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Laurel Deborah Scott

Immigration Attorney at Philadelphia, PA

4.9   17 reviews
  • Licensed for 21 years
    State TX
    Acquired 2003
    Eligible to Practice in Texas No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Laurel

Learn Laurel’s areas of practice.

Practice area

Laurel received a BA from Simon's Rock College, a Master's Degree from Duke University, and a Law Degree from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA where she completed the Temple University Immigration Law Clinical. She spent a year studying at the Queen's University of Belfast and completed an internship at the European Parliament. She started work on her first waiver of inadmissibility in 2003 and quickly realized that waivers were an ideal niche for her new firm. Over the years, she emerged as one of the nation's leading experts in this type of case, publishing numerous articles on the subject and speaking at many events for immigration lawyers. Licensed in Texas.

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The Law Office of Laurel Scott
1515 Market St, PMB 517
Suite 1200
Philadelphia, PA, 19102

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4.9 / 5.0
  17 customer reviews
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Posted by Yani | December 30, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly recommended
Laurel has been handling our family's waiver applications (for me & my parents). She's very responsive to our emails & gives clear guidance on the steps we need to prepare. At the beginning of our case, she provided an honest review of our chance & thankfully we were able to get waiver approvals. Our family's case is quite complicated and we're glad to meet Laurel as our attorney. She is very knowledgeable & always ready to answer our questions & concerns. Also, looking at our waiver supports, we could see how much she prepared for each application. Our family is very satisfied with the services. We greatly appreciate it. Thanks so much for all your help, Laurel!! :)
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Posted by Stephan miller | November 16, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Professional/ simply the best
We hired Laurel Scott after speaking with various lawyers who told us we could not do much or that it was too risky to try to leave the country to adjust status. Long story short, Laurel got us a green card within ten months. She is straight forward, confident, and does not beat around the bush. While she may cost more than other lawyers, it’s is well worth someone so experienced. She knows exactly what she is doing, and in stressful immigration situations, it is important to have someone like this. Thank you Laurel!
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Posted by anonymous | January 16, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best Experienced Lawyer!!
Laurel approved a waiver case for my husband and I that 3 other Attorneys failed to approve. Don’t waste your time and money on other attorneys. Hire Laurel and you will not be disappointed.
Posted by Greg | November 17, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
A Happy Ending - Thanks Attorney Scott
I am an American whose nightmare began in 2006. Long story short, my family was facing a lifetime of being kept apart due to a tangled legal mess resulting from an innocent fiancé used the wrong type of visa to enter the country. We honestly thought we were doing everything correctly and I was left in shock and bewilderment at the sudden and horrific consequences. In my confusion and not knowing where to turn, I initially hired a general immigration attorney who filed my hardship waiver and assured me that everything would be resolved without issue--we just had to be patient and wait 12-18 months for the process to play out. WRONG! The waiver was denied and I was left more confused and desperate than ever. My circumstances seemed hopeless - it was as though I was merely banging my head against a solid brick wall. I decided my only recourse was to try again and file another hardship waiver. I read up on the internet and learned there are attorneys who specialize in different areas of immigration law. This was a revelation to me. In retrospect, I realized I had made a mistake in hiring the first attorney. It was as if I had gone to a general practitioner for a serious cardiac problem instead of to a heart specialist. I feverishly researched immigration specialists and read message board after message board in which people talked about their legal issues. Sometimes, people would cite who they used as their attorney. For stories that had a happy ending, I began to notice a pattern-- a handful of attorney names popped up who seemed to be more successful than others. I focused my research on this group and decided that Laurel Scott was my choice. I contacted her office and got the ball rolling. I immediately noticed a marked difference in the way my case was handled in contrast to my experience with the first attorney. I can tell you she is all business and I personally liked that. Professionalism is the word I would use to describe her style. I immediately had the sense I was in good hands and this provided me with a much needed ray of hope on the heels of my first unsuccessful waiver. Ms. Scott diagnosed my legal issue and prescribed a list of documents I needed to submit to her office. I dutifully carried out whatever directions she gave me and the rest is history. I cannot tell you the overpowering sense of relief and joy I felt when I was overseas and opened my in-box in August of 2009 to reveal her email with the subject line "YOU'RE APPROVED!!!" In fact, I fell to my knees and wept like a baby. My nightmare was finally over. All of that was 9 years ago. From time to time, I think about how fortunate I was to come across Ms. Scott's name. I recommend her without hesitation to anybody seeking a proven immigration specialist.
