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Luis E. Avila Partner

Luis Avila Immigration Law Attorney
Grand Rapids
V-Card, Resume
Jodi Johnson, 616/336-6608

Labor and Employment Experience

Luis focuses his practice on labor, employment and immigration issues. Luis has a wide range of experience in traditional labor matters, including grievances, arbitrations, collective bargaining negotiations, and matters in front of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC). Luis has counseled employers on a number of workplace matters, including effective employee handbooks and policies, disciplinary and dispute resolution procedures, discrimination, disability accommodation, wage-hour matters, family medical leave, and harassment and litigation prevention. Luis has experience representing employers under the various state and federal statutes that govern the employment relationship, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Luis is fluent in Spanish and English. His immigration experience includes employment and family-based nonimmigrant and immigrant petitions, Form I-9 compliance, visa processing, waivers, DACA and citizenship matters.

Luis’ experience spans the United States, Mexico and Europe. Luis has worked at the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Switzerland, the Centre for Advice on Individual Rights in Europe, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, and the Florence Immigration and Refugee Rights Project in Arizona. With a background in international business law and finance, Luis also worked for a large international corporate law firm in Mexico City where he focused on foreign direct investment matters.

Publications and Presentations

  • Contributor, The Developing Labor Law-2014 Update
  • Contributor, Employment Law in Michigan: An Employer's Guide-2013 Update
  • Co-Presenter, "What's New for Unionized Employers," Varnum's Labor & Employment Seminar, March 2013.
  • "Is Spanish one of your languages? As work force evolves, it should be," Michigan Lawyers Weekly, March 26, 2012
  • "What to Consider When Seeking Legal Services in Spanish," Grand Rapids Business Journal, March 9, 2012
  • Presenter, "So, You Want to be a Lawyer?" Latino Youth Conference at Grand Rapids Community College, March 2012
  • Presenter, "How Spanish and Faith Can Help Your Career Path," South Christian High School, March 2012
  • Co-presenter, "Keeping a Healthy Workforce" and "Effective Discipline and Discharge," Varnum's Labor & Employment Seminar, January 2012
  • Co-presenter, "Immigration Law: The Future for Michigan," Calvin College Un-Learn Series, October 2011
  • "The Universal Periodic Review: A Brief Analysis as Seen Through the Recent Review of the United States," Michigan International Lawyer, June 2011

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association: Committee on the Development of the Law under the NLRB; Committee on Practice & Procedure under the NLRB
  • State of Michigan: Labor & Employment Section, International Law Section, International Human Rights Committee
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association (Member)
  • Latin American Bar Association


  • University of Michigan Law School
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    J.D., 2010
  • Calvin College
    Grand Rapids, Michigan
    B.A. with Honors, Business, 2005

Community Involvement

  • Asociación de Profesionistas Mexicanos en Michigan, member
  • Dwelling Place, Human Resources Committee
  • Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce Emerging Leaders Series, Class of 2012
  • Grand Rapids Art Museum, Board member
  • Grand Rapids Ballet Company, Board member
  • Grand Rapids Community Foundation, Program Related Investments Committee
  • Grand Rapids Symphony, Board member
  • International Transactions Clinic of the University of Michigan Law School, Advisory Committee
  • Michigan Board of Medicine (appointment by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder) 
  • Wedgwood Christian Services, Board member
  • West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, chair


  • Grand Rapids Business Journal©, Forty Under 40 Business Leaders, 2014, 2016, 2017
  • Leadership Grand Rapids, Class of 2018
  • LOC Hot List for "Excelling in the Legal Profession," 2014
  • Michigan Super Lawyers®, Rising Star, 2016, 2017
  • Wedgwood Christian Services, Diversity Champion Award, 2014
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