Marisa DeFranco is an immigration attorney with 17 years of experience. In October 2011, she was honored as a Top Woman of Law by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. Attorney DeFranco is also a National Award Winner, receiving the National Legal Aid & Defenders Association’s Beacon of Justice Award for her Pro Bono Service in October 2010. In July 2011, Attorney DeFranco was published as a writer in the ABA’s book, The Road to Independence: 101 Women's Journeys to Starting Their Own Law Firms, and her scholarly article, Gender Asylum: Bringing the Law into the 21st Century, was published in the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Section Review. Ms. DeFranco was a candidate for U.S. Senate in 2012. Attorney DeFranco is a political analyst on CBS Nightside with Dan Rea, is a frequent contributor to WGBH and is a published opinion writer in the Boston Herald.

Attorney DeFranco specializes in all aspects of immigration and nationality law, including business immigration, investor visas, Federal Court litigation, family immigration, asylum and naturalization. Attorney DeFranco’s business-based immigration practice includes hands-on experience in a wide range industries, from small businesses to Fortune 500 and including healthcare, IT, biotechnology, construction, restaurant and service industries and entrepreneurs.

Attorney DeFranco served as Chair of the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Immigration Section Council. She also served as Chair of the New England Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), as well as a liaison to a Federal Government agency and as a Director on the AILA National Board of Governors. In 2008, Ms. DeFranco was appointed a Commissioner on the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women. 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, and also attended the Comparative and International Law curriculum at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.

The Law Office of Marisa DeFranco shares a strong commitment with clients to provide efficient legal services of the highest quality without intimidation or confusion. Marisa's philosophy is to facilitate a client's encounters with the legal system by instilling confidence and bringing peace of mind. Attorney DeFranco meets the needs of her clients by following through on a promise of diligent and thorough attention to each case from inception to resolution.

"I strive to minimize my clients’ stress in all areas of the legal process and endeavor to answer any and all questions until my clients are satisfied that they understand all of the issues in their case. I believe that no question is trivial when it comes to my clients' interests and well-being".


  • American Immigration Lawyers Association, Boston, MA
  • Peabody Chamber of Commerce, Board Member
  • Peabody Education Council Guest Reader
  • Women’s Bar Association, Legislative Policy Committee
  • Massachusetts Bar Association Immigration Section Council Chair


May 2013 Chelmsford TV: Guest, Interviewed on Politics and Immigration, Chelmsford, MA

April 2013 The Mass Factor, Local Cable Show: Guest, Interviewed on Immigration, Peabody, MA

March 2013 Brooksby Village, Concerned Citizens: Immigration Reform, Peabody, MA

March 2013 South Shore Democratic Caucus, Educational Forum on Immigration Reform: Keynote Speaker

March 2013 Legal Lines, Local Cable Show: Guest, Interviewed on Current Immigration Issues, Boston, MA

November 2012 The Mass Factor, Local Cable Show: Guest, Interviewed on Senate race, Peabody, MA

May 2012 Cape & Islands Democratic Council Jefferson Jackson Dinner, Keynote Speaker

December 2011 MCLE Immigration Law BasicsPlus program: Ethics

November 2010 Massachusetts Bar Association Family Law Conference: Immigration Issues in Family Law

June 2010 Massachusetts Bar Association, Haiti Task Force, Instructor: Training for Temporary Protected Status filings

May 2010 AAUW Taunton, Remarkable Young Women Tea, Guest Speaker: Equal Pay and Comparable Work

April 2010 Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators & MCSW: Equal Pay Day at the State House

February 2010 Massachusetts Bar Association, Immigration Section: H-1B Basics

September 2009 Massachusetts Bar Association, Immigration Section: Operating a Profitable Immigration Law Office

May 2009 Brooksby Village, Men’s Group: Immigration History and Current Law

April 2009 Massachusetts Bar Association, Employment Law & Immigration Section: Pitfalls in Representing Foreign Nationals CLE

