Kristy Figueroa-ContrerasFounding Attorney
Florida Bar board certified specialist, immigration & nationality law. Florida and federal criminal trial attorney. Representing clients in all 50 states and worldwide.
Attorney Kristy Figueroa-Contreras practices exclusively in all aspects of U.S. immigration, nationality and consular law and the criminal defense of persons accused of a wide range of Florida and federal felony and misdemeanor offenses. Her 17 years of legal experience and criminal trial experience makes her particularly well-versed in the complex and ever-changing interplay between criminal laws and immigration laws and procedures. Much of her practice is devoted to representing non-citizens facing criminal charges in both federal and Florida criminal courts, as well as those with criminal convictions in their immigration and consular proceedings (deportation defense and waivers). She also handles U.S. immigration and consular matters for students, artists, professionals, investors and entrepreneurs. Her law firm, Figueroa-Contreras Law Group, has offices in Coral Gables (Miami), Florida and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and has of counsel affiliates in the United States, Panama, and Venezuela.
Ms. Figueroa-Contreras is board certified by the Florida Bar in the area of immigration & nationality. Board certification is the Florida Bar’s highest evaluation of an attorney‘s competency, experience and professionalism in one of 26 distinct areas of law approved for specialization and is subject to rigorous standards and in-depth peer review processes. Of the lawyers currently eligible to practice law in Florida, only about 7% have earned board certification. Only board certified attorneys are permitted to call themselves “experts” or “specialists” when referring to their legal credentials.
Ms. Figueroa-Contreras is a member of the Florida Bar and is admitted to practice in all Florida state courts. She is also admitted to practice in federal court in:
- The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
- The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
- The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
She also represents clients in a Pro Hac Vice capacity in federal district courts across the United States. Attorney Figueroa-Contreras is also admitted to practice in every immigration court in the United States and its territories. She also represents clients in matters before:
- The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA),
- The Administrative Appeals Office (AAO),
- The Admissibility Review Office (ARO),
- The Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO),
- The Board of Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA).
The attorney received her Juris Doctor (law degree) in 2002 from Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia. Following law school, Ms. Figueroa-Contreras completed an overseas judicial clerkship with federal criminal trial judge Jorge L. Ballestero, Juzgado de Instrucción No. 24 en lo Criminal y Correccional in Buenos Aires, Argentina. While in Buenos Aires, she studied Latin American Legal Systems and Comparative Criminal Law at the Universidad del Salvador, Facultad de Ciencias Jurídicas.
Ms. Figueroa-Contreras also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English (1997) as well as a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Modern Languages (French) (1998) from Florida International University in Miami, Florida.
Memberships & Awards
The attorney’s professional memberships include:
- The Federal Bar Association (FBA)
- The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)
- The Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL)
- The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) (South Florida Chapter, Rome District Chapter, and Latin America and Caribbean Chapter)
- AILA´s Federal Court Litigation Section.
Attorney Figueroa-Contreras is a frequent legal and political commentator on Spanish-language media, and has appeared on
- América Tevé
- Mega TV
- Radio Caracol
- Radio CVCLAVOZ
- Radio Mambí, among others.
She also hosts a weekly Spanish-language Facebook Live session at the Diario Las Américas newsroom called “Miércoles de Inmigración,” where she updates viewers on a myriad of topics relating to U.S. immigration law and answers questions from the public.
In addition to achieving board certification, Ms. Figueroa-Contreras is the recipient of multiple awards and recognitions, including, most recently, the National Association of Distinguished Counsel's Top One Percent in Criminal Law for 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, the National Advocates' Top 100 Trial Lawyers (Criminal Defense) for 2015, 2016, and 2017, and Acquisition International's Global Mobility, Immigration and Logistics Award for Immigration Lawyer of the Year and Immigration Law Firm of the Year (Florida) in 2014, 2015, and 2016.
Ms. Figueroa-Contreras offers paid case evaluation consultations in person at her Miami office, telephonically, via Skype/videoconferencing, and via e-mail. She is also available for consultation in Spanish, Portuguese or French.