- Senior Attorney
Avantika Shastri has been practicing immigration law since 2004. Ms. Shastri was previously an attorney at Van Der Hout from 2004 to 2015, and returned to the firm in 2022.
Ms. Shastri represents individuals and families in immigration court and appellate immigration litigation, family-based visa petitions, asylum, and naturalization cases. She specializes in cases involving complex legal or factual histories and novel legal claims. She also specializes in advising on the immigration consequences of criminal charges and convictions, and representing individuals with criminal history in immigration proceedings. She has successfully represented many clients before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and other federal courts.
Ms. Shastri is committed to providing thoughtful, individualized, and creative representation so that clients and their families can live together in the United States. She is also committed to fair and equal access to justice in the immigration system.
From 2019 to 2021, Ms. Shastri was an immigration defense attorney with the Alameda County Public Defender’s Office, where she provided advice and training to 100+ public defenders about the immigration consequences of adult and juvenile charges and convictions. She also advised on post-conviction relief, and engaged in advocacy on immigration enforcement issues.
From 2015 to 2019, Ms. Shastri was the Legal Director for the San Francisco Immigrant Legal Defense Collaborative (SFILDC). She oversaw the pro bono legal representation provided by 15 partner nonprofit organizations to hundreds of vulnerable children, families, and adults in removal proceedings before the San Francisco Immigration Court. The Mayor of San Francisco awarded her a Certificate of Honor in 2018 for her work with the SFILDC.
Ms. Shastri regularly provides trainings and publishes on immigration topics for local and national conferences.
AREAS OF PRACTICE
- Deportation Defense
- Immigration Consequences of Criminal Convictions
- Federal Court Litigation
- Family-Based Immigration
- California, 2004
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
- U.S. District Court, Central District of California
- University of California School of Law, Berkeley, California
- J.D., Juris Doctorate | 2004
- University of California, Berkeley, California
- B.A., Bachelor of Arts | 2000
- Major: Political Economy
- Certificate of Honor, Mayor of San Francisco, 2018
- Pro Bono Attorney of the Year, South Asian Bar Association of Northern California, 2008
PRO BONO ACTIVITIES
- AILA Northern California Chapter, Advocacy Committee
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS
- American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)