Where Is She Now? Following up with Former SheGives Fellow Kalina Deng


Former Research and Management Fellow for SheGives

Served as SheGives's Vice Chair of LGBTQ Equality Track

Currently a paralegal at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.

Where are you working now, and how long have you been there?

A: I work at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. at its headquarters in Boston’s Financial District. I’m a paralegal in the Immigration Section and have been working at Mintz for a year now. I primarily work for our section’s largest client.

What sort of projects/responsibilities do you have?

A: I work on a variety of employment-based visas, including “non-immigrant” visas such as H-1B Specialty Occupation, L-1 Intra-company Transfers, E-2 Treaty Investors, and TN visas based on the NAFTA as well as “immigrant” visas such as Outstanding Researchers, Aliens of Extraordinary Ability, and Multinational Managers/Executives. I work with the client on a global scale, especially when we’re working to transfer one of its employees from an affiliate abroad into the US.

What is your favorite thing about your position?

A: I really enjoy working in immigration law because I get to learn about so many aspects of the legal system from local courts to federal courts and across different federal branches, such as the EOIR (federal immigration court), Dept. of Homeland Security, and Dept of State. I previously worked on the humanitarian aid side of immigration – in cases of asylum, Violence Against Women Act, ICE detention, and Special Immigrant Juveniles – and was able to attend EOIR hearings and asylum interviews. Now, in business immigration, I’m learning so much more about corporate law, mergers & acquisitions, and venture capital by virtue of working with our different clients that range from large multi-national corporations to start-ups. It’s really been amazing to have had quite a spectrum of experiences from working in this field.
But I think ultimately, my favorite thing from working on all different aspects of immigration law is that I’m able to give back in a very tangible, real way. I came to the US when I was 7 and have certainly benefited from the immigration system. I’ve been very blessed in my life, and I’m very fortunate that I’m able to do work in my day-to-day to pay it forward.

Have you utilized any of the skills or connections you made while working with SheGives?

A: Depending on the type of case I’m working on, I may be digging through a lot of financial documents about the client. This usually happens when I’m working on a E-2 Treaty Investor or a L-1A New Office petition. Even though the training that I had at SheGives was tailored to the non-profit sector and the kind financial statements NGOs would produce, I’ve found that having that financial vocabulary was really helpful for me to quickly ramp up and digest the information I was handling for my clients.

What was your favorite thing about your time as a SheGives fellow?

A: I do believe that as women, it really behooves us to be financially literate, both personally and professionally, so that we can confidently stand on our own two feet. So it’s great that I was able to take that away from my SheGives experience.

Do you maintain contact with anyone from SheGives, or from any SheGives non-profits?

A: I still keep in touch with some of my co-Fellows from my year. One of my good friends also has been working at Build, so I’ve attended a few of Build’s events since being in the SheGives Fellowship.

What causes do you care most about?

A: So many! Certainly from a professional and personal standpoint, I’m very attuned to and concerned about the state of the refugee crisis globally and the state of immigration policies domestically. Aside from that, I’m very passionate about arts engagement and art as a medium for raising social justice awareness. I’m also currently active with three awesome organizations in Boston!
I’m a Human Rights Committee Member for Bay Cove Human Services. Bay Cove is the largest Boston area provider of human services for persons with mental health and developmental disabilities. The Human Rights Committee evaluates the human rights program within the agency and monitor compliance with state regulation mainly through attendance at committee meetings and visiting residential and day programs in the metro and greater Boston area. I’m also on a sub-committee working on updating the human rights trainings for the officers of the organization.
I’m also a Live Blue Service Leader at the New England Aquarium. In this capacity, I organize and lead episodic events in the greater Boston area. This could range from protecting turtle nests out on the shores, removing invasive species from the Mystic River, or hosting educational events at the Aquarium itself.
Finally, close and dear to my heart, I’m an alumna mentor for the Asian American Women’s Political Initiative (AAWPI). AAWPI is the only organization in the US that proactively works to close not only the gender gap but also the racial gap in representation in the political system. It does so by providing training and support for Asian American Pacific Islander college and graduate students to engage in meaningful fellowships at the Massachusetts State House. As an alumna mentor, I get to work one-on-one with a current Fellow and provide the support she needs to navigate her professional path.

Posted in WhoIsShe?.