Marla I. Samora

San Francisco, California
Marla joined Van Der Hout LLP in January 2018. As an associate attorney, Marla represents clients in their immigration cases before U .S. Citizenship & Immigration Services, the immigration court, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and in federal district and circuit courts. Her practice focuses on minimizing the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. She has experience in arguing that clients’ criminal convictions do not trigger adverse immigration consequences, as well as defending clients who are currently in removal proceeding as a result of certain convictions. She also has experience in litigating asylum claims, waivers, and adjustments of status before the immigration court.

Prior to joining the firm, Marla previously split her time between Nationalities Service Center (NSC) and the Defenders Association of Philadelphia-Immigration Unit where she focused on the immigration consequences of criminal charges and convictions. Marla also assisted clients at NSC who were facing removal in immigration court, applying for affirmative relief, naturalization, and with family-based immigration applications. During her graduate program, Marla worked at Friends of Farmworkers during her 1L summer, protecting and promoting the rights of agriculture workers in Pennsylvania. Marla was also a legal intern at NSC for her second and third year of law school.

Areas of Practice

  • Deportation Defense
  • Asylum
  • Family-based immigration
  • Immigration consequences of criminal convictions
  • Naturalization & claims to citizenship

Bar Admissions

  • California, 2015
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 2018
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California


  • Temple University Beasley School of Law, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • J.D.
  • Columbia University, New York, New York
    • B.A. - 2008
    • Major: Psychology and Political Science

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Member, 2016 - Present
  • National Lawyers Guild, National Immigration Project, Member, 2018 - Present

Past Employment Positions

  • Nationalities Service Center, Staff Attorney, 2015 - 2018
  • Defender Association of Philadelphia, Immigration Attorney, 2015 - 2018


  • English
  • Spanish