Schoenleber & Waltermire, P.C. takes this opportunity to recognize and thank those persons and organizations who have made special contributions to our firmís foundation and success over the years.
For obvious reasons we cannot name you all. We do, however, thank you for the confidence you have placed in us, many times in very critical situations. We have striven to provide you with honest, personal, and dedicated service.
We honor the commitment of all our staff members to provide friendly and effective service to our clients in this fast-moving, often stressful practice. It is a pleasure working together with this distinguished group. Resumes of our current staff are published on a separate page of this website. We also recognize the special contributions of former employees, including Jane A. Hanson, Michele Fernandes Acosta ( 10 years of dedicated service), Lisa Baker, Diane Tomoda, Manuela Rumsey, Carinda Bourbon (nee Wilson-Cohn), and D. Marie Manlapaz. One other former member, Kate Wooliever Sedillo, is recognized individually below.
Marcia J. Steinberg
"Marci," born in Fresno, California, is Mr. Schoenleber's wife; they have been married since 1983. She is a retired attorney, having practiced with the State of California as an environmental lawyer for 30 years. Her love and encouragement have been the keys to the development of Mr. Schoenleberís practice. She has been particularly sensitive to immigration issues because her father, Dr. Theodore Steinberg, had to struggle for almost 20 years to gain lawful refuge in the USA after fleeing the pogroms in Russia during the early 1920s.
Stephen L. Yun and colleagues
Mr. Schoenleber got his start and firm foundation as an immigration lawyer working with Mr. Yun from 1983 to 1989. As an immigration lawyer Mr. Yun was a Central Valley pioneer. There were few attorneys in this region with immigration expertise, so he had to learn by experience and pure determination. Over time he developed a very successful practice. Mr. Schoenleber will always be indebted to him for his mentorship.
Further recognition must go out to the immigration legal assistants working with Mr. Yun during that period. Leila Sen and Lucy Wong were instrumental in helping Mr. Schoenleber understand the intricacies and demands of immigration law.
Pat and Kent Waltermire
Pat and Kent, Ms. Waltermire's parents, strongly supported her career in refugee work and then in immigration law. Ms. Waltermire's first exposure to immigration was through her part-time work in college at her mother's office--Church World Service's refugee resettlement program in Oakland. That first step, in 1980, led Ms. Waltermire to twelve years of refugee work and then, in 1992, to law school to become an immigration lawyer. Ms. Waltermire is deeply grateful for her parentsí continued love and encouragement.
Judge Harry Pregerson
Judge Pregerson, for whom Ms. Waltermire clerked at the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, continues to be an inspiration to her. The Judge has deep compassion and concern for individuals, particularly the most vulnerable. His published decisions on immigration demonstrate his character, as does his volunteer work on behalf of immigrants, the homeless, veterans, and others who face barriers in life. Working for the Judge provided Ms. Waltermire with not only a role model for how the practice of law could change lives for the better, but the opportunity to learn how the federal courts worked from the inside.
The International Rescue Committee (IRC)
Many individuals at the IRC have been instrumental in Ms. Waltermire's career and her decision to become an immigration lawyer. Xuan Nguyen and Lieu Thi Dang, both former refugees from Vietnam and directors of the IRC San Jose refugee resettlement office, encouraged and supported her as an employee as she become increasingly involved in immigration work and made the eventual decision to attend law school. Bill Sage, a former IRC employee in Southeast Asia for whom Ms. Waltermire worked at Church World Service, was key in connecting Ms. Waltermire to her job at the IRC and inspiring her to do both refugee and immigration work. Don Climent, the Regional Director of the IRC San Francisco office, was also key in connecting Ms. Waltermire to her job at the IRC and has continued to mentor Ms. Waltermire throughout her career.
Clement J. Kong and colleagues
Mr. Schoenleber was first hired to practice immigration law in 1983 by Clement J. Kong and his then partners, Jerry Chong and Stephen L. Yun. The Honorable Mamoru Sakuma and Mr. T.R. Sugano later joined the firm as named partners. Mr. Schoenleber left to start his own practice in late 1989, but he returned to share office space with Messrs Kong, Sugano and Sakuma for many years in the 1990s. Their encouragement, patience, and collegiality made for an enviable setting to practice law.
Mr. Kongís colleagues, Julie Bowen and Tomoko Sato, long-time employees of the current firm ("Korshak, Kracoff, Kong &Sugano"), have always been very helpful and friendly.
UC Davis School of Law's Immigration Law Clinic (the Clinic) and California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA)
The Clinic and CRLA have, over the years, both influenced our office and worked together with us on numerous cases. Professors James Smith and Amagda Perez have supported our office and our work. Mr. Schoenleber worked for both the Clinic and CRLA early in his career; Ms. Waltermire worked for the Clinic both in law school and several years later as a supervising attorney. These two organizations and their staff and students continue to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of immigrants each year.
Kathleen Wooliever Sedillo
"Kate" was the Senior Legal Assistant for our firm for many years. She came to us at a very opportune time after completing her Masterís degree at UC Davis. She gave us invaluable assistance in building our firmís immigration practice and reputation. She left us so that she could devote all her energies to her growing family. It is a tribute to her lasting, positive impact here that we have continued growing the law practice and building on that reputation after she departed.
Mr. Schoenleber also recognizes the love and support of his parents, Flora Schoenleber Taylor and James C. Schoenleber, the dedication of Stanford Professor Paul Mandell, the enthusiasm of his Stanford-in-Mexico fellow students, and the inspiration of his former farm and ranch co-workers, especially his friend and compadre, Teofilo Luna Sanchez.