Our firm is proud to have a diverse staff. We are from Jamaica, India, Colombia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Brazil. We have the distinct ability to empathize with clients and understand the complexities immigrants face in the United States as we are immigrants ourselves.
SODETTE KM PLUNKETT
Sodette Kay Marie Plunkett was born in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. She immigrated to the United States of America at the age of 11. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Spanish and Political Science from the State University of New York in Cortland, New York. While at SUNY Cortland, she studied abroad at the University of Salamanca in Salamanca, Spain, and at the Centro Bilingual in Cuernavaca, Mexico. She later earned her Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, New Jersey.
After Law School she was hired as the Immigration Staff Attorney for Catholic Charities in Paterson, New Jersey. There, she represented indigent Asylum seekers and women who were victims of Domestic Violence. Thereafter, she joined a leading Immigration firm in Manhattan as an Associate. She went on to serve as the Managing Attorney for the Immigration Program at La Casa de Don Pedro, a non- profit organization where she provided an array of legal services to the Immigrant Community.
In 2005, Ms. Plunkett opened her office in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Sodette K-M Plunkett, P.C. arose from her passion for immigrant's rights. She has successfully resolved cases where clients have had old removal and deportation orders and whose lives were at a standstill for years due to those orders. She has litigated and has been successful on many removal cases before Immigration Judges in the United States. In 2017, Ms. Plunkett successfully obtained asylum for an Ecuadorian General in a high profile, seminal case.
Ms. Plunkett is admitted to practice law in the State of New York and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and Jamaican American Bar. Ms. Plunkett is fluent in Spanish.
Attorney | Partner
Sumaira Khan is a Partner at Sodette K-M Plunkett & Associates. She graduated from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and English in 2004. Ms. Khan obtained a Juris Doctorate degree from University of Detroit Mercy School of Law in Detroit, Michigan in 2007. She has been admitted to the bar since 2007 and has specialized in Immigration and Nationality Law for over ten years.
Ms. Khan's practice includes representation of family based clients. She handles the firm's motion practice and has been instrumental in successfully reopening complex removal orders. She has also been the lead attorney in representing clients seeking I-601, Waivers of Inadmissibility and I-601A's Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers and has a high success rate in having these cases approved. Ms. Khan has worked on finding solutions to specialized issues for individuals seeking asylum and relief from removal proceedings. She has been victorious with asylum cases specifically dealing with persecution based on gender and sexual orientation.
Ms. Khan is admitted to practice law in the State of Michigan. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Ms. Khan is fluent in Spanish and Urdu.
Attorney | Senior Associate
Renee LaRosee is an Associate at Sodette K-M Plunkett and Associates, where she has worked since 2013. Ms. LaRosee earned her B.A. in 2007 from Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island. She obtained her her Juris Doctorate degree in 2013 from Rutgers Law School in Newark, New Jersey. While in Law School, LaRosee served as co-editor-in-chief of the Rutgers Conflict Resolution Law Journal and participated in the Constitutional Law Clinic. She gained experience as an intern at the Catholic Charities of the Arch Dioceses of Newark Immigration Program as well as at the Executive Office of Immigration Review in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
Her practice focuses mainly on Deportation Defense and Criminal Immigration matters with an emphasis on Asylum and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. Ms. LaRosee also handles the firm's employment based immigration matters including PERM, investor visas, religious worker visas and H-1B’s
Ms. LaRosee has been successful before the Appellate Division of New Jersey in reversing the decision of the Family Court Judge in Special Immigrant Juvenile Status cases for young people over the age of eighteen (D.G v. R.S.G. and L.L, decided May 2, 2016).
Ms. LaRosee is admitted to practice law in the State of New Jersey, U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
Senior Paralegal | Supervisory Case Manager
Ms. Lopez is a Senior Paralegal at Sodette K-M Plunkett & Associates, where she has worked since 2005. She supervises the firm’s immigration legal assistant team by assigning cases, training, and resolving issues associated with the support staff. She assists in all immigration matters including but not limited to Removal Defense, Family Petitions, Waivers, Asylums, VAWA petitions, Naturalization, and Consular Process. Ms. Lopez successfully assisted in preparing a complex Asylum case for an individual from Colombia, which was subsequently granted at the Asylum Office in Lyndhurst, New Jersey.
