Catholic Charities recently welcomed Abigail “Abby” L’Esperance, who joins the agency as a Supervising Attorney for Immigration Legal Services. Abby has been an immigration attorney for 15 years and is a graduate of UC Santa Cruz and the New College of California, where she received her law degree.
Abby spent most of her legal career in private practice, working for San Francisco-based law firm Park & Taylor where she focused on deportation defense, citizenship, family-based applications and other types of humanitarian relief, overseeing a caseload of some 1,500 clients. In 2017, she joined a firm in Miami, where she focused on business immigration. But her heart has always been rooted in the need to provide quality legal services to all, which drew her to Catholic Charities East Bay.
“I’ve been aware of Catholic Charities’ excellent reputation in the legal community through my interaction with the Catholic Legal Immigration Network,” says Abby, a fluent Spanish speaker. “When I got back to California, I was looking for a job that was more integrated in the community and this checked all the boxes.”
Abby’s vision for the agency is to expand offerings to include other non-immigration related legal services that align with Catholic Charities East Bay’s mission. Another is to partner with other agency programs to offer wraparound services to better serve the community.
“Our clients often need mental health services and in fact have to show that they have been persecuted or will experience extreme hardship if they have to return as part of their immigration applications,” she says.
When not working, Abby enjoys watching soccer and getting out in nature.