the time, and was wary of getting involved in the program. Just a few months later, Nelson began working with several clients who had invested in failed EB-5 projects, and whose cases had been mishandled by others. Nelson’s prosecutorial instinct caused him to ask how such problems could be prevented on a larger-scale. And thus Nelson’s commitment to EB-5 was sealed, catalyzed by the goal to empower investors by providing them with the tools to make informed and careful decisions, and to subsequently guide them through the EB-5 process. Now Nelson leads the dedicated EB-5 team at Lee & Lee, PS, which focuses on representing investor clients. As a Chinese-American himself, Nelson wants to ensure that the EB-5 investor’s first experience in the United States is a positive and successful one. And indeed, the success is clear in the results: although Lee & Lee, PS, is relatively new to the EB-5 arena, the practice has already submitted close to 250 68 Martin Lawler speaker at EB-5 conferences and in the past year alone has traveled to engagements in China, Vietnam, Korea, and throughout the United States. In the past year, Martin was also published by The Wall Street Journal, marking his third appearance in the publication. Additionally, he wrote, and regularly updates, Professionals: A Matter of Degree, a treatise on employment-based green cards. In October, Martin also served as co-chair of IIUSA’s 4th Annual EB-5 Market Exchange in San Francisco. It is Martin’s extensive knowledge and expertise in all areas of immigration law that makes him an authority in the field and an extremely effective EB-5 attorney. Nelson Lee I-526 petitions, with more than 50 in the pipeline. When not representing clients, Nelson spends his time trying to educate the local government and municipalities on the benefits of EB-5. He also currently serves as judge pro tem for the City of Lake Forest Park, is president of the Hong Kong Association of Washington, and is the legal advisor and a board member for Seniors in Action. He has been voted as a Top 40 Lawyer Under 40 by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, along with being recognized as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine. EB5 INVESTORS MAGAZINE