Ms. Lopez is an active member of Iglesia Cristiana Vida Integral located in Bound Brook, New Jersey. She is the founder of the women's ministry, "Vida Fitness" which teaches women to live a healthy life. In March 2018, with the support of the firm, Ms. Lopez made a mission trip to Cucuta, Colombia, a border city to Venezuela to provide support to individuals fleeing the country’s devastating conditions.
Ms. Lopez holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Arts in Criminal Justice from Thomas A. Edison State University in Trenton, New Jersey and an Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies from Union County College in Cranford, New Jersey. She is fluent in Spanish.
Senior Legal Assistant
Mr. Upegui is a Senior Legal Assistant at Sodette KM Plunkett & Associates, where he has worked since 2011. He served as director of the Citizenship Program from 2011 until 2015, conducting English classes and preparing clients for their Naturalization interviews. Mr. Upegui handles a broad array of Family based petitions including, Adjustment of Status, Fiancée Petitions, and Waivers. He is instrumental in obtaining criminal records from different state and federal agencies.
Mr. Upegui serves as a Pastor in his church, Iglesia Cristiana Vida Integral in Bound Brook, New Jersey, where he works actively in the community. His background lends him a special role in the office, providing emotional and spiritual support through prayer and counseling to clients in their difficult immigration journey. In March 2018, Mr. Upegui, with the support of the firm, made a mission trip to Cucuta, Colombia, a border city to Venezuela to provide support to individuals fleeing the country’s devastating conditions.
Mr. Upegui holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Ministry from Freedom Bible College and Seminary in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. He is fluent in Spanish.
Senior Paralegal | Supervisor
Ms. Mendez is a Senior Legal Assistant at Sodette K-M Plunkett & Associates, where she has worked since 2015. Ms. Mendez handles a broad array of Family based petitions including U-Visa’s, cases under the Violence Against Women Act, Waiver, and assisting the attorneys to prepare court packets for deportation defense.
Ms. Mendez holds an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice and Political Science from Middlesex County College in Edison, New Jersey. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice at Thomas Edison State University in Trenton, New Jersey. Ms. Mendez is fluent in Spanish.
Lead Legal Secretary
Ms. Vilchez is the Lead Legal Secretary at Sodette K-M Plunkett & Associates, where she has worked since 2015. As the manager of the front desk, she provides support to all clients, attorneys and paralegals. Ms. Vilchez has over 10 years of experience and prides herself in delivering exceptional customer service to every client she meets.
Her duties include managing the office calendar, handling all incoming calls and addressing concerns clients may have during the course of their case. She is also trained to assist with retainer agreements, FBI’S, FOIA’S and work permits.
Ms. Vilchez holds an Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies and Psychology from Union County College in Cranford, New Jersey. She is fluent in Spanish.
Ms. Ruiz is the Office Administrator at Sodette K-M Plunkett & Associates, where she has worked since 2015. Ms. Ruiz currently handles the administrative aspects of the office such as retainer agreements, creating client files, and collecting client payments. She assists the attorneys in various immigration cases including Asylum, Cancellation of Removal, and Naturalization.
Ms. Ruiz is currently a senior at Kean University working on her Bachelor’s Degree, majoring in Biology and Psychology, with a minor in Political Science. She will graduate in May 2019, after which she wishes to pursue a Juris Doctorate degree. Ms. Ruiz is fluent in Spanish.
Ms. Torres is a Legal Assistant at Sodette K-M Plunkett & Associates, where she has worked since 2016. Ms. Torres has worked within the area of Immigration and Criminal Law since 2008. She assists the attorneys in preparing Family Based Petitions, Consular Process, Naturalization, and Waivers.
Ms. Torres graduated from Essex County Vocational Technical High School in Newark, New Jersey. She is fluent in Spanish.
Ms. Zarza is a Legal Assistant at Sodette K-M Plunkett and Associates, where she has worked since 2017. Ms. Zarza assists in preparing Naturalization cases, FOIA requests, FBI background checks, and work permits. She has over 20 years of experience in customer service having worked as a Benefits Specialist at AKZO Nobel in Bridgewater, New Jersey.
Ms. Zarza holds an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration from Interamerican University in Puerto Rico. She is fluent in Spanish.
Mr. Tierra is a Legal Assistant at Sodette K-M Plunkett and Associates, where he has worked since 2018. He is responsible in assisting the attorney in Naturalization cases, Asylum and Adjustment of Status
Mr. Tierra graduated from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Criminal Justice. He would like to pursue his Juris Doctorate degree in the future. He is fluent in Spanish.