Teodora D. Purcell

Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP

Years admitted to practice in California: 15
Years practicing in San Diego:
Years as a member of the SDCBA: 15
Areas of practice: Immigration and Nationality Law. I have experience in all facets of U.S. immigration law and am a Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law, certified by the State Bar of California

SDCBA Sections or Committees

Immigration Law Section Member (2004 – present)

Other SDCBA projects

SDCBA Immigration Law Resources Project – Actively contributing to the SDCBA webpage with the latest developments on US immigration

Leadership positions at the SDCBA

Section and Committee Council Member (Jan 2017- present)
Chair, Immigration Law Section (2015)
Vice Chair, Immigration Law Section (2014)

Leadership roles in other bar associations or other non-legal associations

American Immigration Lawyer Association (AILA) San Diego Chapter (past Executive Committee member, currently AILA Advocacy Committee member)

Casa Cornelia Law Center Inn of Court Pro Bono Benchers’ Steering Committee (2013- 2016)

Lawyers Club San Diego (Member, Professional Advancement Committee, Diversity Women Group Committees)

Mentor of dozens attorneys and law students

Awards and honors

KPBS Local Hero Award (2016)
Super Lawyers List, Immigration Law (2016 and 2017)
Athena Pinnacle Award Nominee (2017)
AILA San Diego Chapter Pro Bono Award (2016)
San Diego Daily Transcript’s Top Attorney List in Immigration Law (2014, 2015) 
Casa Cornelia Distinguished Lawyer of the Year “La Mancha” Award (2015)
Casa Cornelia Pro Bono Publico Award (2011)
Wiley Bar Pro Bono Award of the State Bar of California (2002, 2004, 2014, 2015, 2016)

Description of what inspires you

I am inspired by the opportunity to help others and make a difference. People who are driven, with have creativity and courage, and who foster growth in others inspire me. Diverse and multicultural environments inspire me. Public service inspires me, and I believe that lawyers have the opportunity to provide meaningful service in the community and to make an impact.  My profession is a great source of personal pride, and I feel fortunate to be able to serve others through my pro bono and legal work, and through my involvement with various organizations. 

Description of what you would bring to the SDCBA Board

As an immigration attorney originally from Europe, I bring unique perspective to the Board and will promote a culture of dialogue and inclusiveness at the SDCBA.  My international background, passion for equality and justice, and  my commitment to pro bono and diversity will be key in considering the needs of every member while addressing the issues facing the Association.  

I will promote diversity and will encourage collaboration amongst the SDCBA and affinity bar organizations so that the SDCBA remains relevant to all.  I will bring my enthusiasm, dedication and innovative ideas to the Board and will actively contribute to the SDCBA’s partnership with other organizations in addressing today’s challenges in the legal profession.  

I will work towards attracting and engaging members, and to helping newer practitioners via networking and mentoring.  I will also support educational, community outreach and professional development programs and efforts that focus on creating a collaborative and diverse environment where San Diego attorneys can thrive professionally, have fulfilling lives and serve others.  

I will work to see the SDCBA as the primary forum for all San Diego lawyers and  will encourage its collaboration with other associations to enhance its positive impact on the community.

Other information you would like to share with the SDCBA membership

I would like to see the SDCBA continue to thrive and if elected, I will represent my colleagues and the SDCBA with respect, diligence and integrity.  I will also commit myself to work on behalf of each and every SDCBA member to achieve your goals.  I will be truly honored to serve the SDCBA as a Board member and I thank you for your consideration.

Endorsements by individuals or groups


Lawyers Club of San Diego
San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association
South Asian American Bar Association - San Diego
Iranian American Bar Association - San Diego
American Corporate Council - San Diego Chapter
Korean American Bar Association - San Diego
Filipino American Lawyers of San Diego

Attorneys and Bar and Community Leaders

Heather Rosing (past SDCBA President)                                                   
Jim Crosby (past SDCBA Board Member)                                    
Nadia Bermudez (past Lawyers Club President and past San Diego La Raza Board Member)
Stacy Fode (past Lawyers Club President)                                    
Wendy Behan (past Lawyers Club President and past California Women Lawyers President)
Richard Huever (past SDCBA President)
Deborah Dixon (past Lawyers Club President)
Andrew Nietor (past Chair of the AILA San Diego Chapter)                                            
Kimberly Nguyen (past Executive member, Korean American Association)                                            
Fausta Albi (past Chair of the AILA San Diego Chapter)
Matt Holt (past Chair of the AILA San Diego Chapter)
Donald Sheppard (past Chair of the AILA San Diego Chapter)
Karine Faure Wenger (past Chair of the AILA San Diego Chapter)
Ginger Jacobs (San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium)
Miko Olsen Tokuhama (Legal Aid San Diego)
Shalini Kedia (past Lawyers Club Board Member)
Marlene Stanger (past Lawyers Club Board of Directors)
Tammy Weisser (past Lawyers Club Board Member)
Carmen  Chavez (Casa Cornelia Law Center)
Brigid Campo
Aziz Asmar
Lisa Kay Baughman
Jon Brenner
Matthew Cannon
Nooria Faizi
Katherine Fleming
Leah Hurwitz
Mike Klein
David Leatherberry
Michael Lees
Gary Laturno
Dessi Nintcheva Day
Patrick Martin
Fabiola Navarro
Vino Pajanor
Gary Perl
Frann Setzer
Angelica Sciencio (San Diego La Raza Board Member, SDCBA Immigration Law Chair, Lawyers Club San Diego Diversity Women’s Group Co-Chair)
Ronson Shamoun
John Shorkey
David Schlesinger
Monica Slev
Susan Swan
Jonah Toleno (immediate past President of the Filipino American Bar Association)