Fairuze Sofia has lived in South Florida since she was in middle school and graduated from Blanche Ely High School in Pompano Beach, Florida. Following high school, she studied International Relations at Florida International University where she was inducted into the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honor society and graduated with high honors. While a student at FIU, Fairuze studied abroad in Paris at L'Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris taking courses entirely in French.
Fairuze attended law school at the University of Florida Levin College of Law in Gainesville, Florida and graduated with honors in 2008. While in law school, Fairuze participated in the UF Honor Court first as a member of the Attorney General's Staff and then as the Chief Defense Counsel. She was also awarded the Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship for advanced Portuguese language study. Following her second year of law school, Fairuze worked as a law clerk at the NASA Kennedy Space Center Office of the Chief Counsel in Cape Canaveral, Florida where she worked on everything from labor disputes to government contracts (and stood on the launchpad next to the shuttle!).
During her last year of law school, Fairuze earned the book award in her "Trial Practice" course. She was also a Certified Legal Intern at the Public Defender's Office in Gainesville, Florida. Following law school, Fairuze worked as an Assistant Public Defender in Broward County where she aggressively represented her clients at both the misdemeanor and felony levels. Following her time at the Public Defender's Office, Fairuze briefly worked for the immigration law firm of Kurzban, Kurzban, Weinger, Tetzeli & Pratt. Fairuze was named a Florida Rising Star in 2013 – 2018 by Florida Super Lawyers. She is also a Florida Bar Board Certified Expert in Criminal Trial Law since 2015 and has tried over 75 jury trials.
Fairuze speaks Portuguese, Spanish, and French and has lived abroad in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Paris, France. In her spare time, she likes to travel and attend concerts.
Chelsea Kirkpatrick is an associate attorney at The Sofia Law Firm and admitted to the Florida Bar. Chelsea originally joined the firm as a law clerk in 2016 and now practices immigration and criminal defense, specializing in family-based immigration, asylum, consular processing, and removal defense. Immigration has always been a practice area very close to her heart, significantly impacting her family and teaching her about the diverse struggles that immigrants face daily. Chelsea is a fierce advocate who will fight for what she believes is right.
Chelsea was born in Miami, FL and has lived in South Florida for most of her life. Chelsea graduated summa cum laude from the University of Florida in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and minors in Classical Studies and Education. As an honors student, Chelsea received the Sue Young Scholarship for Women Leaders and was named to the Dean’s List in recognition of her academic and extracurricular achievements. Chelsea also served as the Service Director for both Golden Key International Honour Society and Pre-Legal Honor Society.
Chelsea attended the George Washington University Law School in Washington, DC on a Presidential Full Tuition Merit Scholarship where she earned her J.D. in 2016. Chelsea focused on gaining practical experience on both sides of the table in immigration proceedings. She worked as a student attorney at the GW Immigration Clinic where she represented clients defensively in removal proceedings before the Arlington Immigration Court. She also worked as a student attorney at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Arlington Office of Chief Counsel, where she served as first-chair for the government in over fifteen individual hearings before the Arlington Immigration Court. Additionally, Chelsea worked as a student attorney at the GW Neighborhood Law and Policy Clinic where she represented clients at their grant of parole hearings before the United States Parole Commission and submitted clemency petitions through Clemency Project 2014. Chelsea is currently the Florida Bar Appellate Practice Section's Inaugural Fellow.
In her spare time, Chelsea enjoys reading, trivia, cooking, and traveling.
Alibek is an associate attorney at The Sofia Law Firm. As an immigrant, Alibek has been personally impacted by the U.S. immigration system. Using his personal, academic and professional experiences, he strives to provide competent and expeditious assistance to those currently navigating through the U.S. immigration process.
He graduated from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. While in law school, he served as a research assistant to Professor Sharon E. Rush and represented clients as a Certified Legal Intern at the law school’s Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Clinic. He also interned for the Honorable Peter R. Lopez in the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida, and clerked for an immigration law firm Kurzban, Kurzban, Tetzeli & Pratt in Miami. He spent his final semester of law school interning for the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Chief Counsel in Orlando.
