Meredith Barnette is a graduate of the Campbell University School of Law in Raleigh, North Carolina. She was recently honored by The Best Lawyers in America© and named to the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy and Legal Aid of North Carolina-Charlotte Pro Bono Honor Roll.
How long have you practiced immigration law?
I’ve been practicing for 16 years, in business immigration.
What drew you to the immigration law field?
I’ve always been interested in people’s stories, their history, as well as intrigued and curious about people that were different than me. That interest is what initially drew me to the field, but what kept me here is the nature of the work. The field is constantly changing, and sometimes there are limited options available, which makes practicing challenging, but at the same time stimulating and interesting. Each day and every case is different, it’s definitely not the same thing all the time.
What have you found most rewarding about working in immigration law?
It’s most rewarding when I’m able to show a client that there is a solution to their situation, an answer to their question.
Sometimes it takes some creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, but it’s satisfying and gratifying to be able to be the guide for clients through a somewhat tricky process.
What do you see as the most substantial challenges ahead in the complicated and ever-evolving environment around immigration law issues?
Long-term, we need new comprehensive legislation, but the challenge is getting Congress to agree on something, given the scope of immigration law.
Short-term, the most significant challenges for business immigration have been and continue to be the government’s adjudication process, not only in its interpretation of the regulations, but the time it takes to process an application or petition. There is some positive headway being made on both fronts.
What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not working?
I enjoy reading, traveling, being outdoors and playing with my kids (although playing video games with them is not my idea of fun!). I’ve also recently discovered knitting, it’s pretty meditative and relaxing, so I’m working on scarves and hats for everyone for the holidays.
What is your favorite movie or TV show? Why?
I love “It’s a Wonderful Life,” such a good message about how each of our lives touch so many other lives in a positive way.
I just finished watching both seasons of “Ted Lasso,” and really enjoyed it. I need entertainment with a good message these days.
What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
Most people that haven’t known me for a while don’t know that I have a twin sister. She lives about 20 minutes from me, and we see each other pretty often. She works in the medical field, so completely different career field than me.