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About me

     I have MOVED TO THE UNITED KINGDOM!  Ergo, I have closed my law practice after over a decade.  I have really enjoyed working with all of you, and helping you.  I wish all of you, attorneys and clients, the best as I begin my new adventure.   My law practice was based on... I am very selective accepting cases.  Most of my cases are referrals, but some touch my heart and I take those cases too.  I am always thrilled to help people to be able to join other family members in this country, or to obtain citizenship.  It is an honor and a privilege. I truly care about my clients.  It is my job to help people, and they are depending on me to guide them in navigating their way through a system that can be full of confusing signs, roadblocks, and stop signs. 

        I prefer to prepare petitions thoroughly based on my strategy to use a good offense.  Why?   I like to close a file the first time around-- if possible.  If a case has already been presented, and evidence is missing, it can be the best strategy to file a new petition with additional evidence that can't be introduced on appeal of the earlier denied petition.  

The rules are there, and I advise clients to follow them.  Many potential clients believe that the rules don't apply to them.   The rules apply to everyone, even though the enforcement, processing, and outcomes vary-- and truly seem "unfair" when the immigrant or USC/LPR petitioner believes he/she is on the short end of the stick.  However, the facts, jurisdiction, laws, evidence, and so many variables come into play-- and a lawyer can advise, assist, prepare, and present, but cannot be a fortune-teller on the outcome.  The process can seem long, but it can be an eternity if done incorrectly the first time.  So, the long way is the short way!

      Document EVERYTHING!  Photocopy and keep copies of everything.  Be ready to produce documents if asked-- even if you've already done so-- with a smile.  It's easier to close a file by providing the KEY to the lock, than trying to smash open the box (that's a metaphor!)  


Languages spoken: French, English, Italian

Practice areas


  1. Immigration: 100%
    19 years



Hourly ($80-160/hour), Fixed (sometimes), Retainer (always), Free consultation (30 minutes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check

Attorney endorsements

3 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Kyongbin Baek

    I endorse this lawyer without any hesitation. We belong to Dakota-Minnesota Chapter of American Immigration Lawyers Association and I have been communicating with Elaine by e-mail exchanges. She has been more than willing to provide valuable advice and relevant legal citations, when I sought inputs from my colleagues for a few new immigration related issues came up in my practice. She seems to be very thorough, considerate, and extremely knowledgeable. I would recommend Elaine to anybody who needs immigration related legal assistance.


    Kyongbin Baek Immigration Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Richard L Breitman

    Elaine is a conscientious, intelligent, hard working attorney.


    Richard Breitman Immigration Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

701 Fourth Ave South #500
Minneapolis, MN, 55415

701 Fourth Av S #500
Minneapolis, MN, 55415



DCActive 199907/10/2016
MNAuthorized to practice199807/15/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Volunteer Attorney of the YearPark Avenue Walk-in Legal Clinic2003
Pro Bono (Volunteer) Attorney of the Year (Individual Category)Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights1999
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
AttorneyElaine C. Schneider Law Office, P.A.1999 - Present
Volunteer (Pro Bono) AttorneyMinnesota Advocates for Human Rights1997 - 1998
Research AttorneyWestlaw1983 - 1997
Association namePosition nameDuration
American Immigration Lawyers Association (Minnesota/Dakotas chapter)Member1999 - 2008
Minnesota Bar Associationmember1998 - 2008
Bar Association of D.C.member1998 - 2008
Hennepin County Bar AssociationMember1998 - 2008
New Orleans Bar AssociationMember1985 - 1986
Spokane County Bar AssociationMember1985 - 1986
New Mexico State BarEthics Advisory Committee Member1984 - 1985
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
In re: Eri Gemeda DubePer Curiam. Motion to Reopen Granted, Remanded.
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
William Mitchell Law ReviewChallenging an Incredibility Finding on Appeal: An Incredibility Paradigm2001
State of New Mexico (Judicial Grant)Distinguishing Habeas Corpus and 42 USC 1983 Actions by Prisoners in New Mexico1985
WestlawAdvanced CALR Legal Research - Query Formulation1985
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
William Mitchell College of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1982
University of Minnesota, Twin CitiesEnglishOther - Bachelors1979
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Somalis and the Law ConferenceTime Differences in Adjustment of Status and Naturalization2000