Benach Ragland is starting a new series to introduce our friends to our staff. While lawyers claim all the glory and publicity, the reality is everything attorneys do is made possible by an amazing staff of people who care about our clients and work hard to ensure that deadlines are met, documents are filed properly, and communication always remains open. We start this series with a portrait of Sandra Arboleda, who does so much more than answer the phones.
Sandra Arboleda is a legal assistant. Most people know her as the friendly voice that answers the phone when you call Benach Ragland or the warm welcome when you walk in our door, but Sandra has many other important duties that aren’t as visible.
Sandra is an immigrant herself. A native of Cali, Colombia, Sandra studied to be a psychologist at Valle del Cauca University before she came to the U.S. to work as an au pair. Sandra has always had a deep love for children and has worked in Colombia and Columbia Heights, Washington DC to develop outreach and support programs for disadvantaged youth and children. In the au pair program, Sandra found an opportunity to work with children and to improve her English. What Sandra did not expect was that she would fall in love with an American man. Her new relationship tested her resolve to return to Colombia and continue her work. Ultimately, love won out, Sandra married Ted, and obtained her residence. Sandra started working with immigrant children with CARECEN and Centronia, two outstanding public service organizations in Washington DC.
Sandra joined Benach Ragland to have the chance to work with immigrant communities. Sandra has used her experience as a psychologist to help victims of domestic violence and trauma that have relied upon Benach Ragland to help them achieve stability and justice. Sandra works with attorneys and staff to put together applications and to gather documentation to support cases. In addition, Sandra sets the nervous at ease with her warm greeting and her outstanding coffee.
As a Colombian, Sandra takes immense pride in her ability to make an excellent cup of coffee. This is another way that Sandra takes care not only of the clients, but all of us at Benach Ragland who depend on her cheer and her coffee every day.