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Posted by Monika M | June 26, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
She is the cream of the crop!!!
If you want and HONEST no BS lawyer, Laurel is it. I’m not just writing this great review because she won my case back in 2012, but because she was honest and straight to the point. She is passionate about her craft and that’s what separates her from all the others. She is worth every penny.
Posted by Josiah & Eipol | December 12, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
fixed oursituation like noone else could
Laurel resolved a stuck and stagnant self filed visa application, got it converted to a faster format (fiancée), got us in and ot of Juarez consulate, even took the time to contact the consulate the same day of our denial (mistake on State dept side) and got everything fixed. our case was impossible without her expert help:)
Posted by Tetyana Newkirk | June 24, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
My Angel!
Back in 2006 I was sure it was it for me. And Laurel was our last hope! My case was a messy nightmare NO ONE could solve. Very long story... But Laurel helped us from A to Z. I was back to USA in 2008 with a Green Card. Now I am a citizen ! Thank Lord for Laurel! God bless her! Thank you soooo much, Laurel!!!
Posted by Octavio | June 25, 2015
She is the best.
I live in Long Island,N.Y.I am a Mexican immigrant married to an american citizen I have 2 children. After years of doing research and consulting lawyers in this area including NYC, I was disappointed for the lack of knowledge that some immigration lawyers have for the waiver process ,specially 601 and 601-a provisional waiver. I found laurel in the internet a few years back,and in reading her chat is that I became familiar with the terminology of my case.After a big immigration law firm told me that there was nothing they could do for me I finally decided have a consultation with Laurel I was not going to give up my hope that the big immigration law firm was wrong. I thank God I did it, after having the consultation with Laurel she told me what was going on with my case and she gave a time frame , she said 12 to 18 months you will have your green card in your hands.(the other law firm had done the FOIA and FBI fingerprint check for me already, do your homework) If you are planning to hire an immigration lawyer, do yourself a favor have a consultation with her first and then you can go ahead and hired whoever you want, however when you go back to the consular interview believe me you want laurel to be your lawyer because she knows the process so well that it will give you peace of mind. by the way I got my green card and I couldn't be happier. I have never written a review for nobody before in my life.however I feel this is very important. good luck in your immigration journey.
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Posted by angie | March 16, 2015
She is unmatched and dominates the field of immigration
About seven years ago Laurel won a very challenging hardship waiver case for my spouse and I. Her style is unique. No she is not chatty but straight to the point. Listen and do what she tells you and you should be alright. She is passionate and real and no amount of money can pay for a piece of mind not having to worry about whether your spouse will be deported or not.
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Posted by Highly Recommend! Very intelligent women! | August 21, 2014
Go for it! she is Awesome!
I hired Laurel back in 2012 regarding my Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). She was refereed to me by my sister. ( Not a client) My sister is always interested on learning about immigration cases and found Laurel online, while reading her comments on her chat. I read about Laurel on her page and saw how many cases she has helped int he past. When I called for an interview I was a little nervous as I did not know what to expect, I live in California and everything was handle thru the database which was more nerve racking not being able to see her personally. After I spoke with her she explained that DACA was new and attorneys out there did not know what to expect. She explained everything with further detail and i was more relaxed. Her associate Lauren (LC) as we called her took over my case, I was scared that she may had not been as good as Laurel, but she did. Laurel informed me that she went over everything before LC filed. That made it more less stressful to me. I got approved about 3 months later. Now I have hired Laurel for my Permanent Residency Status. We are working on that at the moment. Even tho I am not able to meet in person with Laurel I can not say with words enough how much I trust her and her team. Very professional, always responding and on top of the case. I recommend everyone following her on her Facebook, and read more about her cases and what her passion about immigration really means to her. Very educated women, different from other attorneys. She may ask for documentation that you may think what the heck is this going to help with my case, just do as she says. SHE IS THE PROFESSIONAL one, she knows what she is doing. At this moment I am currently waiting patiently while she is working on my case and know this will be a positive result. So yes I do highly recommend her! (ps. she has a great sense of humor) read her FB and blogs!
