Hello, I’m the founder of winning Wednesday, and today’s guest is Rashawn car. Raj came to the United States when he was eight years old, he went through the immigration process to obtain his legal permanent residence. He later became a US citizen. This actually drove him to become an immigration lawyer. Raj also graduated magna colada from Toro Law Center in 2012, and was later admitted to the National Bar Association in 2013. From 2014 to 2016. He served as the chair of the MA immigration Committee of the National Bar Association. And in 2019, he served as a started working for a Toro Law Center as assistant director for academic development. He has also worked as an adjunct professor teaching immigration law, and he’s maintained his practice on the side while working for Toro Law Center. And in 2021, he came back into full practice full time. And Raj has experience in all areas of immigrations of law, including, but not limited to Cancellation of Removal, asylums, deportation to fans, however, his main area of focus is employment based immigration. He has handled both immigration and non immigration employment based cases. Hi, Roger, welcome to winning on Wednesday.
Thank you for having me. Yeah, I’m doing well. How about yourself? Very good.
So tell me about, I always like to what start off the conversation about how you got started. And I always like to start asking about your folks about your parents. Tell us a little bit about your parents about what they did for a living, because this gives you an idea of where you are now. So tell us about your parents about what they do for a living?
Yeah, absolutely. You know, my dad was actually an attorney in India. And the way he got started was when he became an attorney in India, he used to participate in the moot court competitions. moot court competitions are you know, where you go, you have a moot case in front of you, and you do your research and you make your arguments. So he was actually part of the moot court competitions in India, and he represented the entire country of India, when in when he came to Washington, DC. So that’s how we got started, you know, on his attorney journey, so in 1989, he actually won the whole India contest that he was chosen one or two people chosen to represent India, in Washington, DC. And when, you know, that’s how he got started. It’s an amazing story. And when he came in, people were so you know, there were a lot of universities who were looking at trying to see, you know, prospective people. So when he came in, the University of St. Louis actually was so impressed by them. They said that they would give him a scholarship if he was to come to us and do this LLM here. And, you know, this was after he was married after I was born. So in 1991, when I was about six, six years old, he decided to come to St. Louis University. He did his LLM here, and he got a scholarship. Even with the scholarship, he was working part time to make ends meet. And, yeah, that’s how he got started. He completed his LLM. And after he did that, he brought his about my mom and over here to the US, and I came here in 1994. I was eight years old,
and your mom, what did your mom do?
So, in India, she was a housewife. You know, she’s my dad. Yep. And but here, she’s actually a paralegal for a firm you know, she does a lot of work, the backend work that you don’t see filling out the forms the nitty gritty of it all she does help us with that. So it is a truly a family.
I was just about to say that I was just like I say wow, it is truly family business that you know, your father’s the attorney and your mom is you know, they handle all the administration work on the back end. That’s truly amazing. And now that you’re a lawyer, and it tells me right when you were seven What did you want to do? What did you want to grow up as a career? Is it the always the aspire to become like your father, or was it something else? Did you have an idea when you were like seven?
You know, I always joke, because when I was seven, I actually wanted to be I wanted to be an astronaut. And unfortunately, I couldn’t because it turned out that I’m colorblind. So that’s one of the things you actually need to be part of the Air Force, at least from what I tried to apply it everything They gave me a colorblindness test. And it turned out that I am colorblind. So I was unable to pursue that career. I always joke that my father did not want wanted me to pursue this career, he tried to persuade me from being an attorney. He wanted me to go into the teaching field, I had a very strong point in math. But you know, I always wanted to follow his footsteps. And that’s how I didn’t listen to his advice, which which kid listens to their parents advice?
And I’m fascinated by colorblind. So tell us a little bit about that. Are you certain, are you able to see certain colors? Or how are you able to see that? And has that been an advantage or disadvantage to you? How and how will you be able to cope with that?
Yeah, I mean, it depends on the colorblindness for me is not super bad. It is certain points in the day. I have a really hard time during the dusk and dawn, just the sunset, and suddenly it really messes with my eye. At that at those points. I really have to be careful. But yeah, you know, you need to have a perfect color vision in order to join the airforce. So the, as I said, that’s one of the reasons I was disqualified. But yeah, it hasn’t interfered with my life too much. But I just have to be careful during dawn and dusk.
Wow. It’s interesting. I know that nowadays they have these technology. Now they have this special glasses that for colorblind people that they can actually see real color by these special glasses. There. It’s the technology’s amazing what’s coming out in the future for correcting this and all that. I mean, I did I had LASIK when I was in my 20s. So and I only see 20 I mean over 50. And, you know, was it to 2010 by 20 by 20. And I see 15 by 20, a guy like eagle eyes? And tell us Did you have any role models when you were growing up or like anybody that inspired you?
