Monday profile: Rebecca Mancini

 Rebecca Mancini is an associate at Miller Canfield’s Ann Arbor office, where she focuses on employment-based immigration matters for the firm’s corporate clients. The 2007 Michigan State University graduate earned her Juris Doctorate in 2012 from the University of Detroit Mercy Law School, where she served as a legal extern for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and as a law clerk for the Executive Office of Immigration Review.

Mancini was born in Ann Arbor and grew up in Metro Detroit. Prior to attending law school, she lived in Spain for two years teaching high school English. She now lives in Royal Oak with her husband, Eric, and their dog, Brady. 
By Jo Mathis
Legal News
 
Favorite local hangouts: In Ann Arbor, it’s difficult to pick only a few places. I do love the Kerrytown area because it has a little bit of everything, including Zingermans, of course. As a Spartan, I will even admit that U-M’s campus is a beautiful place to hang out. 
 
What is your happiest childhood memory? Spending summers with my family up north on the lake. There’s no better place. 
 
What would surprise people about your job? What many people would be surprised to learn is that foreigners entering the U.S. workforce today hail from many more countries than prior immigrants from America’s past. They also bring with them a wide range of skills, from PhD earners graduating from American universities to skilled laborers and technicians who gained their knowledge on the job. I really enjoy working with such a diverse group of clients. 
 
What has been your favorite year so far? 2012 was a great year. I got engaged, graduated from law school, passed the bar exam, we bought our first house and got our dog, Brady. 
 
Why did you become a lawyer? Becoming an immigration lawyer seemed like a great way to blend my personal interests in different cultures, languages and global travel, with my profession. It has been the best way to stay interested in and passionate about my career. 
 
If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would that be? Anthony Bourdain. I would love to be paid to travel the world and eat the best food each country has to offer. 
 
What’s the most awe-inspiring place you’ve ever been? The Sahara Desert in Morocco. At night, sleeping on the vast sand lit up with the brightest stars I have ever seen, was incredible. Second would have to be Sagres, Portugal, formerly thought to be the end of the inhabitable world. And when you’re there, you can imagine why. 
 
What would you say to your 16-year-old self? Driving is overrated. It would be nice to have someone drive you around all the time when you’re older. 
 
What’s your proudest moment as a lawyer? Receiving gratitude from clients will always make me proud as a lawyer. I am lucky to work in a field where I can help individuals and their families achieve their career goals and dreams of working in the United States and also in becoming permanent residents and U.S. citizens. 
 
Favorite joke: What’s the difference between an accountant and a lawyer? Accountants know they’re boring. (My father is an accountant, so I know he will like this one.)
What do you do to relax? Running and yoga always help me to relax. I also enjoy binge-watching a good series on Netflix with my husband. We just finished “House of Cards” and can’t wait for the next season. 
 
What’s one thing you would like to learn to do? I would like to learn a third language, this time one with a new alphabet. Maybe Chinese or Arabic. 
 
What is something most people don't know about you? I played field hockey for Michigan State in college. It was actually then I first realized immigration law could be a good fit for me. I had many international teammates from all over the world who were always discussing their student visas and the process they went through to come here to play. It seemed complicated and intriguing all at once. 
 
If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be? Abraham Lincoln, Kurt Cobain and Aristotle. Little bit of everything. Seems crazy enough to be a very interesting evening. 
 
What’s the best advice you ever received? My late grandfather often used wisdom from Socrates that he played off as his own personal words of wisdom. My favorite has always been “Know Thyself” and I have remembered that throughout my life and career. I am most successful when I know what suits me best and so I tend to run with that. 
 
If you can help it, where will you never return? There are still too many places I haven’t been, so unfortunately I won’t get the chance to return to many places that I have already been to. 
 
Favorite place to spend money: Traveling and eating, ideally both at once. 
 

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