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About me

I am a human rights activist turned attorney.  


My firm represents people escaping persecution, victims of crime and violence, families trying to reunite or trying to keep their family together, and we also assist businesses and professionals achieve their immigration goals.  


I am compassionate with my clients, but aggressive with the law while seeking innovative solutions and pushing boundaries in order to provide more protection and opportunities for my clients. 


Languages spoken: Amharic, Spanish

Practice areas


  1. Asylum: 70%
    3 years
  2. Immigration: 30%
    3 years



Fixed (always)

Payment types:

Cash, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

18 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Sean Cleary

    I wholeheartedly endorse this lawyer. A brilliant, trustworthy and highly respected attorney in the legal community.


    Sean Cleary Car Accidents Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Judd S Nemiro

    This lawyer provides excellent personal service to each and every client. I endorse this lawyer.


    Judd Nemiro Divorce & Separation Attorney
    Relationship: Other

Contact info

Kayi & Wilkes PLLC

1325 G St. NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC, 22201-4638


VAAuthorized to practice law201209/15/2015
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Arthur Russell Morgan Human Rights FellowshipUniversity of Cincinnati College of Law2009
Carl Wilkens FellowshipGenocide Intervention Network2009
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Managing PartnerKayi & Wilkes PLLC2013 - Present
Pro-bono AttorneyTorture Abolition and Survivor Support Coalition2013 - Present
OwnerWilkes Legal Contracting2012 - 2014
Law ClerkKentucky Department Of Public Advocacy2012 - 2012
Limited Practicing InternLegal Aid Society of Cincinnati2011 - 2011
Legal InternSchonbrun, DeSimone, Seplow, Harris, Hoffman, & Harrison, LLP2011 - 2011
Legal InternInternational Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia2010 - 2010
FounderGENed2007 - 2009
AgentTingen's Insurance Agency2005 - 2008
Association namePosition nameDuration
American Immigration Lawyers AssociationMember2013 - Present
Women's Bar Association of the District of ColumbiaMember2013 - Present
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
AsylumAsylum Granted
See all legal cases 
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Cincinnati College of LawN/AN/A2012
Columbia College (Columbia, SC)Communication & Business AdministrationN/A2005
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Orientation for arriving EthiopiansAsylum2014