Meet Our Team
Jose Perez, Esq. (B.A, J.D.)
Jose is admitted to practice law in New York, New Jersey, and Venezuela. Jose began his career as an attorney in Venezuela. Jose’s outstanding Venezuelan practice was recognized several times by the Miranda State Bar Association, which awarded him with honors in three different years.
In 2002, Jose decided to come to the United States to further develop himself academically and professionally. In 2004, Jose was admitted to Syracuse University College of Law, where he graduated cum laude. During law school, Jose clerked for a US District Court in Florida.
Jose joined the Smith Sovik law firm in 2007. Since joining the firm, Jose was involved in all areas of litigation. Jose has been and is a member of the Latin American Law Student Association; Hispanic National Bar Association; Black Law Student Association; DRI; American Bar Association; New Jersey State Bar; New York State Bar; Law Students in Action Project-Spanish Translation and Interpretation Assistance Team; Onondaga County Bar Association; AILA, among others.
In 2012, Jose decided to open his new and independent law firm. After opening the Law Offices of Jose Perez, Jose has been involved in all areas of litigation, including construction, labor and employment, premises liability, motor vehicle accidents, workers’ compensation, SSI/SSD, and immigration. Jose has been a speaker/panelist at numerous events dealing with his legal practice, Workers’ Compensation, and immigration issues. Jose also has a “Know-Your-Rights” column in the CNY Latino newspaper.
Jose has received numerous awards and recognitions in New York State:
- 2009 Latino Leadership Award;
- 2010 40 Under 40 Rising Latino Star in New York State;
- 2011 HNBA Presidential Pro Bono Recognition Award;
- 2011 40 Under 40 of Central New York;
- 2011 Service Award in Recognition of Outstanding Pro Bono Service;
- 2012 New York State Bar Association Empire State Counsel;
- 2013 Super Lawyers Upstate New York Rising Star;
- 2013 Keynote Speaker of the Opening Ceremony of the Onondaga County Hispanic Heritage Month;
- 2014, 2015 and 2016 Super Lawyers Upstate New York Rising Star;
- 2016 Keynote Speaker of the Opening Ceremony of the Syracuse University College of Law Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration
- 2017 Martindale Hubbell. Very High Rating in Both Legal Ability & Ethical Standards.
- 2017 Super Lawyers. Rising Stars.
- 2017 The American Registry. Top Ten American Professionals.
- 2017 Top Attorneys of Upstate New York. Rising Stars 2017.
- 2018 Martindale Hubbell. Very High Rating in Both Legal Ability & Ethical Standards.
- 2018 Top Attorneys of Upstate New York. Rising Stars 2018.
- 2018 The National Advocates. Top 40 Under 40.
- 2018 Worldwide Super Lawyers. SSI/SSD Law Firm of the Year.
- 2019 American Institute of Legal Counsel. 10 Best Immigration Attorneys. New York.
- 2019 Martindale Hubbell. 5 Anniversary 2014-2019. Rated BV Distinguished for 5 years. Very High Rating in Both Legal Ability & Ethical Standards.
- 2019 Martindale Hubbell. Very High Rating in Both Legal Ability & Ethical Standards.
- 2019 Acquisition International. 2019 Leading Adviser Awards. Leading Workers’ Compensation Lawyer of the Year, New York.; among others.
- 2019 Sonia Sotomayor Award by the Syracuse University College of Law and the Latin American Law Students Association.
- 2020 Martindale Hubbell Award. Very High Rating in Both Legal Ability & Ethical Standards.
- 2020 Global Excellence Awards – Most Influential Immigration Lawyer 2020 – New York. AI Acquisition International.
- 2020 Super Lawyer
- 2021 Elite Advocate
- 2021 Top 10 Immigration Law Attorney
- 2021 Super Lawyer
- 2021 Best of New York
- 2022 Lawyers of Distinction
Jose has dedicated countless hours to community service. Jose has been representing clients successfully before the immigration courts and the USCIS on a pro-bono basis. The Fifth Judicial District ProBono Action Now Program, a Probono program that was funded by the New York State Unified Court System, Catholic Charities of Tioga/Tompkins Counties, and The Worker’s Rights Group, a Syracuse task force, which advocates for immigrants in Central New York, have referred ProBono cases to Jose for representation in several fields.
