Steve Clark has been the “go to guy” on business immigration for several decades; some even dubbed him the “labor certification guru.” Steve Clark is a name that has been recognized near and far in the world of immigration. But, unlike us, no one gets to claim him as their own; we’ve been blessed to have him as our founding partner, as “our Steve.”
Born September 22, 1944 in New York, Steve attended Yale University and then Harvard Law School. After law school, Steve took the path less travelled. He volunteered as a lawyer helping coal miners in Harlan County, Kentucky seek black lung benefits and found himself involved in a host of related mine worker issues later portrayed in the Academy Award documentary, “Harlan County: USA.” In 1976 he returned to Massachusetts to open his practice with Joseph Flynn, who had worked with him in Kentucky. Steve was immediately drawn to immigration law because he could continue to enjoy the satisfaction of helping people realize their dreams while at the same time mastering a complex and challenging area of law.
Helping immigrants was a family tradition for Steve. His grandfather immigrated from Russia in 1902 and Steve remembers his grandfather sponsoring waves of family member holocaust survivors in his youth. Before long Steve was practicing solely immigration law. There were few resources back then to learn immigration law, other than fellow members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). A number of members mentored him in the early days, and Steve devoted substantial time and effort in mentoring others, writing on immigration law issues, and advocating improvements in the law by government agencies and Congress.
In June 1999, he was installed as the national president of AILA where he successfully advocated for the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act (AC 21), the law which provided for additional H-1B visas and allows certain applicants for permanent residence to extend their H-1B status beyond the normal six-year limit. He authored over 100 publications on immigration topics, including employment-based petitions, PERM, H, O, and L visas, and edited many as well. He was editor of the chapter on Labor Certification in the treatise “Immigration Law and Practice” (Lexis/Nexis) and was listed as one of “The Best Lawyers in America” under the immigration heading since its inception over two decades ago. Steve was also a founding Fellow of the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers (ABIL), and a founding member of IMMLAW, the national consortium of preeminent immigration firms with over two centuries of combined immigration law experience.
Even after he retired in 2015, Steve continued to volunteer his time to help new immigrants to America and also to participate in local government.
Outside of immigration, Steve, with an Art History degree, always wanted to be an architect and had a love of gourmet foods, both eating and cooking! He would host lavish Lunar New Year parties, gather with neighbors to try out new recipes, and relax with friends and family both at home and away on Martha’s Vineyard. All who crossed paths with Steve would remember him for his generous gift of time. Regardless of who you were, Steve would not turn away a call or an email for advice or for help.