Minnesota Immigration Attorney Graham Ojala-Barbour
Graham Ojala-Barbour comes to immigration law out of a conviction that everyone in our society deserves to be treated fairly. As a teenager, he worked with undocumented immigrants and saw one of his co-workers treated unfairly and eventually deported. He heard about what it is like to come to this country and to live without immigration status. That sparked an interest in protecting the rights of immigrants that followed him through his undergraduate work in religion and Spanish (habla español con fluidez), and then a J.D. with honors from the University of Minnesota. He then completed fellowships at the Ramsey County Public Defender’s Office and the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota. After working as an associate attorney at another law firm, he opened his own firm in 2014.
Graham believes that practicing immigration law can be a way to do good in the world, by helping immigrants who don’t deserve to have their lives and families ripped away by deportation. That’s true even for people who have made a few mistakes along the way—the Ojala-Barbour Law Firm does not hesitate to represent people with criminal convictions. He works his hardest to get clients the best possible outcomes to their cases, whether that means successfully defending a client from deportation, winning an asylum claim, or helping a family reunite or stay together through a family petition. He is honest with clients about their situations and their chances of success.
Originally from Northfield, Minnesota, Graham now lives in St. Paul with his son. He has been chair of the Minnesota/Dakotas chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and has also taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota Law School. Graham has been picked by Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star” and by Minnesota Lawyer magazine as an “Up and Coming Attorney.” He has spoken regularly at seminars for attorneys on immigration law.
- University of Minnesota School of Law, J.D., 2011
- Pacific Lutheran University, B.A. in religious studies and Spanish, 2008
- S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
- 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
- American Immigration Lawyers Association, Minnesota/Dakotas chapter
- Executive committee 2016 - 2020;
- Chair 2019 - 2020.
- Adjunct professor, University of Minnesota Law School, 2017-2019
- “Trump's asylum ban is his worst betrayal of American values,” September 2019, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
- “Minnesota courthouses become battleground in immigration arrests,” August 2019, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
- “Federal shutdown cancels nearly 1,000 immigration hearings in Minnesota,” January 2019, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
- “Immigration-sparked shutdown adds to court backlog,” January 2019, Minnesota Public Radio
- “Breaking the Ice: Immigration practice helps ‘one person at a time,’” November 2018, Minnesota Lawyer
- “ICE agents taking man into custody captured on video,” August 2018, KARE 11
- “Immigration judges in Minnesota hit wall of cases,” February 2017, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
- “Up & Coming: Graham Ojala-Barbour,” September 2016, Minnesota Lawyer