Jose is the Vice-President of the Board of Directors of Nosotros Radio Inc. Nosotros’ mission is to provide quality Spanish & English language radio entertainment combined with on-air education for the encouragement and strengthening of the Latino community, and the promotion of intercultural sharing among Central New York’s diverse communities. Jose was also the Vice President of the League of United Latin American Citizens-(LULAC), Syracuse-NY-chapter, a Board Advisor of Syracuse University La Casita, and an Ad-hoc member of the Civil Rights Committee of Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse. Jose has appeared nationally on Telemundo and Univision.
BreAnna Avery, Esq.
BreAnna (Bre) graduated cum laude from Syracuse University College of Law in May of 2017. During law school, she interned and volunteered with the Volunteer Lawyers Project, Inc., externed with Judge Shkane, a Family Court Judge in Oneida County, and participated in the SUCOL Criminal Defense Clinic. During her last semester of law school, she participated in the New York State Pro Bono Scholars Program where she took the Bar Exam in February and then interned full-time the rest of the semester with the Oneida County Public Defender’s Office.
After law school, thanks to the Pro Bono Scholars program, she was admitted to practice in June of 2017 and immediately began working at the Madison Public Defenders as an Assistant Public Defender. She worked there until coming to the Law Offices of Jose Perez in January 2021. She worked diligently for criminal clients in Felony, Misdemeanor, and Violation of Probation cases, up to and including jury trials. Bre also continued to volunteer with the Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County, Inc. and in 2019, she was recognized by the organization with a Pro Bono Champion award.
Bre was born and raised in Central New York (Madison and Oneida Counties) before attending Utica College. She graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Criminal Justice in 2013. She is passionate about protecting the rights of the people of her community.
Associate (Pending Bar admission in NY)
Natasha graduated from the University at Buffalo, School of Law, in May of 2021. During law school she interned with the Honorable Judge Tracey A. Bannister, then Supreme Court Supervising Judge, who has since been appointed to the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, where she gained experience on a variety of civil matters. With the COVID-19 pandemic beginning in her second year of law school, Natasha joined the COVID Law and Community Engagement Clinic to give back to her community, representing and assisting clients on a variety of COVID-related relief matters, including unemployment hearings for workers laid off due to the pandemic.
Natasha was born and raised in Western New York and earned her B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Buffalo in 2018. She is fluent in Farsi and English, and is the proud first-generation-American child of two immigrant parents. Her passion for legal advocacy began when she read “Inherit the Wind” in middle school, and drew inspiration from her mother and older sister, who are both attorneys as well.
Tel. (315) 422-5673
Dicsia earned her law degree from the University of Habana Law School in Cuba, her native country. She practiced law in Cuba for 8 years working as a legal advisor of institutions of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment.
She immigrated to the United States in 2007 and established in the Syracuse, New York area since then.
She held different jobs from 2007 to 2014. In the summer of 2014, Dicsia was given the opportunity to work as an intern in the New York State Human Rights Division where she says she “fell in love with the legal investigation process” and help the Human Rights Specialists to interpret for Spanish speaking complainants.
Dicsia served as a volunteer for the Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County. She obtained certifications as a legal and medical interpreter in 2015.
In 2016 Dicsia completed her certificate program as a legal assistant at Bryant & Stratton College, where she also completed a notary public course.
In November of 2016, Dicsia was inducted to the ABG Honor Society in Bryant & Stratton College and graduated with honors on April 2017.
Dicsia is our legal assistant since 2015.
Languages: Spanish & English.
Jenniferd James was born and raised in Cuba and moved to Rochester, New York in January 2004. She graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 2013. After graduating she attended Shear Ego International School and obtained a Degree in Esthetics. Jenniferd started working as a Sales Associate for a major retail store until was presented the opportunity to work in a law firm office environment.
