Deborah E. Velez Cardec, Esq.

Deborah E. Velez Cardec is an attorney at the Kokolakis Law Firm, PLLC. A Native Spanish speaker, Deborah was born and raised in Puerto Rico. Her multicultural background and international experience enable her to understand different perspectives and reach creative solutions, which she uses to advise and assist clients in different areas of the law.

From an early age, Deborah was interested in understanding how people worked together and figuring out ways to help resolve their problems. Deborah was able to gain and develop her organization, leadership, planning and problem solving skills while receiving her B.A. in Sociology from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus. During her undergrad years she served as Vice President of the Sociology Student Union where, in addition to planning meetings and assisting students and faculty, she worked in organizing the Annual Social Science Research Symposium. She also worked as a research assistant studying the impact of tourism in the coastal community, as well as traveling to China as a member of the Anthropology delegation of the International Scholars Laureate Program.

Building on her Sociology background and looking to further develop her skills, Deborah decided that obtaining a legal education would be the best way to help people in different aspects of their lives. She moved to New York to attend the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University where, apart from the core legal courses, she made sure to include courses that would help her understand her future clients needs, including Race and the Law, Advance Immigration and Spanish for Lawyers. After her first year in law school, Deborah was a Public Policy intern at Immigration Equality in Washington D.C., where she worked with other non-profit organizations and members of Congress towards gaining immigration benefits for the LGBT community. During her time in D.C., she also had the opportunity to volunteer with the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC) Advocacy Day as well as the National Stonewall Democrats Convention. Deborah also worked as a legal intern at PRC Avvocati, in Florence, Italy, and participated in the International Criminal Law Program at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law in Freiburg, Germany, which focused on the intersection of immigration and criminal law.

Since she arrived in New York, she was an active member of the Latino/a Law Student Association, serving as Vice President of the organization. Deborah is also a Founding Member and Alumni of MetroLALSA Inc., a non-profit organization of Latino law students and attorneys focused on raising the voice and presence of latinos in the law and helping the latino community in the New York/New Jersey area. Deborah also volunteers with organizations like CARECEN and NYLAG, assisting the community in immigration matters.

In her spare time, Deborah is an avid sports fan, and is part of the directive of the Real Madrid Supporters Group in NYC, and a season ticket holder of the New York Cosmos. She also enjoys traveling , going to Broadway shows and visiting museums and parks in New York City.

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