Home > Staff

Our Staff

Vanessa Frank

Attorney at Law

vanessa@vanessafranklaw.com

Photo credit: Frankie Certain, amcphotography

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, I have been an advocate for social justice since before I entered high school. I aim to serve as a Community Lawyer, with a practice focused on immigration law.  I represent primarily working families who seek to be reunited or to stay together in the United States.  Going into our 10th year, the Law Office of Vanessa Frank seeks to continue to provide both top-notch legal services to our clients and also to serve as a resource for immigrant and human rights advocacy on California’s Central Coast.  We hope to counsel our clients regarding all options available to them, helping people to identify their goals and find new and creative ways to meet those goals.  Our success lies in the overwhelming community support this office has received over the years from our clients, the social justice and human rights community of Ventura, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties and from the many individuals who have sought to understand our nation’s current laws and policies and how those impact everyone’s daily lives.  ​

 

“Voyager, there are no bridges, one builds them as one walks”
Gloria Anzaldúa

Lorella Thomas Hess

Associate Attorney

lorella@vanessafranklaw.com

I am called to this work to help keep families together, to help my country embrace its diversity, and to affirm the interconnectedness of the world. I graduated from Pepperdine University School of Law in 2015 and represent clients seeking to acquire, maintain, or enhance legal status in the United States. 

Before joining the Law Office of Vanessa Frank, I worked at a large full-service immigration firm in Pasadena and at a small Los Angeles firm specializing in difficult asylum cases. I also completed a post-bar fellowship with the Ventura County Public Defender in Veterans Court. As a law student, I served internships with the High Court of Uganda and with a chambers of family law barristers in London.

Karla Can

Paralegal

paralegal@vanessafranklaw.com

One of my college professors told us that the way to find out what you are truly passionate about is to think of what makes you angry, which made me think of our immigration system in this country and throughout the world. Since I graduated from UC San Diego with a bachelors in Political Science, I knew I wanted to work in an environment that would focus on immigration.

I am currently assisting the attorney with family-based petitions by helping to complete the appropriate forms and by communicating with our clients to provide us with the proper documentation. I am also fortunate to be helping the attorney with the preparation process for completing I-601A waivers under her supervision. Working with Vanessa has also allowed me to gain more insight and bring the experience to the other job I have as an accredited representative with a non-profit in Santa Barbara called Immigrant Hope Santa Barbara.

 

Working at an immigration law firm continues to prepare and equip me to help the community understand how difficult our immigration system can be. With the knowledge that I am gaining from the attorney, I hope that in the near future I could be able to become an immigration attorney and can be one of the good ones.

Michelle Carballo

Born in a multicultural home, my Argentine mother and Mexican father continuously exposed me to diverse nationalities and cultures. Exposure to this environment has allowed me to gain a love for people of my or similar background, which I desire to assist in the future. Currently, I am a full-time student at California State University Northridge and studying to get a major in Marketing and a minor in Chicanx Studies. Once finishing my undergraduate education, I hope to go into law school then work in the legal immigration field and focus on removal defense.

 

Since working with Vanessa, it has continued to motivate me to advocate and vocalize the issue within our society that many do not have the privilege of voicing; resisting gentrification and the oppression of our immigrant community. I want to use my voice to serve the incarcerated and immigrant communities.

Cassie Traver

While being a student at Ventura High School and born in Santa Barbara, CA, I have always grown up in a community filled with many immigrants and children of immigrants. Hearing their inspiring, resilient, and captivating stories have guided me towards a path on helping immigrants. Learning about immigrant experiences and perspectives different from my own inspires me to be an advocate for this population. 

 

In the future, I hope to major in Political Science and Chicanx Studies to become a lawyer and help those in need of legal services. I joined Vanessa Frank Law to learn more about immigration law and gain guidance on a career path. Being part of the team has enabled me to see changes in a positive direction that can be achieved when working with motivated and passionate people. 

Marin Valerio

Throughout my life, I have been fortunate to be surrounded by a loving, inclusive, and encouraging family. Hearing and watching the horrors about the separation of families at the border has made me gain a deep level of empathy for immigrant families. This motivated me to begin interning at the Law Office of Vanessa Frank as I believe that families are meant to stay together to live a safe and healthy life. 

 

Currently, I’m a senior at El Camino High School and plan to study Journalism once I graduate. I hope to use my post-secondary education to become a journalist that brings the truth and facts about immigration issues.

Jimena Perez

I was born in Mexico and moved to the U.S. at a young age. Growing up, I always tried to separate myself from my immigration status, even though it affected various aspects of my life. Once I got to high school, I became more aware of the inequitable treatment that immigrants received.

I was frustrated with a system that had subconsciously made me so apprehensive. I began volunteering at events that helped the immigrant community, such as Swap Meet Justice, and local citizenship fairs. These forms of advocacy have helped empower me and have helped me reach out to  my community.

Cheryl Mota

As a child of immigrants, I have always had an interest in learning more about immigration law, and advocating for immigrant rights. I joined The Law Office of Vanessa Frank as a summer intern because I wanted to expand my knowledge of immigration law and find ways in which I can help advocate for immigrants who are seeking legal help.

 

Currently, I am a first-generation college student at the University of Southern California, majoring in Political Economy. After completing my bachelor's degree I plan to further my education by earning my master's degree and eventually attend law school where I will focus on immigration law.

Kaitlyn Robles

Currently, I am a full-time student at California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo majoring in Political Science with a concentration in American Government and minors in Law and Society as well as Spanish. Once finished with my Bachelors in Arts, I plan to attend law school in the fall of 2021. I hope to use my legal education to be an advocate for those in my own community. I am excited to be working with the Law Office of Vanessa Frank where I will be able to gain the tools and experience to achieve this ultimate goal and get to learn from a great team along the way.

Shealyn Massey

From a young age, I have aspired to use law and politics as a means of serving marginalized groups. In learning about the adversities and treatment of immigrants, I became passionate about aiding in immigration reform efforts and utilizing the privileges I have to empower others and amplify unsung voices. With this opportunity, I am excited to advocate for families and learn about the complexities of the immigration system. 

 

Currently, I am a rising sophomore at UC Berkeley studying Legal Studies and Public Policy. After, I plan to attend law school and enter a career in law and politics, continuing to serve my communities.

The contents of this website do not constitute legal advice.

© 2020 by the Law Office of Vanessa Frank. Design by Quantum Web Marketing.

The Law Office of Vanessa Frank

143 Figueroa Street
Ventura, CA 93001