Located in Beaverton, Oregon
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Uniting Families Through Immigration

Meet the Team

To learn more about attorney Candace Vanderwall and her team, please click on the pictures below.

Candace Vanderwall – AttorneyEmily Apel – Attorney Teaghan Phillips – Legal AssistantPaula Smith – ParalegalJennifer Navarro - Legal AssistantErika Rodriguez – Administrative Assistant

Candace Vanderwall – Attorney

Immigration Attorney Candace VanderwallCandace was born overseas and her father is a naturalized U.S. citizen. She fondly remembers watching him take the oath of citizenship while waving her American flag. He inspires her love for immigration.

She grew up in Oregon and enjoys hiking, kayaking and camping in this beautiful state. She spent a year living in France, and hopes to move back one day, although her French has grown a little rusty. She loves to travel and meet new people from all over the world. She is married to her best friend and together they have a fun little boy.

Candace graduated from Willamette University College of Law. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of Oregon where she graduated with departmental honors. She is a member of the Oregon State Bar and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).

Languages: English, French (conversational)

Emily Apel – Attorney

Immigration Attorney Emily ApelEmily was born and raised in McMinnville, Oregon. She earned her Juris Doctor from Willamette University College of Law in Salem, Oregon. While in law school, Emily represented refugees seeking asylum and contributed to a published report on human trafficking in Oregon. After law school, Emily worked for an immigration firm in Portland, Oregon, and then practiced criminal defense in Douglas and Marion counties as a public defender. Before attending law school, Emily had a decade-long career as a television news anchor and reporter for network affiliates in Oregon, Maine, and California. She graduated from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and received a Master of Arts in Broadcast Journalism from Syracuse University in New York. Emily is a member of the Oregon State Bar, American Immigration Lawyers Association, and Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.

Languages: English

Teaghan Phillips – Legal Assistant

Immigration Legal Assistant Teaghan PhillipsTeaghan was born and raised in Davis, California, where she attended a Spanish immersion elementary school. Learning to read in Spanish before English and studying the United Farm Worker’s movement at a young age influenced Teaghan’s educational and professional pursuits. She wrote her undergraduate thesis on U.S.-Mexico border politics at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA and earned a B.A. in Environmental Humanities. During college, Teaghan also studied U.S. neocolonialism and indigenous movements in Spanish and taught environmental education in Ecuador.

After college, Teaghan moved to Portland, OR and worked for Causa, Oregon’s Immigrant Rights Organization, on the Measure 88 Driver Card Campaign. For four years Teaghan worked with youth in high schools, serving as a bilingual liaison between youth, counselors, teachers, families, and elements of the education system. Witnessing youth and families navigate institutional racism within the education and immigration systems fueled her transition into legal work. Teaghan is passionate about working with immigration attorneys to provide quality legal representation to immigrants, ensure client rights are upheld and defended, and unite families through immigration services.

In her free time, Teaghan loves to play soccer, hike, and dance. She is an avid reader, film aficionado, and novice art maker, and loves spending time with friends and family.

Languages: English, Spanish

Paula Smith – Paralegal

Immigration Paralegal Paula SmithOriginally from Argentina, Paula was brought to the United States by her parents in 1999. Just two weeks later she started high school in California without speaking a word of English. She remembers how hard it was to communicate with her teachers, but also remembers how patient and helpful they were with her. In 2000, Paula and her family moved to Oregon, where she graduated from Wilsonville High School in 2003 and right after she attended Clackamas Community College for one year for general studies.

Paula worked many different jobs out of high school, searching for the career she was passionate about. Being undocumented herself, she suffered much mistreatment and many disappointments throughout her search. Before working at Vanderwall Immigration, Paula was familiar with some immigration applications and helped her family members to obtain their residency. That is when Paula realized that she really enjoyed helping people change their lives through immigration.

In 2009, Paula married her soulmate surrounded by her family and friends. She became a U.S. Citizen in 2012 and a mom to a beautiful boy in 2013. Paula enjoys spending time with her family and traveling. She loves getting together with her parents to eat a traditional Argentinian “Asado” every week where they only speak Spanish, so that her son is ready for his first trip to Argentina.

Languages: English, Spanish

Jennifer Navarro – Legal Assistant

Immigration Legal Assistant Jennifer NavarroJennifer was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. She also has a daughter who was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. Her family is from Jalisco, Mexico. Jennifer grew up speaking Spanish. At a young age she had to translate for her parents who knew very little English. But yet the practice of translating helped her become a fluent Spanish speaker. The first time Jennifer heard the word immigrant, was when your close aunt got deported back to Mexico. That was a very hard time for her, as she was very close to her aunt and saw her as a second mother. The word immigrant became more and more familiar, as she saw more and more relatives and family members become affected by immigration laws. That’s when she realized she wanted to help immigrants. Jennifer recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. She hopes to go to law school in the near future and become an immigration attorney. Until then she hopes to help more and more immigrants through her job at Vanderwall Immigration.

Languages: English, Spanish

Erika Rodriguez – Administrative Assistant

Immigration Administrative Assistant Erika RodriguezMy name is Erika and I was born and raised here in Oregon. My parents are both from Mexico and although I was born here, Spanish was my first language. I struggled throughout my elementary school years due to the language barrier. I remember having to go to ESL class to perfect my English, and although I struggled I managed to graduate from my ESL class before heading off to middle school. I think that was one of many accomplishments to come in my life. After living here my whole life I’ve learned to appreciate the rain and to me there’s no better weather than Oregon’s weather. I’m very passionate about helping those in need of a helping hand. I think it’s important to help and support each other out whether it’s through a good or bad situation, because I know we all need someone at some point in our lives. Outside of work I love spending time with my family, friends and daughter. My daughter is my biggest motivation and it’s because of her that I am the person I am today. I also enjoy making people laugh, making new friends and I really like exploring new places in Oregon. I believe that every struggle and every challenge we face in life has a reward waiting for us at the finish line, you just have to be patient, make sacrifices and willing to jump through the obstacles. “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone” –Ronald Reagan

Languages: English, Spanish