Alla Karagodin Holmes



Alla Karagodin Holmes is a refugee, immigration and human rights attorney, specializing in the rights of women and unaccompanied minors. She serves as a consulting attorney to national non-profit organizations, including Center for Gender and Refugee Studies (CGRS) and Kids in Need of Defense (KIND). 

Ms. Holmes was awarded the Clara Belfield & Henry Bates Overseas Fellowship to work with the Protection Unit of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Budapest, Hungary, where she drafted and commented on European asylum laws. She spent three years as an intellectual property litigation associate at Sidley Austin LLP in Chicago, where she handled pro bono cases through the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC). Ms. Holmes continued to represent vulnerable immigrant women and children, and co-taught as a clinical teaching fellow with the immigration and asylum clinic at the Northwestern University School of Law.

Ms. Holmes spent the last several years as a Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney at Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) in Los Angeles, where she recruited, trained, and mentored pro bono attorneys representing unaccompanied immigrant children, pursuing asylum, SIJS, T-visa, U visas, prosecutorial discretion and other immigration relief. Before KIND, Ms. Holmes worked at the Law Office of Carl Shusterman, handling claims such as asylum, cancellation of removal, hardship and fraud waivers and appeals.

Ms. Holmes earned her J.D. from University of Michigan Law School and is licensed to practice law in Illinois. Ms. Holmes has served on the HIAS Chicago Executive Board, the Bet Tzedek New Leadership Counsel, the National Immigrant Justice Center Junior Leadership Counsel, and was a Pro Bono Liaison for the American Immigration Lawyers Association in Southern California.

Ms. Holmes left Russia with her parents as a refugee and was assisted by HIAS upon their arrival in Chicago in 1990. She currently resides in Tallahassee, FL with her husband, a professor at Florida State University, and their one-year old son.