Elizabeth (“Liz”) Balck Monsma received her law degree from Western Michigan University – Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Auburn Hills, Michigan, where she served on Law Review. She also studied International Law during a semester abroad in Australia and New Zealand. In 1999, Liz received a degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana.
Between undergraduate studies and law school, Liz spent two years as an Americorps/Catholic Charities volunteer co-directing an after-school program for immigrant children and interning with the Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights (now named “Advocates for Human Rights”).
During law school, Liz externed at a boutique appellate law firm, the Immigrant & Refugee Appellate Center in Alexandria, Virginia. She also worked as a law clerk at a civil litigation law firm, Powers Chapman, PC in Troy, Michigan. After graduating in 2007, Liz practiced primarily in the firm’s personal injury section. Knowing that her passion was to practice immigration law, Liz volunteered as a pro bono attorney at the Immigration Law Clinic at the University of Detroit Mercy Law School during this time.
Then in 2009, Liz returned to her native Grand Rapids to become the Staff Attorney at Justice for Our Neighbors West Michigan (“JFON-WM”). JFON-WM is a non-profit organization that provides immigration legal services for low-income members of the West Michigan community.
In addition to her Staff Attorney role, in 2013, Liz was hired as the Senior Consulting Attorney at National Justice for Our Neighbors, to support JFON clinic sites in New York, Omaha, Chicago, South Texas, San Francisco, and Detroit. Liz was later named Legal Services Director at JFON-WM, supervising two immigration attorneys and four clinic sites in Traverse City, Holland, Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo.
Regularly asked to speak on issues relating to immigration law, Liz has spoken to groups throughout West Michigan, including Grand Valley State University, Calvin College, Aquinas College, the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan, the ACLU, YWCA, GRPS, and numerous churches, schools and organizations.
Active in her community, Liz is a board member of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan and is a committee member of its annual Women Lawyers vs. Judges Softball charity game, the proceeds of which have gone to the YWCA of West Central Michigan for over 30 years. Liz also sits on the board of the Grand Rapids based, Treetops Collective.
Liz is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Michigan Chapter, Grand Rapids Bar Association, the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, and the Michigan Coalition for Refugee and Immigrant Rights.
Immigration law is a federal practice, therefore, Liz is eligible to practice immigration law anywhere in the US. However, Liz is licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
The Monsma Law Office handles family and humanitarian immigration cases, including:
If you don’t see your case type listed above, feel free to call our office at 616-805-9072 to find out if we can assist you.