Attorney Merle Kahn

undefinedMerle Kahn

Attorney of Counsel

Merle Kahn has been exclusively practicing immigration law for over twenty-five years. She has experience in removal defense, criminal immigration issues, asylum and refugee law, naturalization, and family-based immigration. She represents clients before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Board of Immigration Appeals, USCIS, ICE, and the Superior Court of California.

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She works with criminal prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys to craft criminal pleas that will not have adverse immigration consequences and works on post-conviction relief cases for immigrants. She is the creator and author of the acclaimed immigration blog, Top of the Ninth, which you can access on this website. She is a frequent presenter at Continuing Legal Education programs for the American Immigration Lawyers Association and provides legal advice and assistance for several non-profit organizations in the Bay Area. She is the founder and director of the Jewish Family Services/American Immigration Lawyers Association pro bono legal clinic for refugees.

Prior to joining the Law Offices of Daniel Shanfield Immigration Defense, P.C. as Of Counsel, Merle was a staff attorney at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in San Francisco where she ran a legal hotline for immigration professionals, wrote practice manuals, and presented at legal education seminars on immigration law. She was an associate at the Law Offices of Angela M. Bean, where she focused her practice on removal defense and on Ninth Circuit litigation, and was an adjunct professor at Evergreen Community College and San Francisco City College where she taught immigration law.

Before entering the field of immigration law, Merle worked was a prosecutor for the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission in Illinois, and as a law clerk for the District of Columbia Office of Bar Counsel where she investigated and prosecuted attorney misconduct.

Merle is a graduate of the George Washington University National Law Center in Washington DC and the University of Illinois in Champaign, Illinois where she graduated with High Distinction in English Literature. She is admitted to practice before the California Supreme Court, District of Columbia Bar, Illinois Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. She is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Merle was awarded the 2016 AILA Pro Bono Champion and the Vlada Gelfond Visionary Award from Jewish Family Services.

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