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Posted by Maggie | January 1, 2014
Highly recommend
My husband and I hired Laurel Scott to compile his I-601 Waiver packet after he had entered without inspection and was subject to a ten-year ban. We had consulted with another lawyer who specializes in immigration. This other lawyer was knowledgeable, experienced in I-601 waiver packets, and cheaper, BUT she did not inspire much confidence and wanted me (as the USC) to do all sorts of things that felt unnecessary (or at least very annoying). Laurel was highly recommended on a website for which she offered free Wednesday question-answer sessions. Her own website is very well-organized and has extensive information for immigrants. Immigration law is what she does. We paid for a 30 minute consultation, which lasted 20 minutes. During that time Laurel listened to our case, which I feared was weak, and gave us her very straightforward opinion. She was very clear and articulate, and we hired her as soon as we figured out that we could afford her. She was in consistent contact with us through her own website, asked me (the USC) to write a hardship letter. From that letter, she gave us simple directions on what she needed from us to compile our strongest argument. We sent her the information all at once, and she had our packet mailed within days of receiving the last piece of information from an outside source. We received a copy of the completed packet, which was huge and well organized. There were a couple pages missing (just from the copy), and 1 item was misorganized. I feared that the adjudicator would request further evidence to address this small issue. They did not, and we were approved! Laurel comes with the highest recommendation from myself and others, which is not to say that she is perfect. She is not cheap, but you don't want to drag this process out by getting denied or a request for further evidence because of a poorly constructed packet (believe me the short version is long enough!). She is not chatty, but she will update you monthly, and will continue to watch your case after she submits the packet for a monthly fee. She is not going to request an unnecessary expedite or call the centers about your case until it is outside of the timeline that she tells you about, AND you can't step on her toes by doing it yourself (it's in the contract). The contract is super specific, so read it carefully, and it lays out your payment schedule. For us, she was very flexible with our payments, and allowed us to pay a certain amount upfront and then the rest monthly. I really can't recommend her highly enough. Like I said earlier, I thought our case was kind of weak, but she compiled a strong argument, organized it, and we were approved in just over 6 months (at the time the average was 7 months). She continued to monitor as the visa was issued in Brazil, and my husband is due home in days. Priceless.
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Response from Laurel Scott January 3, 2014
In regard to cost, I will probably always be one of the most expensive because several attorneys have candidly told me that they find out what I'm charging and charge just under that. It's part of being an industry leader. I am inadvertently influencing the price for everyone. The cost is actually low compared to other areas of law. For the amount of work required for a waiver, attorneys would typically charge $30,000+ in other areas of law. Immigration lawyers can't charge nearly that much because the clients just can't afford it. Unfortunately the low pay of family immigration law drives many quality attorneys out of the field and I think about that when I consider that I am inadvertently influencing the fees for this type of case. I have stayed in the field and I am one of the more expensive for what I do, but it's all relative. As for the missing pages in the copies, staff are instructed to check each page of the copy against the original to ensure that no pages are missing. Staff who don't take this task seriously are dismissed. It does happen and people do get fired. Having a proper copy is important. You're right, I'm not chatty. You're right, people should read the contract. I never pressure anyone to sign without reading. The contract is in plain English, not "legalese" because I want people to read it and understand it. There are several reasons clients are not allowed to make expedite requests or inquiries on their own: (a) it creates confusion for the government to be talking to multiple parties separately about the same case, (b) it creates confusion on my end when I go to do something the client has already and didn't tell me, and (c) unnecessary/frivolous expedite requests and inquiries as a whole have a profound aggregate effect on processing times for everyone. At my office we are in the process of reducing the total number of cases so that we can give more attention to each case. End product will be the same high quality it has always been. The difference is in the client experience. We've made a lot of improvements in that area in the past year and continue to make further improvements in client attention.
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Posted by anonymous | December 11, 2013
An expert in immigration law
