Marisa DeFranco is an immigration attorney with 15 years of experience in federal law. In October 2010, Attorney DeFranco received a national award for her pro bono work, the National Legal Aid & Defenders Association’s Beacon of Justice award. In July 2011, she was published as a contributor to the ABA’s book, "The Road to Independence: 101 Women's Journeys to Starting Their Own Law Firms," and in the same month she was named a 2011 Top Woman of Law by Lawyers Weekly. Also, in the past year, DeFranco won two incredible victories in asylum law, one for women fleeing sex trafficking, and another for a gay client who had escaped past torture and death threats.
During law school, DeFranco worked in the Staff Attorney’s office at the First Circuit Court of Appeals and as a Victim’s Witness Advocate in the Cambridge District Court as part of Suffolk’s Battered Women Clinic. After earning her Juris Doctor, cum laude from Suffolk University Law School in 1996, and her first job as in-house counsel, she established her own law practice at the age of 26.
The granddaughter of Sicilian immigrants, Attorney DeFranco has been an advocate for women, immigrants, small businesses and children in foster care. She has worked with a range of companies, from family businesses to Fortune 500. In 2008, DeFranco was appointed a Commissioner on the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women, where she spearheaded the equal pay bill, Comparable Work, getting it voted out of committee favorably where it had died for 11 consecutive years. Attorney DeFranco has served in many leadership positions with the Massachusetts Bar Association, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and as a liaison to a federal government agency.