How My 9-Month-Old Granddaughter Made Me a Las Vegas Immigration Lawyer

I had been a San Diego Immigration attorney for 40 years, when my only grandchild was born in Las Vegas. I was over the moon with excitement and I visited her in Las Vegas at every opportunity. I was smitten and eventually moved to Las Vegas, when she was 9 months old to become a Las Vegas Immigration Lawyer.

Fortunately for me, Immigration Law is federal law (the same law in every state) so even though I had a California License to practice law. I could practice immigration law in Nevada.

In California, after I had been practicing immigration law for 20 years, I decided to apply for a Certification as an “Immigration Law Specialist.” This application is made to the California’s state Bar’s Board of Legal Specialization. The designation as an “Immigration Law Specialist” shows that you are truly a specialist in your field. An attorney may not claim to be a “specialist in Immigration Law’, unless the State Bar of Legal Specialization has given you that honor. You can say that you “concentrate your practice in immigration law” or “you only practice Immigration Law” or that you are the Best Immigration Lawyer, who ever lived,” but you dare not call yourself an Immigration Law Specialist unless you have been certified as a Specialist.

I wanted the designation as an Immigration Law Specialist, because there were about 250 Immigration Lawyers in San Diego and I needed to prove my superior ability. Little did I know that one day my certification as an Immigration Law Specialist would enhance me being an Immigration Lawyer in Las Vegas.

In order to be certified as an “Immigration Law Specialist” you had to prove that you had completed a certain minimum number of cases in different areas of immigration law; that you had passed a grueling full-day exam on advanced, complex immigration questions and that you have completed a minimum number of education seminars each year. You are still required to attend a certain number of education seminars each year, even after you are certified. The number of hours in order to maintain your certification as a Specialist is far more that what is required just to maintain a license to practice law.

Fortunately for me, Immigration Law is federal law (the same law in every state) so even though I have a California License to practice law I can practice Immigration Law in Nevada. In addition, all immigration law visa applications are now mailed into the USCIS so there is no need to go to the Immigration Offices. It was not always this way. Years ago, we would have to go to the local immigration office and have the visa applications adjudicated there. With the new system, which has now been the procedure for many years, I can continue to represent all my San Diego, national; and international referrals, while being an Immigration Lawyer in Las Vegas.

How My 6-Week-Old Son Made me a San Diego Immigration Lawyer

I was born, raised and educated in South Africa. I had my own law firm in Johannesburg, when my son was born in 1981. I was suddenly faced the reality that I had to think of my son’s future. There was no way on earth that he was going to be raised and educated in Apartheid South Africa So my wife, son and I immigrated to San Diego, USA 14 years before Apartheid ended.

I was allowed to write the California Bar exam, because of my knowledge of law and my practice experience. Anyone who knows anything of the California Bar exam will tell you that it is a brutal exam over 3 days with a very low pass rate. Fortunately, I passed it on my first attempt after being in the country for 6 weeks.

At that time, I had no idea that one day I would be a Las Vegas Immigration Lawyer.

Why Immigration Law?

I chose to concentrate in immigration law, because I remembered how happy and grateful it felt, when I received my immigration visa. It is the one area of law, where clients love their attorneys, when they get their immigration visas. I knew that fantastic feeling, because so much was at stake for me to get the green card.

Immigration law is very serious law, because people’s entire lives and their children’s and grand-children’s lives are on the line.

Achievements in Immigration Law

So, I emersed myself in immigration law practice. After a few years I was elected President of the San Diego County Bar Immigration Law Committee.

As mentioned above I received the highly sought after designation as a Certified Immigration Law Specialist from the State Bar of California’s, Board of Legal Specialization.

I have also been featured in Who’s Who in American Law since 1987.

Along the way I also received the designation as a “Preeminent Attorney” from Martindale Hubbell, the oldest legal directory in the USA. Their AV-rating is the highest possible rating. You cannot buy this rating.

The greatest achievement that I can boast about is that I have 41 years of experience in immigration Law. I have seen and responded to virtually every challenge in Immigration Law. Whether I am a Las Vegas Immigration Lawyer or a New York Immigration Attorney, I can handle myself anywhere. If they mess with my clients, I will fight them anytime and anywhere. It is wonderful when you know what the hell you are doing!

Why Use My Services?

I have many years of experience and significant achievements in the field of Immigration Law.

I understand and empathize with the huge changes that immigrants experience, when they come to the USA. Americans think that foreigners are “blessed” to be immigrants to the USA.” They do not understand the hardships that Newcomers face when they come to the USA. They lose the support of their families and friends and everything that they have been accustomed to doing is changed.

I understood these challenges through my own experience and decided to author a book to help newcomers adapt to and understand the American way of doing things. The book I authored was called The Newcomers Guide to Living in the USA and it became a Finalist for the Benjamin Franklin Award given by the Publishers Marketing Association.

This book no longer exists and has been replaced by Google!

As an Immigration Lawyer practicing in Las Vegas, I am sensitive to the challenges that newcomers face, when they come to the USA and I accordingly guide them and their U.S spouses on the changes that the newcomer faces in the USA.

Call Me: 702-525-5382

If you have a question. Please do not hesitate to call me or email my office. If I can answer your question in a few minutes there will be no charge. However, if your question requires special answering or has multiple answers or there are different possible strategies, I will suggest that we schedule a half hour consultation for which I charge $250.00. Believe me I will not rip you off for $250. I make money from doing cases. I won’t give you a half hour free consultation, because today my time is too valuable. If you called me thirty years ago, I would have been glad to give you a free half hour consultation.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Additional information

I am currently admitted to practice in the following U.S.A. courts:

  • The United States Supreme Court.
  • The Supreme Court of California.
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
  • The United States District Courts for the Central and Southern Districts.

Also admitted to practice before:

  • The Supreme Court of South Africa
  • The High Court of Lesotho

Some Speaking Engagements

  • Australian-American Chamber of Commerce
  • The Western Maquiladora Trade Association
  • The California’s Employers’ Council
  • The National Association of Health Care Recruiters
  • The South African Foreign Trade Organization
  • The Association for Services Management International


Prior to coming to Las Vegas, I enjoyed the quiet times nurturing my bonsai trees.

I eventually decided to show them at the San Diego County Fair. Since I had not exhibited my Bonsai at the fair before I had to enter as a novice.

I won fist, second and third place and received a Special Mention for another tree.

When I packed up the U-Haul truck to come to Las Vegas I had 36 Bonsai trees.

Bonsai trees must be outside and only brought inside for temporary special displays.

I arrived in June and by the end of the Las Vegas summer, I was down to five trees.

I am now trying to grow bonsai trees that seem to adapt to extreme heat.


I do not quit at anything!

If you want a bulldog with the fangs of a wolf and a broad smile to handle your case, please call me at 702-525-5382.

Bar Associations

  • California Bar

Client Reviews

We are thrilled with how Leon Snaid handled our immigration case. Leon is polite, professional, prompt, and extremely effective. It put my wife and me at ease knowing Leon was helping us. His knowledge of the...

- Brett J. and Teresa D.

My husband and I hired Leon Snaid to represent me for my Green Card. He explained the law in very easy to understand language to us and that gave us much more confidence and we felt less frustrated about the...

- Ekaterina Richard M.

Leon is very experienced, skillful and professional in handling immigration cases. He has great personality. He always gives out plenty pointers for the clients to remember and his price was reasonable too. My...

- Jingzhou F.

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