I mean, my father was always the person who inspired. As I said, even though he kind of pushed me away from becoming an attorney. Because I don’t want that to sound bad. It he kind of pushed me away, because he knew that my strong point was in teaching and math. But he was my role model. You know, as I said, this story is really inspiring. The baby came here the way deep work themselves from the bones, really, you know, he worked self help from the ground up. So when I heard his story that’s I wanted to follow in his footsteps. You know, that’s why I became an attorney, even though he told me to go into teaching. He’s always been my role.
Wow. And what the all these achievements that your father’s has done, tell us about about your achievements, any achievements that you have done in your point your life, they got you excited.
I mean, one of the achievements is just to be in helping people. You know, I’ll give you an example. What really made it worthwhile for me to become an attorney. We had a client who was from Portugal. And he went to, I can’t even you know, a lowball figure, maybe like five to six attorneys who pretty much told him, nothing could be done his case. And because the last resort came to us. And, you know, we started asking questions, and he’s been here since 1999. And about four years ago, we were able to get his green card, when nobody else told him it was possible. And not only him, his wife also got the green card. And the first thing you know, he did when when we had the green card, I called them, I said, I have the physical green card in my hand, they built it out to us. And he came in, he started crying. And he said, You know, I haven’t been worshiping him almost 20 years. And the first thing we did was go back visit his family. And that was a good achievement for us. Because, as I said, we went to five or six attorneys who told him it was impossible. And I wish I could tell you the story was unique, but it’s not, you know, we deal with this type of clients every day when other attorneys are possible. And we do that we help them. I mean, I wouldn’t be lying to you, if I said we can help 100% of people. But you know, nobody can do that. But the fact that we can help certain people who have gone to other attorneys, and they haven’t been able to do anything, I think that’s an achieve. I think that’s a great achievement, whichever.
And it’s about setting expectations as well. And and, you know, it seems that you’re really passionate of what you do. Tell us Are there any other things that you’re passionate about? Do you have any other hobbies or interests?
Yeah. You know, when I graduated from undergrad, I actually did my majors in math and theater, which a lot of people don’t know about. And whenever I tell that to people, their eyes usually go wide. It’s like how’s that so opposite ends of the spectrum. And it’s you do math and theater in that sense, because I liked it. It actually helped me become a better person that theater Did you because it pushed me out of my shell. Because you know, being an attorney, you have to be a really people’s person, you have to talk in front of the judge, and I wasn’t really shy person growing up. So the theater really helped me get out of my bubble. And now, I love public speaking. I don’t know a little tidbit of the fact here. More people are afraid of dying, that they are public speaking public speaking is number one, fear and dying is number two.
I get as I heard about that, too. And for me, it’s opposite.
I Love Public Speaking battle because of my theater background. So because of my theater background, I also do like a little dabble instead of comedy. I write I do poetry. And I’m a self taught musician. So all those things, you know, really, I do that my spare time?
Wow, it sounds like a renaissance man. So tell us about your about your last night to five job? What was it before you decided to go on your own?
The last time I did my job was I did. Even though my dad is an attorney, I did venture out trying to get experience in other firms. Because I wanted to expand my horizons. Because yes, we don’t we do one type of immigration, I wanted to get experienced the other type of immigration. So I did work for other firms. So that was my last night.
I got it. And what decided to I mean, made you decide to come back home, and work for the family business.
It’s just it gives me so much more freedom, you know, to help people the way I want to help people. You know, when you’re working for other law firms, when you’re working for the corporate world, it’s always about what they want, you know, it’s always about their expectations, meeting their standards, meeting their expectation, you know, retaining a certain number of clients, things like that, and I was to happen, because for me, it’s not about the number it’s about, it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. So what I have my freedom to, to tell people like, Listen, I’m sorry, save your money, and I can’t do anything for you. That means a lot more to me than, you know, getting like five times in a week, because at least I’m honest, at least I can tell them. There’s nothing I can do. You know, and a lot of people appreciate that, you know, the perfect examples. I recently had a client that I’m sorry, nothing I can do to save your money. And he was so happy with me being honest, he actually referred us three or three more people. And we were able to help even though I wasn’t able to help him, I was able to help his friends and family. And that means a lot to me than anything else, the ability to pick and choose who I can tell people honestly, like I can’t do it.
Sorry. Wow. Right, it sounds like you’ve given us some piece of valuable information. And speaking of valuable information, what piece of information you can give our listeners that you can share that can help them or they has helped you in your business that become a better business person that can help our listeners.
