Vivian R. Khalaf is the founding partner at Khalaf & Abuzir LLC in Palos Hills and its affiliate office, Agility Services, in Ramallah, Palestine. She obtained her J.D. from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1991 and began her private practice immediately after working for a small, woman-owned customs and immigration firm.
Vivian immigrated to the United States with her family when she was only six months old and returned to Jerusalem, where she was born, at the age of 12. She graduated from Friends Girls School in Ramallah before returning to the United States to complete her university education at the University of Illinois-Chicago and then law school. Vivian is a member of the Illinois bar and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Vivian has spent more than 30 years concentrating her practice in immigration and nationality law, including immigrant and non-immigrant visas, naturalization, asylum, removal defense and federal immigration litigation. Fluent in Arabic, she assists international clients with identifying investment opportunities that enable them to obtain immigration benefits in the U.S., the European Union and the Caribbean. She travels extensively around the world representing clients with immigration matters at U.S. consulates and embassies abroad.
Notably, she is one of five women lawyers who led in the class-action case of Doe v. Trump filed in four jurisdictions brought on behalf of U.S. citizens in mixed (immigration) status families. This litigation was a leading force that compelled Congress to alter eligibility criteria in the second economic stimulus packages. Vivian regularly speaks on immigration related issues, social justice and civil rights. She actively worked on repealing the Muslim travel ban and offered her services pro bono to affected travelers and their families during the chaotic initial period of the ban.
Vivian was recently awarded the Chicago Bar Association’s 2021 Vanguard Award as the nominee of the Arab-American Bar Association. She was also featured in the June 2019 edition of Harper’s Bazaar Arabia in a piece about women who “are redefining what it means to be a global citizen.” Vivian is the recipient of the Arab- American Bar Association’s 2021 “Voices For Justice” award as well as numerous other awards from community based organizations in the Arab-American community for whom she volunteers. Throughout her career, she has mentored young students who have went on to become successful attorneys, the majority of whom are women.
Vivian serves on the boards of the Arab-American Business & Professional Association (“AABPA”), the Arab-American Voters Alliance (“AMVOTE”), the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (“PCRF”) and the Arab-American Bar Association (“AABAR”).
Avocationally, Vivian enjoys traveling, reading, and spending quality time with family and friends. She is married to Mohammad Hmoud with whom she has three adult children, Omar, Roma and Ali.