John W. Lawit has been practicing immigration law exclusively for the past 33 years.
He received his J.D. from the University of New Hampshire in Concord, New Hampshire in 1977. John received his B.A. from the University of New Mexico, with honors in 1972. John became a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association in 1978, the New Mexico Bar Association in 1980 and the Texas Bar Association in 1992 and the Law Society of British Columbia in 2010. John is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the Albuquerque Bar Association, the El Paso Association of Immigration and Nationality Lawyers,and the Canadian Bar Association. He has served on the board of directors of the New Mexico affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union and has been a member and served as a volunteer attorney of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
John has served as chairman of the New Mexico Immigration and International Law Section of the New Mexico State Bar Association; he is the author of the New Mexico Immigration and Nationality Law Practice Act, which was the first law enacted within the United States to protect immigrants from the unauthorized practice of immigration law. The law has served as model legislation, which has been enacted in ten States. John is regularly invited to speak at immigration law conferences throughout the United States and internationally. He has appeared before Consulates on behalf of the firm's clients throughout the world.
John's accomplishments include serving as an adjunct professor of immigration law at the University of New Mexico's School of Law (1983-1988). He was selected by the United States Department of Justice to serve as United States Immigration Judge; he was the youngest attorney to be selected. John has received the AV rating, the highest possible rating from the prestigious Martindale Hubble Law Directory. He is listed in the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. John also appears in Who's Who in American Law and has been listed in Best Lawyers in America for over fifteen years. John has been appointed by two New Mexico Governors to the New Mexico Border Commission (1982-1986); he has been appointed as special immigration counsel to the Republic of Mexico by the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1983) and was appointed by the Governor of the State of New Mexico to the New Mexico International Trade/Investment Counsel (1984-1987).
John has served the local community as the founder of the immigration project, Jewish Family Services of Albuquerque (1988-1990); he has served as a member of the board of directors and the president of Rainbow House International Adoption Agency (1987-2000); he has performed the roll of vice president of the New Mexico Refugee Association (1979-1984); member of the board of directors for Healing of Children (1989-1995); and member of the board of directors of the Institute of Spanish Arts (1994-1996). John has received awards from Catholic Social Services and Jewish Family Services for providing immigration assistance to both organizations.