Alibek received his Bachelor’s degree in International Relations through the Honors College of the Florida International University. There, he earned a certificate in the Middle East and Central Asian Studies and founded a Russian cultural club, Kalinka.
He is actively involved in the community. He is on the Asylum Committee at the American Immigration Lawyers Association, South Florida Chapter (AILA). He is also a Public Relations Director at the Russian American Bar Association of Florida (RABA), and a member of Law School Alumni Council at the University of Florida (UF LAC).
He is fluent in Russian and Kyrgyz and speaks basic Uzbek. He enjoys learning foreign languages, traveling, and (as of recently) photography.
Alyssa Henning joined The Sofia Law Firm as an associate attorney in 2020. She is a member of the Iowa Bar and handles immigration cases. She comes to immigration law with a background in community organizing and activism for immigrants' rights. She is passionate about helping immigrants and their families more confidently navigate the immigration processes.
Alyssa graduated from Northwestern University's joint JD-PhD program, earning her JD from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law and her PhD in Religious Studies from The Graduate School at Northwestern University. From 2015-2018, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Religion Department at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa before returning to South Florida, where she grew up.
Alyssa earned a Bachelor of Arts in Bioethics and Religious Studies from the University of Virginia. She has volunteered with the Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative in Folkston, GA and regularly volunteers at monthly citizenship clinics in Lauderhill, FL. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, gardening, and raising Monarch caterpillars into butterflies.
Our Team Members
Cristina San Lucas
Senior Legal Assistant
Cristina San Lucas has a Juris Doctor Degree from Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law, where she was member of the Moot Court Society and ILSA Journal of International and Comparative Law.
Cristina graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice and a Minor in Sociology. While an undergrad at Florida Atlantic University, Cristina interned for Attorney Fairuze Sofia and gained experience as her intern by sitting in on jury trials with Attorney Sofia. Cristina later joined The Sofia Law firm and currently works as the firm's Senior Legal Assistant.
Cristina enjoys spending time with her family, looks forward to making a difference in the world and to becoming an attorney.
Legal Assistant-Billing Associate
May started working at The Sofia Law firm as a Legal Assistant in October 2017. She studied Business Administration in her home country, Venezuela. There, she worked in the consular section of the US Embassy in Caracas, where she learned about and got involved in the migration process to the US. While working in the embassy, she received various awards for her performance such as Meritorious Award, Extra Mile Award, Franklin Award, as well as numerous Certificates of Appreciation. She also worked at the Foreign Service National Association (FSN), and in the human resources department.
Besides her passion for immigration law, she has been learning criminal law sitting next to Fairuze Sofia in the court hearings, participating in jury selection and trials. She was recently promoted to a Legal Manager and Billing Associate. In her spare time, she enjoys being a mom, going to the movies, jogging, reading and going to the beach.
Nataly Arias grew up in Aragua, Venezuela where she graduated from the Catholic High School Maria Inmaculada. Following High School, she dedicated herself to learning English at The Languages College in Aragua, Venezuela. She then moved to Caracas to attend Law School at the Central University of Venezuela obtaining her Law Degree in 2014.
Nataly joined the Sofia Law Firm in 2018 to work with the team defending immigrant rights. As she understands from first-hand experience the challenges immigrants face, she is happy and committed to help those seeking better life opportunities. In her spare time, Nataly enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, going to beach and practicing Yoga.
Alexander Diaz is originally from Venezuela and moved to Panama at the age of fifteen. He subsequently moved to the United States at the age of 17 and graduated from John I Leonard High School in Greenacres, Florida. He plans to continue his studies in the near future to pursue a career in Criminal Justice. Having experienced the immigration system firsthand, he has worked tirelessly to rise through the ranks at The Sofia Law Firm, starting as a File Clerk in February 2020 and being promoted to Legal Assistant within five months.
In his free time, Alex likes to play and watch sports, listen to music, and spend time with is family.