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Avila Zepp

Associate
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Bio

Avila was born and raised Naples, Florida and received her Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Communications from Boston College in 2012. During her undergraduate studies at Boston College, Avila developed a strong interest in immigration law and had the opportunity to travel to Central and South America, in addition to studying abroad at the Universidad de Carlos III in Madrid, Spain.

Upon graduating from Boston College, Avila joined Joyce & Associates, P.A., a Boston-based immigration law firm managed by a retired federal immigration judge specializing in family-based immigration matters. As a Spanish interpreter and paralegal at Joyce & Associates, Avila gained invaluable experience working on a variety of immigration cases and regularly interpreted for client appointments and application interviews with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. This experience confirmed Avila's passion for immigration law and her desire to advocate for clients seeking legal status in the United States.

Upon returning to Florida, Avila attended the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where she graduated cum laude in 2017, receiving recognition for outstanding academic performance in Immigration Law; Interviewing, Counseling, & Negotiation; and Employment Discrimination courses. During her time in law school, Avila volunteered with the Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Clinic, assisting clients with filing injunctions and U-visa and lawful permanent residence applications. Avila also served as Executive Research Editor for the University of Florida Journal of Law and Public Policy.

During her summers in law school, Avila worked as a summer associate with Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen, & Loewy LLC, an international immigration firm specializing in employment-based immigration matters representing both individual and corporate clients. During her time at Fragomen, Avila drafted documentation and immigration filings on behalf of Fortune 500 companies and executives, small businesses, startups, nonprofit organizations, and individuals.

Prior to joining Maney Gordon Zeller, Avila served as a staff attorney for the 13th Judicial Circuit of Florida, where she advised and worked with judges, writing judicial opinions and orders ruling on a variety of pre-trial, trial, and post-conviction matters in circuit court.

Avila is a member of the Florida Bar and is an active member of the Hillsborough Bar Association, American Immigration Lawyers Association, Hillsborough Association of Women Lawyers, and Pinellas Association of Women Lawyers and a proud supporter of Bay Area Legal Services. Avila also serves as a co-chair of the Young Lawyers Division's Youth Projects Committee, which sponsors events throughout the year for at-risk children in conjunction with nonprofit organizations throughout the Tampa bay area. Avila also enjoys volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay.

Publications: Restorative Justice in the Context of Intimate Partner Violence: Suggestions for its Qualified Usage as Supplementary to the Criminal Justice System, 28 U. Fla. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 193 (2017).

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