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Maria Chavez


San Diego Immigration Lawyer

Partner, Immigration & Nationality Law

Maria C. Chavez, the daughter of Salvadoran immigrants, received her J.D. Degree from the University of Maryland, Francis King Carey School of Law in 2009, and her B.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2004, where she graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors. While in law school, Maria was the vice president of membership of the Immigration Law and Policy Association and interned with the Maryland Department of Labor and Licensing Regulation as a student attorney in the Consumer Protection Clinic.

In addition to her work with Jacobs & Schlesinger, Maria has also served as a volunteer attorney with UURISE, Inc., a non-profit organization providing immigration legal services. She volunteered with the Immigration Justice Project providing guidance for detainees in removal proceedings through orientations and individual case assistance, and has taken on a few cases for pro bono representation. Maria is the Immigration Justice Project’s 2014 Pro Bono Attorney of the Year due to her efforts with the organization. Maria actively volunteers with the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium, Community Law Project, American Immigration Lawyer’s Association, Lawyers Club of San Diego, and the San Diego County Bar Association. She frequently gives presentations around the community on various topics in immigration and nationality law.

Maria primarily handles removal defense in immigration court, handling complicated asylum cases for foreign nationals from around the world and applications for cancellation of removal. She also handles family-based cases, petitions under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), petitions for U nonimmigrant status under the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, requests for humanitarian parole, and stays of removal.

Maria is admitted to the State Bar of Maryland, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the Supreme Court of the United States, and is licensed to practice law before the Court of Appeals in Maryland, the Department of Homeland Security, and Immigration Courts nationwide. She is fluent in Spanish.


  • J.D., University of Maryland, Baltimore School of Law 2009
  • B.A., University of Maryland, College Park, 2004

Bar Admissions

  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Maryland state bar

Nonprofit Work/Professional Associations

  • American Immigration Lawyers Association (Current Chapter Secretary and member of numerous committees)
  • Lawyers Club of San Diego (Diverse Women's Committee and Professional Advancement Committee)
  • San Diego County Bar Association (Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, Immigration Law Section, and 2022 Leadership Academy Cohort)
  • San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium (Advisory Board Legal Representative through San Diego AILA Chapter)

Community Law Project

  • Pro Bono Mentor through Immigration Justice Project
  • Board Member of The AjA Project


Jacobs & Schlesinger Team

Maria Chavez


Kathleen Spero


Ginger Jacobs

CEO & Managing Partner

Daisy Olivarez

Legal Assistant

Lorena Lopez

Financial Manager

Jazmin Rodriguez

Office Manager

Mayra Barrera

Senior Legal Assistant

Perla Rocha

Legal Support Supervisor

Samantha Ayala-Lucio

Legal Assistant


paralegal team

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Contact us online or call (619) 230-0012.

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