Genevra W. Alberti
Genevra is The Clinic’s attorney and a fearless litigator in Immigration Court. She grew up in North Carolina and received undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Italian Language from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), and is proficient in Italian. She graduated with honors from UNC in 2005 and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. After spending three years working in New York City as a paralegal and traveling, Genevra attended law school at Washington University in St. Louis, from which she graduated cum laude in May 2011.
Even before graduating, Genevra was able to obtain experience in immigration law: she worked for an immigration firm in St. Louis, Missouri during the summer of 2009, and then for the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) in Brussels, Belgium during the summer of 2010. She also interned for the Federal Public Defender’s Office in St. Louis during her second year of law school – an experience that has been useful to her as an immigration attorney.
Genevra moved to Kansas City in August 2011. She initially began working for Sharma-Crawford Attorneys at Law as a volunteer attorney, then officially joined the firm in November 2011, and then transitioned to The Clinic when it opened in January 2012. Genevra has worked on a wide array of complex and nuanced immigration cases since becoming the attorney for The Clinic. She has focused her practice on representing low-income noncitizens – detained and non-detained – facing removal proceedings in the Kansas City Immigration Court. She has also presented on a variety of immigration-related topics at multiple national and local conferences, frequently provides Know Your Rights presentations in the community, and is a contributing author to the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Litigation Toolbox, 5th Ed. (2016) and 6th Ed. (2019).
Genevra is licensed to practice law in Missouri and Kansas, and is also admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the United States and the Federal Appeals Court for the Eighth Circuit. She is a member of AILA and of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association. She serves as the Missouri-Kansas AILA Chapter’s pro bono liaison and as one of the chapter’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) liaisons. She also serves on the steering committee for the Deportation Defense Legal Network (DDLN), a local nonprofit dedicated to providing pro bono legal representation in bond proceedings for detained noncitizens in Missouri and Kansas.
In 2019, Genevra was selected as a Super Lawyers Rising Star.
Jennifer Lopez de Gonzalez
Jennifer was born and raised in Kansas City and joined The Clinic in 2014 as its only administrative assistant. The Clinic has become Jennifer’s passion, and her energy and enthusiasm for helping indigent clients facing removal proceedings is a force to reckoned with. In 2016, inspired by so many of The Clinic’s clients and wanting a better future for herself, Jennifer worked to graduate High School. She spends her free time caring for her two small children and her family. Although Jennifer was born in the United States, the majority of her family is from Durango, Mexico. Jennifer is fluent in both Spanish and English.
Rekha is the President of The Clinic’s Board and a passionate advocate for immigration rights as it applies to the fair application of the law. With broad experiences as an assistant district attorney and practicing attorney, Rekha is a frequent speaker and lecturer on matters of immigration law. Representing clients whose cases garnered high-profile media attention, Rekha has the ability to articulate the law and its implications to all audiences.
Rekha received her Juris Doctorate from Michigan State University College of Law in 1993. She has been an assistant district attorney in Sedgwick County, KS and in Douglas County, KS. Rekha is licensed to practice law in the states of Kansas, Texas, and Michigan, and has been practicing in the immigration litigation field since 2000. She is admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, District of Kansas, Western District of Missouri, and the Federal Appeals Courts for the Fifth, Seventh, Eighth, Tenth and Eleventh Circuits. Rekha is also a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Texas Bar Association, Kansas Bar Association, and Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association.
Rekha is a frequent instructor at the American Immigration Law Foundation Litigation Institute. She has also lectured about immigration law to the Johnson County Bar Association, Kansas Bar Association, and Kansas and Missouri Public Defenders.
Rekha has been involved with cases in municipal, state and federal courts, the Circuit Courts of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. She has been successful in appeals before the Board of Immigration Appeals and has successfully argued before the Circuit Court of Appeals. Rekha has also been successful in litigation against a law enforcement agency that was detaining immigrants beyond their statutory authority.
W. Michael Sharma-Crawford
Michael is the Treasurer of The Clinic’s Board and is an aggressive litigator and compassionate advocate of fairness in immigration law. As a former law enforcement officer, Michael has a deeper understanding of the challenges of immigration law enforcement, detainment issues and litigation. Michael frequently handles complex immigration proceedings where current statutes require greater experience and understanding.
Michael received his Juris Doctorate from Washburn University in 2002. The practice of law, while a second career, was not far from his beginnings as a law enforcement officer. Michael “served and protected” the citizens of Sedgwick County, Kansas for 15 years before he went on to fulfill his dream of becoming a member of the Bar. He is admitted to the District of Kansas, to the Federal Appeals Court for the Second, Seventh, Eighth and Tenth Circuits, and to the Supreme Court of the United States. Michael also serves on the Board of Directors for Kansas Legal Services. His past service includes the Advisory Committee for the ABA Commission on Immigration and as a member of the USCIS Field Operations Liaison Committee for AILA.