I’m Katerina Grinko. I’m an associate attorney at Twomey, Latham, Shea, Kelley, Dubin & Quartararo.
Our law firm is in Riverhead, New York, and I’ve actually been an attorney for one year and eight months now, but I have been working here as a legal assistant since 2009. I started my education in paralegal studies, working as a legal assistant with a goal to eventually become an attorney.
I am originally from Latvia. It’s a small country in Eastern Europe, so when I came here as an immigrant, I saw a lot of other people who were also immigrants and who were struggling with immigration laws and I felt like that would be an interesting area to get into.
So I would say 40 percent of my practice today is immigration and the rest is more transactional, real estate and land-use work, so it’s a great combination of the two. But immigration law is my passion. It’s really something, ultimately, I want to focus on in my life.
It’s a lot of communication with clients. On a daily basis, besides preparing petitions, doing motions and doing agreements and negotiating agreements, a lot of my day is spent calling clients and discussing their matters with them or meeting with them. You must be very organized and very detailed.
You really have to be able to juggle a lot, between answering the calls, sending emails, working on a document.
My favorite part is helping clients who are really struggling with the system of law and partially feel injustice. I like helping people understand the laws and creating a strategy where the outcome will be favorable. It’s not an easy job, but with the right attitude it is definitely rewarding.
I’m just grateful to have this profession. As an immigrant woman also, I’m very grateful for this opportunity and I’m very happy.