Just being a better business person, it’s just being about honesty, in this moment that taught me is about talking to people with their human beings, you know, many of these, that’s one of the reasons I’m not a fan of like the corporate world, because when you go into these corporate settings, you you become a number or you become a file number. And that’s not who I am, you know, it’s about connecting with people, it’s about talking to them, no matter who they are, no matter if they’re, you know, computer technician or somebody else, it doesn’t matter, you know, you have to talk to them, like their human being, to talk to them, like their fellow human being. And that’s the best advice I’ve gotten. And that’s what is instilled to me, you know, by my parents. And that’s led me a long way. You know, that’s probably a long way.
Wow. And do you belong to any organizations or any, any part of organizations they belong to that, that has helped your business grow?
I mean, the point of the bar association with 30 years, but I’m also part of, culturally speaking, because I’m from India, especially from Bangalore, we speak Canada, in Bangalore. So being part of that organization, of course, has also helped me because people trust as you say, people make doing business with what they like and trust their own ethnicity. So, you know, yeah, those organizations being part of that ethnic group has helped me a lot.
And tell us about because I know you’re a part of WoW, and you’re part of the board, and you’re the legal counsel. Wow. Tell us about some of the stories of wow, that has impacted you or some experience from well,
no one has been great. Just working with different people. Just meeting a diverse group of people, I, one of the stories I have with WoW is, as you know, I also taught in a mosque event for a while, for a couple of years, I was the assistant director of academic support and academic development, where we talk to the bar exam. So I had interactions with a bar students, people who are just ready to graduate taking the bar and ready to pass. And, you know, I had many students who I told them, networking is key, and I walked them into WoW, and I’m telling you like the one student I brought in, she emailed me the next day after lunch, she’s like, this is the greatest thing I’ve ever experienced, the breakout rooms, everything is great, even though she said, You know, I wasn’t gonna pass it in because it was virtual. But once she got started, she loved it. She loved every aspect of it, even though it was virtual issues with more people. And I guess that’s the story of power, right? You, you connect with more people, and you connect with value people. And I wish I could tell you she was the only student but she’s not I have many students who I tell them that networking is key. And when they come to wow, they like it. They really do. And it’s it’s a different type of networking, which I think people appreciate.
Well, thank you. Thank you for that. And And now tell us a little bit about your services. What do you offer? Tell us about your law firm and the history real quick. And, you know, tell us about what what types of services that you have to offer.
So what we do is employment based immigration, and we say we’re an immigration law firm. Yes, we do. The deportation side of it, but a large majority of our cases of the women based immigration. And the reason we do that is because now people understand how powerful immigration, I can tell you the story after story about how they’re able to help people, I’ll give you one quick story where we met this person in Colombia. And he was saying he wanted to be in the US, he was ready to pay coyotes to help them cross the border. And after talking to them, you know, first thing I said is obviously don’t do that. You’re risking your life and your family’s life. But talking to him, he realized he had a business. And we were able to use the business to help him bring himself and his family over to the US. And when I told him about it, he said, You know, I talked to five different attorneys, nobody knows. Nobody knows about the employment based immigration. So that’s what we focus on, you know, we focus on employment based immigration is because, again, it’s a powerful Avenue, which a lot of people don’t do, or a lot of people don’t know. And even professors, they have a hard time understanding this concept. And I’m thankful because as I said, I work with my father has been doing this for 30 years. And he is teaching me like the ropes of employment based immigration. And that’s what we’re trying to spread the word. You’re trying to spread the word that this is a powerful Avenue. Yes, not a lot of people qualify. I mean, I’m sorry, a lot of people do qualify, but they just don’t know about it. Once we start talking to people, we realize, oh, you know, we can be very creative. And in some instances, we have been able to use employment based immigration, to get people out of immigration. And that’s, you know, that’s where I think my experience comes in. And it’s very unique, because I’m able to connect the deportation side with the employment based immigration. And when I tell people, I’m able to get you out of court, so you don’t go in front of a judge and get you the green card in another way. They’re so happy to do it. They can it’s not everybody, of course, you know, it’s not like every run of the mill persons do, you know, qualifies for this. But the people who do qualify, yeah, we can do this. And as I said, not everybody knows about this. So employment based immigration is very, very powerful. So I would, that’s why I’m spreading the word about about this, you know, talk to them, talk to us get a second opinion, there might be avenues that you have no idea about. And I run into this every day where people have gone through one avenue, and they tell me, I don’t even know about this other app. And if I did, I would spend so much time and money and effort are going through the other avenue there there is no outcome or there is no real outcome. So, you know, that’s what we do. We do employment based immigration. And it’s, as I said, it’s a very powerful avenue that a lot of people don’t take advantage of.
