Interview with Janice Flynn

Interview

with

JANICE FLYNN

Managing Partner of US Visa Solutions  |  London

What I’ve learned is that fear is not something that should hold you back from what you want to do.

Janice A. Flynn, Managing Partner, US Visa Solutions 

Janice, could you please tell us about your background; where did you grow up?

I’m a native Chicagoan and spent pretty much all my life there except for a year and a half or so in Aberdeen for a university exchange program.  I grew up on the south side so of course I’m a White Sox fan.

Chicago is a city of neighbourhoods and I’m originally from a neighbourhood called Canaryville which was right next to the Chicago stockyards which were closed the year I was born.  Our house was right down the street from the stock yards and my earliest memories were of our house shaking because of the trucks full of cattle being taken away.  When I was eight we moved to a Polish neighbourhood and many of our neighbours spoke only Polish.  I always wondered if this was the start in me liking all things international.

I have a twin sister who also lives in the UK and a younger brother and sister.  My Dad is a retired Chicago Fire Chief and my Mom is a retired secretary who also worked for the Chicago Fire Department.  Both of them had 10 kids in each of their families and I have lots and lots of aunts, uncles and cousins.  Despite having such a large family, I’m the first person to become a lawyer in the family.

Why did you choose a career in law?

Sometimes I feel like a career in law found me.

After I finished my bachelor’s degree in English Literature I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do because I didn’t want to teach.

I applied for some positions and one job was with an immigration law firm in Chicago.  Back in those days where you had to post your CV with a cover letter! It was the early 90s so there weren’t a lot of jobs available so I had a lot of practice with writing cover letters.  I remember when I was called in for an interview and the lawyer I met with said I was called in because she liked my cover letter.  I can’t remember what exactly I said but I do remember I talked about how I would understand working with immigrants because my grandparents were Irish immigrants and I grew up in a Polish neighbourhood.  I got the job and worked with lots and lots of clients from all over the world.

After a few years working as a Paralegal, I applied to law school and became a lawyer.  Since then, I’ve realized I really enjoy building a case and succeeding based on the arguments you present for your client.

Why did you move to London?

Looking back it seems like my heart has always been in the UK.  It’s been more than 10 years since I moved to London but the seeds of moving here were planted when I was 20 and came to London for the first time on my way to attend a study abroad program at University of Aberdeen for a year.  I studied English Literature and what really excited me about London was the fact that there were so many writers who lived here.  I wrote a thesis paper on Virginia Woolf who actually includes London street names where her characters lived.  I came back to Chicago to finish my undergraduate degree but as soon as I passed the bar I started to apply for jobs in London.  I remember at one point just thinking I wanted to be here so it was wonderful when I was offered a job and was working as a lawyer here.  Holding an Irish passport also made it very easy to move over and settle here.

Can you tell us about setting up your own law firm?

I have to admit I would not have thought I would set up my own law firm but it’s the best thing I could have done. I left my previous firm mainly because there was not going to be any room for advancement and what I do is very specialized so there weren’t a lot of opportunities for lateral moves.  Quitting my last job and starting my own firm was very much like jumping off a cliff because there weren’t any guarantees of how it would work out but now I really enjoy the firm I’ve created and making it grow.

What I’ve learned is that fear is not something that should hold you back from what you want to do.

Also and probably most importantly, along the way I had a lot of my friends who work in law that supported me and without them I wouldn’t have gotten where I am.

What is the best piece of advice you ever got ?

Before I started my own practice a very experienced US immigration lawyer here in London said to me that I will be truly free when I am self-employed and have control over my own destiny.  Her words gave me the courage to make the leap to starting my own practice.


Janice Flynn: Profile

In February 2012, Janice established the firm US Visa Solutions, bringing with her an extensive knowledge base and expertise acquired over the course of 10 years practising U.S. visa and nationality law. S he started the firm to develop a practice that focuses on the well-being of the client as they proceed through what can be a very stressful process.

Janice’s experience covers a wide range of US visa and nationality matters, including both family and employment based visas and US nationality issues.  She has particular expertise on employment-based matters and, in 2017 was named in the Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration lawyers.  Janice regularly advises multinational companies on their overall U.S. immigration strategy.

Prior to establishing her own firm, Janice worked with the Hodkinson Law Group in central London for five years.  Prior to moving to London, she worked in Chicago, Illinois with the Law Offices of Susan Fortino-Brown and Kempster, Keller & Lenz-Calvo in Chicago, Illinois and within the immigration department of FagelHaber LLC (now known as Thompson Coburn LLP). She first began working in the field of US visa and nationality law in 1996 as a Paralegal with Kempster, Keller & Lenz-Calvo.

Janice graduated from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois and was admitted to the Illinois state bar in 2004.

Janice places great importance on sharing and learning from her colleagues in the field and is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, International Bar Association Immigration & Nationality Law section, American Women Lawyers in London,  the International Irish Business Network and the international Lawyers’ Business Development Club.

Since 2012, Janice has been a member of the Board of Trustees for icap (Immigrant Counselling & Psychotherapy) which is a registered British charity providing high quality counselling and psychotherapy principally to Irish immigrants.

Janice is a native Chicagoan and has been living in the UK for more than 10 years. She lives near London with her partner and their two dogs.

US Visa Solutions

Third Floor
6/7 Hatton Garden
London EC1N 8AD
United Kingdom

UK: +44(0)20 7092 6830
USA: +1 (312) 361 0581

Email:  janice@usvisasolutions.co.uk
www.usvisasolutions.co.uk


LBDC  |  Boutique Law Firms of the Year

The Law Office of Janice A. Flynn | US Visa Solutions | is the:

LBDC | Lawyers’ Business Development Club |

2017 Top Boutique Law Firm

for US visa and nationality law advice and legal services


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