Her previous experience as a bilingual sales associative and customer service representative prepared her for the day to day tasks of a busy and exciting office environment.
Jenniferd joined the firm in June 2017 as a Bilingual Office Assistant in the Rochester’s Office to provide support handling client intake and initial call management. She is very excited about being a part of this team.
Languages: Spanish & English.
Maria Hernandez has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with concentration in Hospitality Management from the University of Puerto Rico, Carolina Campus in Puerto Rico.
She moved to Syracuse, NY in 2018 from Toa Baja, PR. For the past two years Maria worked as an Administrative Assistant for Catholic Charities. This work gave her great satisfaction being their main goal to help others in her community with compassion and dignity on a daily basis.
She is now providing translation and interpretation services with the Law Office.
Languages: Spanish & English.
Natacha graduated from Liverpool High School, in June of 2020. She was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania and raised in Syracuse, New York. She is seeking to expand her knowledge in the law community as she is interested in pursuing legal endeavors.
She wants to be part of something great and to give back to the community and those who need help. She has experienced firsthand the challenges in her community and environment and is the first in her family to have graduated on time as well to pursue a professional career.
She is fluent in English and Spanish.
Alex Sanchez is a current 3L at the University of Buffalo School of Law and is set to graduate in May 2022. His legal experience started in undergraduate when he interned in Family Court for Judge Kevin Carter in 2017. He interned with Vinal & Vinal in the summer of 2021 where he gained experience in representing plaintiffs/claimants and no-fault insurance law. He has also interned at the Harris Beach Law Firm in Business Commercial Litigation, and he completed an externship with Willkie Farr and Gallagher in the insurance regulatory practice group.
Alex was born in Buffalo and raised on the West Side of Buffalo. In 2019, he earned his B.A. In Criminal Justice and Spanish with a minor in Sociology from Canisius College. He speaks English and Spanish and is a first-generation American with his family being from the Dominican Republic. He aspires to be able to serve his community and people with his legal experience.
Languages: Spanish and English.
Chelsea Scott Barakat, Attorney at law in Panama
Chelsea began her career as an attorney in Panama where she handled transactional, corporate, and immigration matters in a transnational company.
In 2020, Chelsea was admitted to Syracuse University College of Law where she is currently a law student and member of the Latin American Law Student Association.
Over the summer of 2021, Chelsea interned at Bristol Myer Squibb in the Commercialization and Development Law & Market Compliance Department. Over fall 2021, she interned at Legal Services of Central New York, where she became interested in helping others in need. Chelsea has fallen in love with the Syracuse Community, and she is passionate about improving her legal skills to advocate for the people. She is expected to become an attorney in the United States and licensed in New York in 2022-2023.
Chelsea is fluent in English and Spanish.
Karola Castañeda is studying International Relations with a minor in Spanish at Syracuse University. She is currently specializing in International Law and Organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean region in Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
She’s on the path for law school and hopes to facilitate a more diverse representation and inclusion in the legal profession.
She is passionate about law and human rights, particularly pertaining to immigration.
Languages: Spanish & English.
Sofia Rossi is currently studying Citizenship and Civic Engagement & Policy Studies with a minor in Business and is a Reneé Crown Honors student at Syracuse University. Specializing in Health, Education, and Human Services in the Maxwell School, Sofia plans on translating her studies to a J.D. in public interest law to serve the Latinx community- specifically in the education sector.
Holding a diverse array of leadership positions both on and off-campus, Sofia currently serves on Cabinet for SU’s student government Student Association and on the Executive Board for SU’s both PanHellenic Executive Council and Dean’s Team. Sofia has dedicated her time as a student to serve the greater Syracuse community by working as a court-appointed volunteer at the Vera House where she processes orders of protection and as a programming intern at the Boys and Girls Club of Central Village.
While Sofia is a New York native, she hopes to one day settle in Washington D.C. and take her Brazilian-American background and legal experience to federal politics.