We worked with Laurel for several years as our case had issues to due to our previous attorney who was incompetent in the area I-601s. Long story short, Laurel is knowledgeable in immigration law, especially I-601s. She is straightforward and honest about your case. She will let you know whether your case has a chance or not. Laurel is very passionate about immigration law, it is evident when you speak to her. She also has a FREE weekly chat that allows people to ask general questions pertaining to immigration, not very many attorney is willing to take the time to do such a thing. I know that had we hired her initially, our case wouldn't have been so drawn out.
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Posted by anonymous | September 24, 2013
Call Laurel Scott today for a an I-601A waiver
Laurel Scott did a tremendous job filing my husband's provisional waiver. She has a great website and database you can access at any time and write an e-mail, to which she always responds within 24 hours and sometimes even right away. She knows more than anyone else about waivers (both I-601 and I-601A). If you are lucky enough to qualify for a provisional waiver and you go ahead and hire Laurel Scott, then you have won half the battle. I loved that fact that I never had to schedule any in person appointments. Everything I ever needed was in writing within the database and it was all set up in the most efficient way possible. Laurel had to prepare my waiver packet twice since right after she was originally done with the first waiver packet, I experienced a significant change in facts. She redid the whole waiver packet in no time and did not charge us any additional fees. She has no hidden fees and everything is spelled out in the original contract that you sign. Please do yourself a favor and perform a thorough research before hiring your immigration attorney. I have heard of so many applicants that hired an inexperienced attorney, wasted time and money and then finally hired Laurel and wished that they hired her in the first place. Laurel's reputation is impeccable and her knowledge and experience will make a difference in your complicated immigration case.
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Posted by Kylie | June 11, 2013
An international client!!!!
As an overseas client my 601 waiver case was handled with efficiency and resulted in a speedy approval. I was extremely pleased with the waiver packet that was prepared for me, and to my shock and delight I actually received an approval in a week after my waiver packet would have been received. I have been living in the US now for 9 months. Laurel is the best in the business, thanks again!!!!
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Posted by bj_osterhout | December 8, 2009
Best for I-601 Waivers
Laurel Scott is definitely someone who has dedicated not only her career but her life to I-601 waivers in particular. If you have a complicated case or even just a basic case but need help knowing what to do she is the person you want to turn to. She stays extremely up-to-date on all the latest developments which is extremely important since in the case of I-601 waivers you have to leave the country and if you are acting on outdated information or bad advice you might never come home. While I did the process on my own because I am an extreme OCD perfectionist who knew I could handle it - (lol) - I did consult with her with many questions and she helped ease my mind and gave me the knowledge I needed to continue.
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Posted by anonymous | April 9, 2008
Excellent attorney for I-601 waiver cases
We spoke to several attorneys regarding our I-601 case (waiver for unlawful presence). Ms. Scott was by far the most knowledgable. Her fees were were reasonable and she responds to inquiries via phone and email. She also provides a low cost consultation as well as a free chat on her website on Wednesdays at Ms. Scott is understandably busy and there was somewhat less communication from her than I would have liked. Since immigration law is federal, you may hire her from any state. We never met in person and were happy with her services. Overall her work was excellent and I highly reccomend her.
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Posted by anonymous | August 22, 2012
I thought I would be happier being her client but I was simply dissapointed. Sometimes I had to write to her more than once to get a response (after waiting over a week to get a response). I am convinced she didn't pay close attention when preparing my waiver (considering what she charges). I felt like she has too many cases & she's not detail-oriented. Her firm is much more reactive than proactive. Although she is very knowledgeable, I was disappointed when seeing the waiver packet she prepared for us. She doesn't welcome in person appointments. Wants it all done online/phone. Wasn't professional when we met in person. It was like I was meeting her at her house. I highly doubt she speaks spanish.
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Response from Laurel Scott August 30, 2012
We don't recall receiving any I-601 Waiver of Inadmissibility denials recently for clients with whom we have met in-person. Our client base is worldwide; as a result, with most clients we have conducted much of our communication online. One advantage of this mode of communication has been a lower fee schedule. Previously we only offered one level of service. We have now introduced three different tiers of service, with the highest level offering unlimited communication for clients who prefer greater time spent in one-on-one interaction with the attorney.
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AVVO RATING 9.7 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Founding Attorney
  • Scott and Associates, Attorneys at Law, PLLC
  • 2003 - Present