April 2009 Massachusetts Bar Association, Immigration Section: Family Immigration Issues CLE

September 2008 Brooksby Village, Know Your Government: History of Immigration, From Open Borders to Today’s Backlogs, Peabody, MA

April 2008 Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce, Spring Business Expo Lunch, Featured Speaker: Choppy Waters Ahead: Is Your Company Prepared To Navigate 21st Century Immigration Hazards?, Haverhill, MA

September 2007 Legal Lines, Local Cable Show: Guest, Interviewed on Current Immigration Issues, Boston, MA

August 2007 Brooksby Village, Concerned Citizens: Immigration-History, National ID Card, Border Fence, Reform, Peabody, MA

May 2007 Labor and Employment Relations Association, Boston Chapter: Impact of Immigration Laws on Employment

February 2007 North Chamber of Commerce, HR Professionals Roundtable: Navigating Immigration Issues, Danvers, MA

February 2007 AILA New England YLD: The Application of Lozada to Business Petitions, Boston, MA

NOVEMBER 2006 Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA): Business Immigration,
Boston, MA

NOVEMBER 2006 Women’s Bar Association: VAWA: Advocacy in the Immigration Context, Boston, MA

OCTOBER 2006 Southern Connecticut State University, 16th Annual Women’s Studies Program Conference: “Women’s Health: Colonized, Resisted, Reclaimed”: Immigration and Women’s Health, New Haven, CT

OCTOBER 2006 Cape Verdean Alumni Network in Partnership with Consulate General of Cape Verde, “Youth Workshop: Culture, Integration, Education and Career - Keynote by Prime Minister to the Republic of Cape Verde”: Know Your Rights: Immigration Options and Pitfalls for Students, Roxbury, MA

JULY 2006 North Shore Technology Council, Immigration Issues: How Do Regulations, Security and Audits Impact Your Employment of Foreign Talent?, Peabody, MA

MAY 2006 AILA YLD: How to Start Your Own Immigration Business Practice, Boston MA

MAY 2006 MIRA: Business Immigration, Worcester, MA

MAY 2006 Office of New Bostonians: Know Your Rights (with Boston PD & MBTA), Boston, MA

MAY 2006 USCIS Naturalization Ceremony at JFK Library, AILA Essay Contest Presenter, Boston, MA

APRIL 2006 Master of Ceremonies: AILA New England Congressional Breakfast, Boston, MA

APRIL 2006 AILA New England: Annual Conference, Ethical Issues in Employment & Family-Based Practice, Boston, MA

WOMEN'S BAR ASSOCIATION, EXPERT EDITORIAL: Marisa DeFranco, Five Myths of Immigration, (Article used to Launch new WBA site), October 5, 2006

APRIL 2006
BEYOND LIMITATIONS: CREATIVE STRATEGIES FOR ALL IMMIGRATION LAWYERS, AILA New England/Suffolk University Law School, Marisa DeFranco and Jonathan Greene, Ethical Issues in Employment & Family-Based Practice, April 7, 2006

SALEM EVENING NEWS, OPINION EDITIORIAL: Marisa DeFranco, Dispelling Some of the Myths that Drive Debate over U.S. Immigration Policy, February 28, 2002

Marisa DeFranco, ESQ.
T: 978.531.0405

PO Box 103
Middleton, MA 01949

Suffolk University Law School
Boston, MA., May 1996
Juris Doctor, cum laude,

Trinity College
Dublin, Ireland 1994
Institute on International, Comparative, and Environmental Law

University of Dayton
Dayton, OH., April 1992
B. A., magna cum laude

Serve all immigration needs, including H-1B, L-1, E-2, O-1, TN and Employment-Based permanent resident petitions, National Interest Waivers, J-1 Waivers, and Schedule A Health Care Workers.

I-9 Audits for corporate clients.

Represent clients in Family-Based immigration cases.

Advocate for children and parents in DSS Care and Protection litigation.

Receive appointments, investigate, and write reports as Guardian Ad Litem for CHINS and Care & Protection cases.