Ileana J. Montes is an attorney with 16 years of experience dealing with multifaceted legal issues. She is a staunch advocate for clients, committed to providing highly personalized legal services in family law, bankruptcy, civil matters and immigration proceedings. Ileana was born in Colombia. She migrated to the United States at the age of 16. As an immigrant woman she understands and relates to the problems of the immigrant community. Ileana has helped immigrants navigate the complex and broad American Immigration system. With one eye on the law and the other on the needs of her community, she has consistently achieved family unification making good use of the immigration resources process.
After earning an undergraduate degree in Psychology, cum laude, from the East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, Ileana attended Seton Hall University School of Law where she obtained her Juris Doctorate degree in 1997. At Seton Hall she was on the Moot Court Board and the Interscholastic Moot Court Team, was selected best Oralist in an appellate advocacy competition and was a semi-finalist in a national competition.
Her legal career began as a law student intern at the law offices of Linares & Coviello, P.C., Brown & Brown, LLP and the Law Office of Antonio Martinez in New York City. She also interned with the late Hon. Jack Kirsten, Essex County Superior Court Judge and was a judicial clerk for Hon. Judge Hector Velasquez of Hudson County Superior Court. Subsequently, Ileana owned and managed her own law firm.
Ileana had the distinct privilege of being nominated and confirmed by the New Jersey State Senate as the first Hispanic Director of the Division on Women. As Director, she reviewed all the proposed legislation affecting women presented to the State of New Jersey House and Senate and testified at legislative hearings.
She also served as Director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Office for the Department of Community Affairs of New Jersey. In that capacity, Ileana represented hundreds of employees of the Department making sure that they were afforded the protections under the New Jersey Civil Rights Act and the New Jersey Law against Discrimination.
Throughout her legal career Ileana has served on numerous professional committees, including but not limited to the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Municipal Courts, the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Minority Concerns, the New Jersey Advisory Council Against Sexual Violence, the Governor’s Hispanic Advisory Council, the Governor’s Disparity Study Commission, the Governor’s Gender Equity Advisory Committee and the Governor’s Equal Employment Opportunity in Public Contract Committee.
Additionally, Ileana has been an active member of the legal and the Hispanic community. She is a former president of the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey, the founder and current president of “Colombianos Rompiendo Barreras”. She is a member of the State Bar Association of New Jersey, the Hispanic National Bar Association, the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey, and the Organization Latinas United for Political Empowerment. She has been honored by numerous Hispanic organizations and received several awards from New Jersey legislators in recognition of her outstanding and invaluable service to the community.
Through her years of practice, Ileana enjoys an outstanding reputation as well as the respect of her clients and fellow practitioners. Her legal expertise in the field of Immigration extends, not just to her clients, but to the training of other attorneys, lectures to community groups, advice to non-profit organizations, immigration talks on local radio, television appearances, immigration seminars and lobbying Congress in Washington D.C. for Immigrant Rights.