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Meet Kalani


Austin Immigration Attorney Kalani Hawks Villafranca practices U.S. immigration law because she believes everyone deserves to feel like they belong in their home and with their families.  She loves helping her clients live the life they want to live, wherever they want to live, with the people who matter most to them.

Attorney Kalani has over a decade of experience as an attorney and for several years was the managing attorney for the Texas Here to Stay/Texas No Nos Vamos coalition. She helped bring free legal clinics to communities throughout Texas and provided guidance to thousands of immigrants seeking to obtain or renew their DACA status or become U.S. citizens.  Before founding Hawks Villafranca Law, Attorney Kalani worked as a Senior Immigration Attorney for the Equal Justice Center in Austin, TX where she helped hundreds of people get the work permits they needed to support themselves and their families.

Attorney Kalani Hawks Villafranca has been regularly featured on Univision speaking about DACA, citizenship, and other immigration topics that matter to you and your family.  She is also a trusted partner for the Consulado General de México en Austin and works closely with the Consulado to provide immigration law services to the Mexican community. She is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Attorney Kalani Hawks Villafranca is bilingual in Spanish and English and has lived and worked in cities across the globe including New York, Mexico City, and Madrid.  She now lives in Austin with her husband, David, and their three sons.

  • The University of Texas at Austin, School of Law
    J.D. with Honors – May 2008
    TEXAS LAW REVIEW, Chief Notes Editor, Volume 86
  • Tufts University
    Bachelor of Arts – May 2004
    B.A. in Spanish and International Relations, concentration in Latin America
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
  • Supreme Court of Texas
  • Supreme Court of New York
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association – Texas Chapter
  • State Bar of Texas
  • State Bar of New York
  • Managing Attorney
    Hawks Villafranca Law – Austin, TX
  • Senior Immigration Attorney
    Equal Justice Center – Austin, TX
  • Professor – Common Law Legal Systems
    Colegio de Abogados de Madrid (Madrid Bar Association) – Madrid, Spain
  • Associate Attorney
    Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. – Austin, TX & New York, NY
  • Director of Human Resources
    State of Texas General Land Office – Austin, TX
  • Employment Counsel
    State of Texas General Land Office – Austin, TX
  • Assistant City Attorney – Employment & Immigration
    City of Austin, Austin, TX
  • Staff Attorney – 353rd District Court
    Travis County Civil District Court, Austin, TX
  • Rapoport Human Rights Fellow
    Sin Fronteras, Mexico City, México
  • Univision 62 Austin: DACA y Su Futuro – January 22, 2020
  • Univision 62 Austin: DACA y Su Empleo – May 29, 2019
  • KVUE News Austin: Sexual Violations in the Workplace: The #MeToo Movement and Low-Wage Workers, May 2018
  • University of Texas School of Law, Transnational Workers’ Rights Clinic: DACA Past, Present, and Future – Sept. 2018, May 2019, Sept. 2019.
  • 2019 Poverty Law Conference, Austin, TX: Survivors At Work: Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, and Your Job – August 30, 2019
  • Kalani Hawks, La crisis de los indocumentados en Estados Unidos y la ley que la puede solucionar, HEMISFERIO ZERO (Aug. 28, 2013),
  • Kalani Hawks, Human Trafficking, 43 INT’L LAW 863 (2009).
  • Kalani Hawks, Y&I Event – E-Discovery in International Arbitration, 4 GLOBAL ARB. REV. 43 (2009).

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