Orange County immigration attorney Susan E. Hill is a partner at the immigration law firm of Hill & Piibe. She leads our practice in appellate litigation before the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, as well as in nonimmigrant visas and other business/employment cases, especially in the equestrian industries. After graduating from Pepperdine University School of Law, Malibu, California in 1993, she went immediately into solo practice and has been working exclusively in the area of immigration law since 1995. She operates the firm’s Orange County office located in San Juan Capistrano.
Distinguished Appellate Work and Notable Cases/Issues
At any time, Ms. Hill has about a dozen or more cases pending at the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, and has handled more than one hundred cases in total, with issues often focused on procedural due process, jurisdiction, statutory interpretation, constitutional challenges, and asylum issues. Several published decisions include:
- Khodagholian v. Ashcroft, 355 F.3d 1003 (9th Cir. 2003)(successfully defended green card holder against charges of abandonment)
- Duran v. Lynch, No. 12-70930 (9th Cir. 01/20/2017)(successfully challenged finding that Cal. P.C. § 136.1 is a categorical Crime Involving Moral Turpitude)
- Andia v. Ashcroft, 359 F.3d 1181 (9th Cir. 2004)(successfully challenged the requirements for motions to reopen in removal proceedings)
- Cordoba v. Holder, 726 F.3d 1106 (9th Cir. 2013)(establishing that wealthy landowners in Colombia may qualify as a particular social group for asylum protection)
- Garcia-Gomez v. Gonzales, 498 F.3d 1050 (9th Cir. 2007)(successfully advanced clients’ meritorious excuse for late-filed appeal brief)
- Vargas-Garcia v Ashcroft Decision, 287 F.3d 882 (9th Cir. 2002)(successfully challenged rules for filing appellate briefs)
- Falcon-Carriche v. Decision, 350 F.3d 845 (9th Cir. 2003)(challenging BIA’s new and restrictive streamlining regulations)
- “Ms. A”: Honor Killings: In 2000, the case of “Ms. A” gained national notoriety and Congressional attention on the issue of “honor killings” and asylum relief, and was handled with the assistance of U.C. Hastings’ Center for Gender and Refugee Studies.
Community, Teaching and Mentoring
Immigration Clinic — CHEC Family Resource Center and Human Options
Ms. Hill advises victims of domestic violence and others who need help at a free legal clinic administered by Human Options. It is newly located at the San Juan Capistrano CHEC Family Resource Center.
Bresee Foundation — Advisory Council Member
The Bresee Foundation provides indispensable services to families and youth in Los Angeles, such as after-school programs, family support, and gang-reduction/prevention education. Hill & Piibe proudly supports this worthwhile organization.
Domestic Violence Work and Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles
Outside of her immigration practice, Ms. Hill served as a Board Member and Co-Chair for the Domestic Violence Project of the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles (WLALA), which implements the Legal Clinic for Sojourn Services for Battered Women. The clinic is located in Santa Monica, California, and dispenses free legal advice to victims of domestic violence. A volunteer with the clinic from 1994-2012, Ms. Hill assumed the role of Co-Chair from 2004-2010.
Adjunct Professor of Law and Clinical Supervising Attorney
- Immigration Law Class, Adjunct Professor for Pepperdine University School of Law, 2005 – present.
- Asylum Law Clinic, Founder and Supervising Attorney for Pepperdine University School of Law, 2008–2012. The Clinic handles asylum, withholding of removal and Convention Against Torture claims based upon an applicant’s fear of religious persecution.
Ms. Hill mentors several volunteer attorneys handling pro-bono immigration work, advising them on the complexities of motions to reopen and other issues. She also mentors young attorneys and students interested in immigration law. Additional mentoring activities include:
- National “Super Mentor” Committee for the National Center for Immigrant and Refugee Children, 2005-2006: advised on how to more effectively represent unaccompanied minors.
- UCLA School of Law’s El Centro Asylum Law Clinic, Supervising Attorney, 2004-2007. This extra-curricular volunteer clinic handled asylum cases in Immigration Court and before the appellate Courts.
- Pepperdine University School of Law Alumni Panel, 2006-2008: spoke to incoming law students about life in law school.
- Mount St. Mary’s College, 2008: spoke to students in the Women and the Law course.
- Moot Court Judge, Pepperdine University School of Law, 1997-2003: judged mock trials and appellate arguments.
Ms. Hill has been called upon to speak at continuing education events for attorneys, and also at community/public education events and classes:
- Asylum In Depth, Pincus Communications, Los Angeles, California, November 2014
- Starting Your Own Practice, Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, January 2014
- Immigration: Evidentiary and Procedural Issues in Immigration Court, Motions and Appeals, Pincus Communications, Los Angeles, California, November 2013
- Exam Prep. Course: CA Immigration and Nationality Specialist Exam, Pincus Communications, Los Angeles, California, September 2013
- Coastal Mountain Youth Authority, San Juan Capistrano, California, 2012
- Filipino American Community of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, 2012
- About Face Cadet Corps 1, Los Angeles, California, 2012
- Asylum Law Course, Southwestern University School of Law, Los Angeles, California 2011-2012
- Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA): Process and Key Strategies Conference, Pincus Communications, Los Angeles, California, March 2009
- Immigration Litigation in the Ninth Circuit, Second Annual Conference, Pincus Communications, Los Angeles, California, September 2008
- DNA Issues, American Immigration Lawyers Association Southern California Chapter Monthly Meeting, Los Angeles, California, September 2008
- Child Status Protection Act, American Immigration Lawyers Association Southern California Chapter Monthly Meeting, Los Angeles, California, September 2008
- Women and Immigration (Moderator), Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, January 2008
- Updates on Immigration Law, Alianza Group, San Gabriel/Pomona Valley Regional Center, Pomona, California, August 2004
- Ninth Circuit Training: Learning the Nuts and Bolts of Ninth Circuit Practice, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Los Angeles, California, May 2004
- Continuing Education Event Organizer
- Women and Immigration, Los Angeles County Bar Association and Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, January 2008
- Employee Discipline Without Discrimination, Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, April 2007
- How to Handle a Difficult Client, Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, January 2009
- Preliminary Issues in Filing Motions to Reopen, Los Angeles County Bar Association Newsletter, Spring 2005
- Finding a Way Around Deadlines and Number-Barred Motions to Reopen, Los Angeles County Bar Association Newsletter, Fall 2005
- AILA Litigation Toolbox, Asylum Materials Contributor, Washington, D.C., 2009 and 2013
- American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)
- Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA), Immigration Section
- San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce
- Latino Business Council (SJC Chamber of Commerce)
- Dana Point Chamber of Commerce
- San Clemente Chamber of Commerce