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Immigration Attorney Dobrina Dobreva ’11

December 11, 2013

Dobrina Dobreva ’11, has had great success finding a fun and challenging career after law school. She is an in-house immigration attorney for ZeOmega Inc, an IT company developing healthcare management software. In her free time, she also takes pro bono and “low bono” immigration work assisting teachers and professionals with extraordinary ability in the arts, science, business and athletics.

According to Dobreva, the most exciting part of her job is, “the everyday interactions with employees, HR representatives, managers and company leaders.” She became interested in immigration when she first moved to the United States. “It took me over 11 years to become a permanent US resident. After going through the process, I decided to become an immigration attorney, and help others who want to come to the US.” She believes that immigration law can have one of the biggest impacts on peoples’ lives. Dobreva stated, “Being a part of this change is what makes me wake up every day.”

To find her career, Dobreva utilized the resources available to her at Thomas Jefferson School of Law. According to her, “the school’s career service center was extremely helpful in providing me with the tools necessary during my job search. We all know that the legal job market is not what it used to be before 2008. More often than not, traditional job application process where the applicant submits their resume online does not result in securing an interview.”

Dobreva also advocates utilizing creative approaches to networking with potential employers. In 2012, she applied for an in-house immigration attorney position with one of the biggest IT companies in the US. After she submitted her application, she used social media to research, find and connect with the manager. She added him as a contact and sent him a personal message, expressing her interest in the opportunity and asking if the company was still hiring. That worked. Dobreva stated, “in a few hours he replied and told me to e-mail him my resume. In a few weeks, I was hired. He told me that he liked the initiative I displayed by contacting him personally.”

Dobreva stated she wants to encourage students to utilize the Career Services Office as much as they can. “The advice and support the Career Services Office provides are invaluable.” She also states, “the purpose of the Career Services Office is to provide the students with the tools they need to be successful in their job search. But at the end of the day, it is the student’s responsibility to take the initiative and the extra step necessary to land their dream job.”

She has some great advice for law students. “During law school, make sure you network as much as possible and meet as many people as possible. Even if you do not get a job though networking, you will be exposed to invaluable information others will share with you. Set up a goal to personally meet at least 2-3 new people and to learn at least 1-2 new facts or useful information at every networking event. Also, depending on the area of practice you are interested in, it is always helpful to attend non-lawyers networking events, If you are interested in immigration, find out where the local immigrant or international organizations and communities get together, and get involved.”

“Please join us in congratulating Ms. Dobreva on her successful job search,” said Randy Reliford, Associate Director of Career Service. “We wish her well in her new career.”