National Center for Lesbian Rights

Chelsea Haley Nelson

Chelsea E. HaleyNelson

Of Counsel, Immigration Project

Chelsea E. HaleyNelson serves as pro bono Of Counsel for NCLR’s Immigration Project. Chelsea is a California State Bar Certified Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law.  She graduated from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 2005 with a Certificate in Public Interest Law.  Before law school, she obtained an undergraduate degree from the University of California Santa Barbara in both Political Science and Security and Peace Studies.  Her legal practice focuses on complex deportation defense, criminal and detention issues, LGBTQAI+ applications, and federal court litigation.

In addition to her work with NCLR, Chelsea is a mentor attorney and regular panel speaker for the pro bono asylum program of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights (LCCR), a mentor attorney for the California Rural Legal Assistance LGBT program, a volunteer attorney with CLR. She presently serves on the BALIF Foundation Board and is an advisor to criminal defense counsel in the Bay Area regarding immigration consequences of criminal pleas and convictions.  Chelsea is the past Chair of the National Lawyers Guild, San Francisco-Bay Area Chapter’ Immigration Committee, past Co-Chair of BALIF, the Advisory Board of American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Northern California Chapter and on the Advisory Board of the NCCIJ.  Since 2011, Chelsea has been recognized by Northern California Super Lawyers as a Rising Star and Super Lawyer.  She regularly publishes and speaks on international human rights of women, LGBTQIA+ immigration, asylum, ethics, criminal issues and family-based petitions. Chelsea is a partner at HayleyNelson & Heilbrun, LLP.

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