About Us



Attorney Deborah J. Townsend has been practicing U.S. Immigration Law exclusively since 1980. Following her graduation from Albany Law School of Union University in 1979, she first served as a VISTA attorney with the Haitian Refugee Center in Miami, Florida and then as a staff attorney with Legal Services of Greater Miami, Immigration Law Unit, for approximately two years. Thereafter, she was employed as an associate and later as a partner with the law firm of Hendry, Stoner & Brown, P.A. until 1991. From 1992 – 1994, she was a partner in the immigration law firm of Holmes, Khatri & Townsend, P.A. Since 1994, Deborah has practiced as a sole practitioner as Deborah J. Townsend, P.A. She is of counsel at the law firm of Urban Thier Federer & Chinnery, P.A. with offices in Orlando, London, and Munich. She is also of counsel to the law firm of Shorstein, Lasnetski & Gihon, P.A., with offices in Jacksonville and Altamonte Springs, Florida.
Deborah is one of the founding members of the Central Florida Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA CFC) in which she has held the positions of Chapter Chair, Member, Board of Directors and Advocacy Committee Chair/Co-Chair. She has also served as the Orange County Bar Association Immigration and Naturalization Committee Chair; the Florida Bar International Law Section Immigration Committee Co-Chair and USCIS Texas Service Center Liaison Committee Co-Chair.

Deborah has a passion for legislative advocacy. She firmly believes that it is not enough to merely practice immigration law if one truly cares about clients. It is also necessary to advocate for them legislatively. For many years, she has advocated on behalf of Comprehensive Immigration Reform by personally meeting with Congressional offices in Washington, D.C. and locally, as well as encouraging others to contact their Congresspersons and Senators. She has also spoken to many civic and political groups about the need for legislative reform and written op-ed articles on the topic.
As previously mentioned, she has been Florida Bar Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law since 1996, was chosen as a Florida “Super Lawyer” from 2006-2009 and again in 2015 and 2016 and received the American Immigration Lawyers Association Central Florida Chapter’s awards for “Excellence in the Practice of Immigration Law” and “Outstanding Contributions to the Practice of Immigration Law” in 2011 and 2009, respectively.