Terja Bouvin Larsen is the owner and Managing Attorney of Bienvenidos Law Firm, Inc. Bienvenidos Law Firm, Inc. is a for-profit community law office that provides culturally sensitive and Spanish language appropriate legal services exclusively in the area of immigration law.
Terja graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls with a BS in both Spanish and Mathematics in 1998. During the summers of 1998 and 1999, she worked as an advocate for migrant workers in West-Central Minnesota with Migrant Legal Services, based out of Saint Paul, Minnesota. Through her work with Migrant Legal Services, she fell in love with working with immigrants and specifically the immigration portion of her work and her career was born. She then went to law school specifically to become an immigration attorney.
She loves seeing families grow and strengthen in the security of gaining immigration status in the United States. She also loves getting to know extended families over the years as family members gain immigration status, become United States Citizens and bring more family members to the United States.
During law school, starting in the year 2000, Terja became a law clerk at Centro Legal, Inc., which was a non-profit law firm that served low income Latinos. She worked there through law school in their immigration unit. Later, in 2002, she became a staff attorney specifically focusing on the caseload involving domestic violence victims and victims of crime. While she loved her work at Centro Legal, she craved a change in lifestyle and made the decision to leave in 2006 to start her own practice Bienvenidos Law Firm, Inc. in the area of immigration law.
Through their growth, they have never lost sight of their mission to provide quality immigration legal services at a reasonable price and always remaining accessible to all. Most clients at Bienvenidos Law Firm, Inc. come to us through referrals from past and present clients, which is a testament to our service and our hearts. In the end, the reason we do this work is to see families grow and prosper through the security of gaining immigration status in the United States.
Mercy Gagnon is the Associate Attorney of Bienvenidos Law Firm, Inc. Mercy holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD) from Texas Southern University – Thurgood Marshall School of Law (TMSL) where she focused on international and immigration law. She holds an International and Immigration Law Certification from the TMSL– Institute for International and Immigration Law and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Legal Studies from Chadron State College
Mercy is originally from Vogan, Togo (West Africa). She immigrated to the United States roughly sixteen years ago to follow the dream of her ten years old self – to become an immigration and international law attorney.
In law school, Mercy served as a Clinical Intern for the Thurgood Marshall School of Law’s Nationality & Immigration Law Clinic where she researched country conditions for asylum seekers, drafted Immigration law pleadings and forms, conducted client intake interviews, prepared I-130 (Petition for Alien Relatives) and I-589 (Application for Asylum, Withholding of Removal, and For Convention Against Torture) forms for clients. Mercy was also a volunteer at BakerRipley Immigration and Citizenship Program in Houston, Texas where she helped provide services at free to low cost to families for processes such as Naturalization, Renewal of Permanent Residence Cards, Adjustment of Status, Removal Defense, and Crime Victim visas.
Mercy is very passionate about foreign policies, asylum and refugees’ rights, women rights, education, voting and election regulations, and human rights. So, her ultimate goal is to sway foreign policies that will have a direct political, social, and economic impact on the international community.
Iris Schneeberger is a Legal Assistant here at Bienvenidos Law Firm and has been working with us for five years. Iris assists with various types of applications within the office, including immigrant visa applications, consular processing, and petitions for alien relatives. She also enjoys the coordination aspects that come with working with consulates overseas. She speaks fluent English as well as Spanish and holds a degree in Business Management.
In her off time, she enjoys art and theater, watching scary movies, and spending time in nature.
Sofia Siffert is our Senior Paralegal and resident asylum expert! She has been at Bienvenidos Law Firm for five years. Sofia assists with a variety of matters, including asylum-based applications, special immigrant juvenile petitions, removal defense, and civil litigation. She was born and raised in Argentina and moved to Minnesota in 2014.
Sofia received her law degree from the University of Buenos Aires Law School and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences from the University of Buenos Aires. Prior to joining our firm, Sofia served as an Assistant Public Defender for nine years in Argentina. She is fluent in both English and Spanish and enjoys legal research and writing. Sofia is truly passionate about helping other immigrants like her find a safe place to live.
When she isn’t in the office, Sofia enjoys traveling and spending time with loved ones.
Jazmin Rojas Torres is a Legal Assistant, and in October of 2023, she will have been with Bienvenidos Law Firm for 4 years. Jazmin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Spanish. She is fluent in both Spanish and English.
Jazmin assists with a variety of matters here at the office including naturalization applications, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) applications, and Legal Permanent Residency renewals.
When she isn’t working, she enjoys going to concerts, watching documentaries, and doing diamond painting and other crafts.
Sarai Estrada Rodriguez is our newest Legal Assistant, and has been at Bienvenidos Law Firm for almost two years. She graduated from college with a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies with an accompanying Paralegal Certificate. She spent two years in Mexico and is fluent in both English and Spanish.
Sarai assists with a variety of matters including petitions for alien relatives and DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) renewals.
When she isn’t at work, she likes to watch movies, listen to music, and hang out with her family.
Katy Boese is the Office Clerk at Bienvenidos Law Firm and has been with us for just over a year. Katy provides administrative and clerical support to the firm by doing various organizational tasks around the office, such as filing, maintaining paper files, and processing various paperwork for our Attorneys and Legal Assistants. She is fluent in English as well as Spanish. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Communications with a minor in Criminology and Criminal Justice. She spent a month during college studying abroad in Sevilla, Spain, and has visited Mexico on multiple occasions.
In her spare time, she likes to read (and write!) poetry, draw, and listen to podcasts.
Myriam Madla Sanchez is the Office Assistant here at Bienvenidos law firm. She has been working with us for six months. She sits at the front desk, where she performs a variety of organizational and administrative tasks to make sure our office runs smoothly on a daily basis, and is likely the voice you hear when you call the office.
She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Global Studies. Myriam was born and raised in Mexico, and her family immigrated to the United States in 2009. She speaks both Spanish and English fluently, and has traveled to many countries, including Greece, Serbia, and South Korea.
In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching movies, and spending time with her family and pets.