  • Temple University
  • 2002


  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • Member
  • 2005 - Present

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • CIL Social and Professional Interaction Award
  • Cool Immigration Lawyers
  • 2014


  • The Waivers Book: Advanced Issues in Immigration Practice
  • Waiver After Prior Removal or Deportation (Chapter 10)
  • 2011
View all publications

Speaking Engagements

  • Solving the Mysteries of the I-212 Waiver
  • 9C (INA 212(a)(9)(C))
  • 2016
  • Inadmissibility in Employment-Based Cases—Mental Health Issues
  • Medical Inadmissibility
  • 2016
  • AILA 2016 Annual Conference in Las Vegas
  • Consular Processing After I-601A Approval
  • 2016
  • AILA 2015 Annual Conference in DC
  • Medical Inadmissibility
  • 2015
  • 39th Conference on Immigration and Nationality Law
  • Inadmissibility and Waivers
  • 2015
  • 2015 AILA Central Florida Chapter Conference
  • Latest News In Waivers
  • 2015
  • AILA 2014 Annual Conference in Boston
  • Consular Processing
  • 2014
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (13)
Given (3)
Endorse Laurel
Immigration Attorney | Jan 31
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Attorney Scott is a national authority on waiver practice and one of the foremost experts in the field."
Immigration Attorney | Aug 26
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I heard Laurel speak about I-601 waivers at a conference in Chicago this weekend. This conference was for lawyers. She was amazing! Extremely talented, intelligent, and thorough. I endorse this attorney."
Immigration Attorney | Jan 16
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Laurel Scott is THE waivers attorney. She is a national expert regarding immigrant waivers and is at the forefront of the development of immigration law regarding waivers. She regularly presents and writes regarding issues related to immigrant waivers, and I am always impressed by her exceptional knowledge and legal ability."
Immigration Attorney | Dec 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Laurel is an excellent attorney who knows a lot about immigration, especially waivers. If you or your family have an immigration case with complicated issues, Laurel is definitely the attorney to hire."
Immigration Attorney | Feb 04
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. She is a leader in the field of immigration law. Lawyers throughout the United States seek her advice and training on I-601 waivers."
Immigration Attorney | Jan 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Laurel Scott is, hands down, THE national expert on I-601 waivers. She is a sought-after speaker at immigration law conferences. I have been practicing immigration law since 1986, and consider myself to be knowledgeable in the field. However, when I have a nuanced question regarding waivers, I call Laurel. I cannot recommend her highly enough."
Immigration Attorney | Oct 14
Relationship: Friend
"Laurel is widely known among the immigration lawyers as THE waiver expert."
Immigration Attorney | Aug 31
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Laurel is a great attorney with an amazing understanding of complex Immigration law areas. She is often sought after by other lawyer for advice, she is kind enough to answer. If I was an immigrant, she would be my first choice for a lawyer."
Immigration Attorney | Mar 06
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I read the one negative review of Attorney Scott and I must say I am shocked. I know for a fact that Attorney Scott takes exemplary care of her clients but sometimes, a client does not realize all the work that is does behind the scenes-- particularly in 601 waiver or other complex matters. Attorney Scott is a leader in our community and if you have her for a lawyer, you should consider yourself lucky. If you have a lawyer as good as Ms. Scott, you should trust you are in the very best of hands, let her do her work, and thank God that you found an excellent, honest attorney who is profoundly credentialed and more than capable of achieving the best possible results for her clients."
Immigration Attorney | Jan 26
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I gladly endorse Laurel Scott. Laurel is very knowledgeable on immigration issues, especially on issues related to waivers of inadmissibility. Laurel has generously shared her knowledge in many ways, including in published work, legal forums, and through personal communication. Laurel has provided valuable suggestions to me on several occasions regarding waiver cases. Laurel is a valuable member of the immigration law community."
Immigration Attorney | Jan 10
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"If you are looking to get an immigrant waiver approved, look no further than Laurel Scott."
Immigration Attorney | Nov 05
Relationship: Worked for lawyer
"I endorse this lawyer. Laurel is a passionate and dedicated attorney who customarily achieves winning results through a combination of excellent knowledge of the law as well as an ability to think outside the box. An expert in her field, she generously shares her expertise through extensive publishing and numerous speaking engagements. When you hire Laurel, you are hiring a dedicated, extremely capable and qualified attorney who will vigorously pursue all rights and claims on behalf of her clients."
Immigration Attorney | May 10
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Laurel Scott is the most knowledgeable I-601 waiver attorney I know of. When I prepare a waiver or waiver appeal, I always look up what Laurel has said on whatever issues I am addressing."
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Philadelphia Immigration Lawyer Laurel Deborah Scott
Laurel Deborah Scott
Immigration Attorney
Philadelphia, PA
Licensed for 21 years