Who We Are

 
 
img_s.jpg

Our Story

We wanted to work at a business immigration law firm that focused on the quality of the work we could offer our clients. So we started our own. 

When we started TSM nearly two decades ago, we had a few ideas in mind. Build the culture of a specialty law firm. Hire attorneys capable of thinking out of the box. Take on a manageable caseload for clients we admire and whose values we share. Deliver the quality of service our clients expect and foreign nationals require. Stay nimble so we can adapt and mobilize on behalf of changing client needs. Today we’ve grown to a company with offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and London that provides a full range of immigration services, including business immigration, global service, and work site and corporate compliance  expertise.

 
 

Our Culture and Values

At TSM we don’t just file visa applications. We provide strategic thinking. Instead of knee-jerk reaction, we deliver long-term immigration planning designed to grow our client’s business. Instead of an opaque process, we establish clear communications and individual attention so clients know their immigration matters are handled with care. Instead of a company of clock watchers, we built a culture of respect and collegiality, staffed with people who know what’s at stake with every case they take on: the chance to provide opportunity.

img_s.jpg
 
 
img_s.jpg

We're Here to Help

Today, the demand for global talent is hugely competitive. We believe the ability to recruit the best, most talented people from around the world drives business growth and innovation on the international stage. On behalf of our clients—from startups to multinationals—we act as creative problem-solvers with the mindset of an entrepreneur. We are here to help their business grow by finding the talent they need.

 
 

Co-Founders & Partners

profile.jpg

Alan Tafapolsky

Alan Tafapolsky is a co-founder of Tafapolsky Smith Mehlman LLP and the Managing Partner of the firm’s San Francisco office. Mr. Tafapolsky started his immigration law career in Washington D.C. at in immigration boutique where he cut his teeth on a wide array of matters including asylum, family, deportation, and business-related matters. In 1995, Mr. Tafapolsky relocated to San Francisco and worked for the next five years as an Associate and Senior Associate lawyer at Cooley LLP where his practice focused on representing foreign nationals in emerging companies. 
Full Bio »

profile.jpg

J. Anthony Smith (Tony)

J. Anthony Smith (Tony) is a co-founder of Tafapolsky Smith Mehlman LLP and the Managing Partner of the firm’s Los Angeles office. Drawing on more than 25 years’ experience representing multinational businesses, financial institutions and technology companies, Mr. Smith’s practice focuses on the representation of multinational and start-up companies in employment-based nonimmigrant and immigrant matters before the USCIS, Department of Labor and Department of State. 
Full Bio »

profile.jpg

Sharon Mehlman

Sharon Mehlman is a Partner with Tafapolsky Smith Mehlman LLP and the Managing Partner of the firm’s San Diego office. Sharon is an outside-the-box legal theorist, bringing innovation and strategy into her immigration practice based on her vast experience across the many nuances of business immigration law. Sharon enjoys the challenge of practicing in an area of law that is constantly changing. 
Full Bio »

profile.jpg

John C. Lemacks, II

John C. Lemacks, II is a Partner at Tafapolsky Smith Mehlman LLP in the firm’s Los Angeles office. For the past 13 years, Mr. Lechner has represented businesses, ranging from start-ups to multinational companies and across a broad array of industries, in global immigration matters. He also has extensive experience assisting businesses with the development of global immigration policies and immigration programs. 
Full Bio »

 

Attorneys

profile.jpg

Juli A. Gammon

Juli A. Gammon practices immigration law because she believes that the United States is a stronger, better place when including diverse ideas and people. She traces her ancestors to Revolutionary War fighters, both those who came to the colonies to help the American people in their fight against tyranny and those who were already in the American colonies for generations before the war.
Full Bio »

profile.jpg

Marc Mehlman

Marc Mehlman is the Client Services Manager at Tafapolsky Smith Mehlman LLP in the San Diego office. Marc spends most of his time as a legal researcher and case writer for O-1 and EB-1 Extraordinary Ability and Outstanding Researcher cases. 
Full Bio »

profile.jpg

John Vincent P. Ocampo ("JV")

As Senior Paralegal/Case Manager, John Vincent P. Ocampo (“JV”) oversees case management and database compliance for the firm to optimize client services and to ensure that the office runs efficiently. He prepares and analyzes case management and other related reports to coordinate case assignments for the paralegal staff and manage workflow. 
Full Bio »

profile.jpg

Ron Wada

Ron Wada is Senior Counsel in Tafapolsky Smith Mehlman’s San Francisco office. Ron has over 20 years of experience in preparing immigrant visa petitions for first preference extraordinary ability, outstanding researcher/professor, and multinational manager and executive categories as well as the second preference national interest waiver category, and the nonimmigrant O-1 visa category for individuals with extraordinary ability. 
Full Bio »

profile.jpg

Lisa Atkins

Lisa Atkins is an Associate in the San Francisco office of TSM. Ms. Atkins represents clients in both U.S. and global mobility related immigration law matters. She provides strategic advice related to global immigration policies and best practices and facilitates the mobility of executives, managers, specialized knowledge and professional workers across the globe and inbound into the United States. 
Full Bio »

profile.jpg

Teodora D. Purcell

Teodora D. Purcell is a Senior Associate in the San Diego office of TSM. Teodora has experience in all facets of immigration law and is a Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law, certified by the State Bar of California. 
Full Bio »

 

Awards & Recognitions

Do great work for clients, go above and beyond to serve the needs of your community, publish some of the best, most forward-thinking writing on issues of immigration and business and you get recognized for the work you do.

 
 
img_s.jpg

Award Name

Award detail goes here. Lorem ipsum aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos.

img_s.jpg

Award Name

Award detail goes here. Lorem ipsum aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos lectus ante.

img_s.jpg

Award Name

Award detail goes here. Lorem ipsum aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos.

 
 

Publications

From thinking through the ability of fashion models to ply their trade in Paris, Milan and New York to interpretation of the PERM application form, the partners and associate attorneys at TSM have published numerous contributions to the field of business immigration law. 

 
 

Publication Name

Publication detail goes here. Lorem ipsum aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos.

Publication Name

Publication detail goes here. Lorem ipsum aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos.

img_s.jpg

Publication Name

Publication detail goes here. Lorem ipsum aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos.

 
 

We Give Back

At TSM we’re pro Pro Bono. We are committed to serving the communities where we work and live. The people in our firm put that commitment to work on behalf of community-lead immigration efforts, public policy and legislation, as well as supporting individuals who need legal service in asylum/deportation cases.

 

TSM Pro Bono efforts include representation for individuals including:

 

Eritrean granted withholding of Deportation by an Immigration Judge

img_s.jpg

Guatemalan granted asylum from the Asylum Office and their Green Cards were procured in immigration court due to special identity issues

img_s.jpg

Filed Guatemalan Asylum & Suspension of Deportation application for indigenous Quiche Indian from Guatemala

 

Our public policy and community pro bono work includes:

     
    img_s.jpg

    Immigrant Legal Resource Center: Sponsor training and provide monetary support

    img_s.jpg

    Asian Women’s Shelter: Provide meeting space and monetary support

    img_s.jpg

    New Microsoft KIND program which is an organization that fights against the deportation of children

     
     
    img_s.jpg

    Provide consultation and advice for San Francisco Zen Center

    img_s.jpg

    Assist Japanese Chamber of Commerce of N.A. to procure visas for Christmas party entertainers

    img_s.jpg

    Volunteers for American Immigration Lawyers Association:

    Nebraska Service Center Liaison

    Local Advocacy and congressional Liaison

    Speaking engagements and webinars of all types

     
     

    Cadence Stars and Strikes sponsor each year