Staff Members

Nereyda Gutierrez

Nereyda Gutierrez

Nereyda Gutierrez is a Legal Assistant with the Law Offices of Shirley Sadjadi, where she has worked since 2005.  Nereyda started with the firm as receptionist and was promoted to legal assistant based on her hard work and excellent rapport with our clients.  Nereyda was born in Mexico and raised in Elgin, Illinois, and is a graduate of Elgin High School.  Nereyda assists clients in all immigration matters the firm handles and provides the highest quality services to everyone she meets.

Marta Gomez

Marta Gomez has been a Legal Assistant with the Law Offices of Shirley Sadjadi since 2015. Marta began working in the immigration field as a volunteer in 1996 with a local nonprofit BIA accredited organization. Shortly thereafter, she became an immigration counselor where she assisted clients with various immigration matters.

Marta obtained her law degree from her native country of Peru, and has been an Illinois licensed real estate agent since 2001. Marta is fiercely passionate about serving others, so has always worked and volunteered with her church and her community since she immigrated to the United States. She strives to instill that same community spirit in her son Sammy, so takes him to community volunteer events whenever possible.

She believes all human beings deserve respect and understanding — “Mi corazón esta con la comunidad y los inmigrantes. There are no borders, no colors, or languages. My faith has showed me that Jesus’s ancestors were immigrants. Jesus was an immigrant and was accepted.” -Marta Gomez-

Andrea Nava

Andrea Nava

Andrea Nava is a Legal Assistant with the Law Offices of Shirley Sadjadi, where she has worked  since 2012 .  Andrea was promoted from our Receptionist in November 2015,  due to her excellent customer service skills and attention to detail.

Andrea is currently pursuing her Associates Degree at Elgin Community College.  Andrea was born and raised in Elgin, Illinois, and a first generation Mexican American.  She is bilingual in English and Spanish.

As the daughter of immigrants, Andrea has seen first hand the challenges all immigrants face while adapting to and working in a new country.  From the moment our clients walk through the door, Andrea strives to treat all our clients with the respect and efficiency they deserve.

Maria Pizana

Maria Pizana

Maria Pizana is Clerical Supervisor with  the Law Offices of Shirley Sadjadi.  Maria was promoted from Clerical Assistant. She was born in Mexico and has lived in Elgin since 2007.  Maria graduated from Larkin High School in Elgin, and is pursuing her Associates Degree in Accounting at Elgin Community College.  Maria is bilingual in English and Spanish.

Prior to joining our firm, Maria worked in customer service.  She always makes sure to give our clients the professionalism, respect and treatment they deserve and enjoys assisting immigrants like herself.

Elizabeth Alvarado

Elizabeth Alvarado

Elizabeth Dayanna Alvarado is a bilingual Legal Assistant with the Law Offices of Shirley Sadjadi. She first joined the firm as a legal intern in 2017, with a variety of responsibilities. In 2019, the Law Offices promoted Elizabeth to Legal Assistant where she assists attorneys in preparing applications for political asylum and work authorization.

Elizabeth graduated from North Central College with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with an emphasis in Criminal Justice, and is currently pursuing her Master of Science in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at DePaul University. She has conducted field research in Guatemala and meets frequently with clients from Mexico and Central America to assist them in documenting their stories of persecution and violence in their native lands. 

Elizabeth is passionate about serving others and protecting human rights as she has seen firsthand through Border Angels, her field research, and her own family the challenges immigrants and asylum seekers must face on a daily basis. She believes that increasing her knowledge in these areas and working directly with clients only makes her a better advocate.  Aside from being an advocate for immigrants, Elizabeth is an artist and roller-skater.

“Solo tenemos una vida. Una vida para hacer una diferencia, una vida para ayudar la humanidad, solo una vida. You’ve only got one life, so live it with purpose.” – Elizabeth Dayanna Alvarado

Hugo Salas

Hugo Salas

Hugo Salas is a bilingual Legal Assistant with the Law Offices of Shirley Sadjadi. Hugo has been with the Law Offices since 2017, when he interned while in college. 

In 2016, Hugo received his Associates Degree as a Paralegal from Robert Morris College.  He received his Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of Law Office Administration from Robert Morris College the following year, after realizing how passionate he was about the law, and its effect on people’s lives and in the pursuit of justice.    He believes working as a legal assistant in an immigration law firm allows him to not only work in the legal field, but also to work directly with immigrants and make a difference in their lives.    

As an immigrant himself, Hugo is passionate about fighting against the injustices he sees in our communities and against the negative stereotypes of immigrants.  He believes we can NEVER stay silent and MUST challenge people who support individuals and policies that deny who one is, what one does or who one loves.  In other words, it’s OK to disagree about liking pickles, but it is not OK to disagree about racism or basic humanity for immigrants.  Hugo  actively participates in community protests and and calls to action demanding change, making use of his background and education to move the conversation forward.  He believes that only through community pressure will our nation be able to begin to build a better future for everyone.

Tania Flores

Tania Flores

Tania Flores joined the The Law Office of Shirley Sadjadi as a Legal Assistant in 2019.  Although she was born and raised in Elgin, Illinois, she is proud of her Mexican heritage. 

Tania received her Associates Degree at Elgin Community College, and is currently pursuing her Bachelors in Sociology with a minor in Latin American and Latino Studies at DePaul University in Chicago.

Tania has seen firsthand the trauma families go through when a parent is threatened with deportation.  Her parents raised her to treat everyone as equal and the importance of living that value in everything you do.  Tania believes her personal experiences motivates her to do her part in assisting other people in similar circumstances and to seek justice for immigrants under the law.  She hopes to be an immigration attorney someday.

Arlette Garcia

Arlette García is the bilingual Lead receptionist with the Law Offices of Shirley Sadjadi, where she was worked since 2019. She was born in Mexic, but has lived in Elgin since 2001. Arlette graduated from Elgin High School is currently working toward her Associates Degree at Elgin Community College.

Arlette is passionate about working with the immigrant community to give them the respect, attention and understanding it needs in these unprecedented times. As an immigrant herself, Arlette knows through personal experience what it is like to move and adapt to a new country. She takes pride in her work and in treating clients with the service and attention they deserve.

Jennifer Jimenez


Margarita Sanchez

Margarita Sanchez works as a translator with the Law Offices of Shirley Sadjadi, translating all Spanish documents including letters, medical records, school records and other vital documents.  Margarita also assists the legal assistants in organizing documents for waiver packages.  She works closely with the entire staff to meet all deadlines.   

Margarita is currently in her second year of college and is pursuing a Bachelor of Political Science with a minor in environmental studies. Margarita’s ultimate goal is to become an immigration attorney so she can defend immigrants, be their voice, fight for the justice they deserve, and give back to her community.   She thinks it is important to add her voice, as women of color remain underrepresented in the legal field.  All of these factors continue to inspire Margarita to keep working hard until she accomplishes her goals.   

Margarita loves working with immigrants because she learns something new every day about the challenge’s they encounter daily. She believes her work with the Law Offices will allow her to gain even more experience and knowledge about immigration issues and processes so she can become an even better advocate for immigration rights.