Founding Attorney

Lily S. Axelrod

Lily S. Axelrod is a Spanish-speaking immigration attorney whose practice focuses on family-based and humanitarian cases including deportation defense, waivers for individuals with histories of arrest or immigration complications, and federal litigation challenging unreasonable delays and unfair interpretation of immigration law.

Before founding Axelrod Immigration Law, Ms. Axelrod worked at Siskind Susser, one of North America’s leading immigration law firms. There, she had the honor to learn from some of the country’s brightest and most dedicated attorneys, and received national recognition among her peers for teaching complex and nuanced topics. After years of cheering on many of her own clients starting small businesses, Ms. Axelrod gained the confidence and inspiration to do the same. She founded Axelrod Immigration Law in December of 2022. 

Ms. Axelrod previously worked at the intersection of immigration law and criminal defense at Masferrer & Associates in Boston, Massachusetts.   She represented clients accused of felonies and misdemeanors before local, state, and federal courts, including appeals and post-conviction relief such as motions for new trial. She also defended clients in removal proceedings before the Boston Immigration Court, focusing on finding creative strategies for clients with criminal records.

Ms. Axelrod graduated with honors from Harvard Law School, where she served as President of the Harvard Immigration Project and an editor of the Harvard Latino Law Review. As a law student, Ms. Axelrod provided over 1500 hours of pro bono legal services through the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic, the Harvard Criminal Justice Institute, and Greater Boston Legal Services.  She also served as a legal intern with the Project on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ProDESC) in Mexico City.

Before law school, Ms. Axelrod was a paralegal at Siskind Susser, and a community organizer with an immigrants’ rights organization.  Ms. Axelrod earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy and Latin American Studies at Brown University, focusing her studies on immigration.  As an undergraduate, she spent eight months living in Mexico, studying the effects of immigration on social movements, and volunteering as a human rights observer in an indigenous Zapatista community facing displacement from their lands.

Ms. Axelrod serves as a liaison to the Memphis Immigration Court for the Mid-South Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association (AILA).  She also serves on AILA’s national Federal Litigation Section Steering Committee and Amicus Committee, and on the conference planning committee for AILA’s Asia Pacific chapter.  She is also a member of the International Bar Association (IBA), the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIP-NLG), and the Memphis Bar Association.

When she is not at work, Ms. Axelrod sings with the Memphis Symphony Chorus, explores the city and nature with her young daughter, and travels as much as she can with her husband, a Mississippi public school teacher and athletic director.