And why a lot of your listeners might not know this, but you and I are friends and we’ve been also your my one of my clients. We’ve been working for years now. And recently he just received a client and about what I will tell you tell the listeners about what happened with the with the Bollywood star.
Yeah, so recently what happened, it was really out of the blue. And it was one of those surprises. It’s a pleasant, very happy surprise. So we got a call from a prospective client. And he called us and we were talking to him. And as I’m talking to them, I realized that he’s the he’s a major star in India, a major movie star in a major, you know, one of the shows, daytime shows, and I asked him, you know, how did you hear about this? Because I was expecting referral word of mouth, because less people like him. You know, that’s what you expect. You expect them to come from other businesses, other referrals, and he said, No, I found you online. You know, I did my research online. And you were, you were one of the first people I looked into, and I do the website, you know, I could tell like you were in person have a good background, and just from the website itself, he was able to connect with us. And once he started talking to us, you know, it was like, almost like, a shoo in, so to speak. So that’s how we found us, he found us online.
Okay, can you tell us a little bit about that law that is in place right now, that might or some listeners who are artists and professionals entertainers might not be aware of this law?
Yeah, and it’s, it’s called the EB one category. EB stands for employment based first category. And you know, EB one has a lot of subcategories, but the major category that a lot of people want to look into, it’s for artists, it’s for musicians, actors, athletes. You know, a lot of people like, for example, you have people that somehow act Justin Bieber, just to name a few. And even Shakira, for example, they come under the EB one category, because they’re artists or musicians, they’re athletes. And there’s the it’s a specialized use of carved out just for for them, to make it easier for them to get their green card. So if you’re an artist, if you’re a musician, or an athlete, talk to us, or, you know, do your research not do that, you’d be one research. And you’ll see it’s a specialized visa, just carved out just to help people.
I wasn’t aware it was for athletes. I mean, there’s so many athletes that come to the United States, and the fact that they could get a green card just because of their they’re an athlete or entertainer that’s truly amazing. And, and just out of the listeners, I mean, what’s the average cost about that? You know, for that to something like that? Because I know, people always wanted to know, the cost. Is there any cost about that?
Yeah, I mean, you know, I’m not gonna lie to you. This immigration. employment based immigration is a little bit on the expensive side. But as I said, it’s expensive because now people do you truly getting paid for, and you’re getting the 30 years of experience in our firm. So you know, you’re looking at a call ballpark figure between 10 and 15,000.
And the reason I bring that up is because you quite hear all the time that that’s how much immigrants pay coyotes, they pay anywhere to 1015 20,000 to cross the border illegally. This is illegal way, by doing the same thing, but more productive and more legally, you don’t I mean, so it to me, it fascinates me my mind that these would rather pay somebody who’s a complete stranger all this money and lose their money, where they could go the legal route, and do it the right way, and paying somebody like you and attorney that will do the right thing.
No, absolutely. You know, now that you put it that way, absolutely. You know, people already spend 20,000 to risk their lives, crossing the desert, crossing the border with their family. But if you talk to us, we can do that the legal way. So it’s, you know, if you’re ready to spend 20,000 on this, you might qualify for this, you know, a completely legal route, not only for yourself, but also for your spouse, also for your children under 21. So it’s a pretty big thing, you know, so, yeah, that’s
why that’s why Yeah, that’s why I bring it up because again, don’t risk your life, you know, and there’s a lot of people that risk alive, and they pay 1000s and 1000s of money and they risked their lives just to get their dream the American dream and be part of it. But you know, there are laws and ways to go around their their loop laws, but you have to educate and learn and I and unfortunately, a lot of these people are not educated and they don’t know and I think by knowing information and knowing this, we could probably even save lives and deter people to risking their lives to crossing a desert crossing a river from drowning or exposure, whatever. risking their kids or family, do it the right way, you know, and the legal way. And if people want to know learn about more about you, Raj, what is the best way to contact you?
The best way to contact us is go to Shankar law.com, you’ll find us, you know, your paragraph or profile there. We have our number, we have our email addresses there, that’s the best way. So you’re also going to the website, it also gives you a sense of what we’re about, it gives you a sense of, you know what we do. So you get a sense, you get to see, you get to see our background. So check them out, that is probably the best way to go their purpose.
Okay. And just for the listeners, can you just tell us the telephone number so they can just if they need to call make the consultation, they hear this? They want to hear a call you immediately what’s the best number to reach you at?
The best number is 347-416-6825. And that’s my direct number. You can call me you can talk to me if you have any questions. As I said, I’m an educator. I’ll be happy to tell you a lot of information about it. So again, the number is 347-416-6825.
All right, all right. Well, thank you so much. This has been great. You’ve been informative, and it’s been a very informative interview. Thank you so much for this Racz
No, thank you for having me.