After participating as a volunteer attorney in various La Paz Chattanooga clinics and events, immigration attorney Melanie Walker has joined the board of the nonprofit.
La Paz promotes the inclusion of the Latino community in Southeast Tennessee.
Walker has worked in the immigration field as both a paralegal and an attorney for over 20 years. She’s served as an immigration attorney at Baker Donelson for the last 12 years and is a shareholder in the firm’s Global Immigration Group.
As Walker has assisted companies and individuals around the world with their immigration status needs, she’s become aware of the difficulties those who are not a part of the community in which they are living face, she says.
At the same time, the commitment of La Paz to grow and adapt as the population and needs of the Latino community changed impressed her, Walker adds.
“La Paz has been a shining example in its mission to engage and empower the Latino population not only through its critical programs and resources but also by truly celebrating the brilliant cultures that make our city special.
“I’m grateful to have the chance to live where people care about sustaining a vibrant and thriving community.”
Describing herself as passionate about inclusion and the need for communities to cultivate uniqueness and diversity, Walker says she hopes to contribute her knowledge of immigration systems, government processes and overcoming related challenges to serving those La Paz supports.
Walker says she’ll also endeavor to provide resources to other members of the community who might be able to aid the Latino community.
“As a parent with children at various stages in the education process, I can appreciate the importance of access to education and hope to advance efforts underway to serve students and further workforce readiness,” she continues.
“I have much to learn about all La Paz has to offer and look forward to exploring the many other ways I can help this organization expand its growing scope of service.”
Before joining Baker Donelson, Walker served as a law clerk to Chief Judge Curtis L. Collier in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. During her clerkship, she provided research and drafting support on decisions resolving various federal and state employment claims.
Walker worked as an immigration paralegal before attending law school.
Additional sources: La Paz Chattanooga; Baker Donelson