In honor of Mother’s Day, we are highlighting an alumna who is a mother of five, a business owner, lawyer and our 2017 Outstanding Recent Alumna award winner, Alexandra “Ally” Kennedy, ’08 JD. Ally is known professionally for her role as an immigration attorney, but to women around the country, she is known as the founder of AMIGA, a national network supporting immigration attorneys who balance the roles of both business owner and mother.
A 2008 graduate of Seattle University’s School of Law, Ally is the founding partner of Alexandra Kennedy Immigration Law, PLLC. The firm’s goal is to keep families together through the use of the U.S. immigration system. In her practice, she helps victims of violence and domestic violence seek immigration relief and defends clients in immigration court who are facing deportation. “Being a lawyer is more than a job,” she says. “It is a calling.”
For Ally, an interest in law started at age 16 following a mission trip to Belize and Guatemala where she was exposed to real poverty for the first time.
“I decided I would do everything I could to fight for equality and give a voice to the voiceless,” she says. “Fortunately, I have been able to find a way to do this by defending undocumented immigrants in the United States.”
Her passion for immigration justice is only matched by her passion for being a mother. In 2015, Ally founded the national organization AMIGA Lawyers—also known as the Association of Mother Immigration Attorneys—designed to help mothers who are attorneys who needed support while “doing it all.”
AMIGA is comprised of immigration attorneys and mothers throughout the country. These women are business owners, lawyers, partners and mothers. Of Amiga, Ally said, “The women play a lot of different roles. We provide support for each other in a meaningful way. For me, it was hard to navigate this path of being a lawyer, a mother and a business owner. I needed a community and couldn’t find one–so I created my own.”
Ally created a virtual community where AMIGA members can discuss all areas of their lives, from the best brand of diapers to the best legal strategies. They provide support, uplift and empower one another. Her Whole-istic Approach to the practice of law is a way for women to practice law that integrates their whole selves.
Each week, Ally blogs about how to build better businesses, create winning cases and live balanced lives. She hosts monthly webinars and travels throughout the country to speak on these topics. In June 2016 she hosted the first conference for women immigration attorneys, called Women, Power and Money, and in February 2017 she hosted a women-only legal conference called Amiga Business Bootcamp.
In 2016, Ally was awarded the national Sam Williamson Mentor Award by the American Immigration Lawyers Association for her work with AMIGA—the youngest recipient ever.
Ally is being honored, along with our five other winners, at the 32nd Annual Alumni Awards on May 5.