Dallas immigration lawyer Cindy Kang Ansbach, who previously practiced at Haynes and Boone and Norton Rose Fulbright, left the small firm she owned to join well-known Dallas corporate immigration attorneys Harry Joe and Rebecca Massiatte at their firm.
With Ansbach’s arrival on Sept. 1, the JMO Firm is now the JMA Firm. (The “O” in JMO, Kelsey O’Keefe, left the firm in 2017.)
Ansbach practiced corporate immigration law at Haynes and Boone in Dallas for 10 years and then at Norton Rose Fulbright in Dallas for eight. She led the immigration practice group at Norton Rose, but in 2015 left to form Ansbach + Ghouse with Norton Rose associate Jeff Ghouse.
Ansbach said she has known Joe and Massiatte for a long time and they have talked about practicing together many times over the years. When Ghouse left their immigration boutique and the practice of immigration law, the timing was right to finally join her practice with Joe and Massiatte’s. Finally, she said, “everything fell into place.”
Joe and Massiatte formed JMO Law in 2014, after leaving Jackson Lewis in Dallas.
Ansbach said the immigration practice is a “volume practice” and she believes it works well in a smaller firm because that minimizes potential conflicts and also provides an easier fee structure. She said 90 percent of her work—obtaining appropriate work permits for foreign workers, such as H-1B visas, and green cards—is done on a flat fee, and that’s easier to do at a smaller firm.
Joe, who practiced at big firms in Dallas for more than 30 years before forming JMO Firm, agrees that corporate immigration work lends itself to boutiques. He agreed that boutiques have more flexibility and can avoid the conflicts that arise in a large-firm setting. “It’s surprising, but conflicts arise more often than you expect,” he said.
Joe said Ansbach brings substantial experience, dedication to client service and substantial credibility to the firm, and “we believe we can and will provide the base for her to continue to expand her practice.”
Ansbach declined to identify her clients, but said she does work for energy and oil and gas companies and also companies in the finance, technology, airline and logistics industries.
Joe and Ansbach each said they hope to hire more immigration lawyers at the firm.
“Our goal is to expand. We’d like to add on talented, gifted lawyers. There’s always room for them. We will make room for them,” Joe said.