Liana E. Montecinos is an asylee from Honduras who became an immigration attorney. Liana came to the United States at the age of 11. After a long and hard-fought battle in removal proceedings, she was able to secure asylum in the United States. Now, Liana is an immigration attorney committed to protecting the human and civil rights of immigrants.
Liana has over a decade of experience passionately working in the immigration legal field. She represents detained and non-detained immigrants in complex immigration matters. Liana is committed to not only helping our clients achieve their goals, but to providing legal representation in a client-centered practice where every interaction with our clients matters. Liana believes in empowering clients and humanizing the immigration system.
In addition to her work as an immigration attorney, Liana is heavily involved in the immigrant community. She leads Know Your Rights presentations and immigration clinics for the immigrant community, and recently, helped organize and deliver food to immigrant families in dire need due to COVID-19.
Liana has also organized multiple advocacy trips to the southern border to protect the rights of asylum seekers and refugees. During those trips, Liana led dozens of advocates to assist hundreds of refugees. In 2019, Liana served as a Supervising Attorney for an advocacy trip to Tijuana, Mexico with the UDC Law Immigration and Human Rights Clinic.
David A. Clarke School of Law, JD
George Mason University, BA in Philosophy & BA in Spanish
In law school, Liana was the President of the UDC Law Latinx Law Student Association (LLSA) and the Community Chair for the National Latino(a) Law Student Association (NLLSA). During her tenure, LLSA hosted dozens of community events and awarded nine scholarships to enable Latinx students to attend law school. Liana also led a national t-shirt selling campaign with the message “No Human Being is Illegal” to raise awareness of immigrant issues.
Since 2009, Liana has been helping undocumented youth access higher education through United for Social Justice (USJ), a non-profit organization where she is the Founder and Executive Director. Liana and her team have helped over 540 students to access higher education and she has led efforts to award over 70 college book scholarships to deserving first generation students facing financial and immigration difficulties.
For her passion and devotion to serve the less privileged, Liana was recognized as a five-star Honduran by Departamento 19, a Honduran newspaper. Being a five-star Honduran is a prestige bestowed upon the most prominent Hondurans living overseas. Liana was also a featured author for Departamento 19 where she wrote in Spanish about immigration and human rights issues, especially those affecting the Honduran community in the U.S.
Liana states, "I have gone through a lot. I am healing through service."
Liana was selected to participate in the Well-Being Committee and the Paralegals Conference Planning Committee of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the Pro Bono Committee of the Washington, DC AILA Chapter.
Liana was also selected to serve in the Alumni Association of the Early Identification Program at George Mason University which helps low-income and at-risk students access higher education.
Liana was selected to Rising Stars for 2021 by Super Lawyers. This peer designation is awarded only to a select number of accomplished attorneys in each state. The Rising Stars selection process takes into account peer recognition, professional achievement in legal practice, and other cogent factors.
Under Liana's leadership, United For Social Justice was awarded the Hugh A. Johnson, Jr. Memorial Award by the Hispanic Bar Association of DC. This award recognizes a DC area organization with unwavering commitment to and achievement of the principles of equality, cultural respect, and social justice.
Co-authored published article, “Vicarious Trauma and Ethical Obligations for Attorneys Representing Immigrant Clients: A Call to Build Resilience Among the Immigration Bar” along with Hannah C. Cartwright, Lindsay M. Harris, and Anam Rahman
Keynote speaker at Mason’s commencement
Recipient of UDC David A. Clarke School of Law, UDC Law Student Bar Association, Outstanding President Award
Recipient of UDC David A. Clarke School of Law, UDC Law Student Bar Association, Organization of the Year Award
Featured in newspapers including the Washington Post and Mason Nation
Recipient of the University of the District of Columbia Student Humanitarian and Civic Engagement Award
Liana is a frequent speaker on immigration and education issues. She has been a guest speaker in a Congressional Briefing in Capitol Hill, and has appeared in media outlets including Telemundo, Univision, Telesur, Radio America, RT, Honduradio, CGTN and Sky News Arabia.
Liana has also participated in panels at conferences hosted by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). She has also presented at various universities including the Washington & Lee University School of Law, New York Law School, UC Berkeley Law School, Washington College of Law, David A. Clarke School of Law, George Mason University, Trinity College, University of Mississippi School of Law, and University of Tennessee College of Law.