- Law Office of C.J. Lyford, 1997 to current.
Solo practitioner: Domestic and International Adoption. Immigration and Citizenship law.
- HIAS & Council Migration Services Of Philadelphia, 1998 to 2000.
Pro bono legal services involving general and family-based immigration.
- Rawle & Henderson, 1987 to 1995.
General civil litigation.
- Smith Kline, 1982 to 1987.
Attorney - Liability Manager.
- Philadelphia General Hospital, Hahnemann Hospital, Philadelphia Home Care Nursing, 1975 to 1979.
Various RN positions including Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Respiratory Intensive Care Unit.
- J.D., Temple University School of Law, 1982.
- National Law Center, George Washington University, 1979-1980.
- B.A. Political Science/Public Policy (cum laude), University of Pennsylvania, 1979.
- Nursing Diploma (R.N.), Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, 1975.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Professional & Bar Association Memberships
- American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).
- Philadelphia County, Montgomery County and Pennsylvania Bar Associations.
- Delaware Valley Adoption Council (DVAC).
- American Adoption Congress.
- Active member and professional contributor to numerous local and national adoption support and information groups and list serves, for example, Families with Children from China, I-Child (India), EthiopiaAdopt, etc.
Pro Bono Activities
- Montgomery County Children and Youth Services.
- Montgomery Child Advocacy Project (MCAP).
- Philadelphia VIP.
- ABA Military Pro Bono Project.
- AILA Military Assistance Program (MAP)
Representative clients and types of cases
Who are her clients? Here are a few examples of the types of cases that she has handled:
- A U.S. couple received a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) regarding their I-600A Application because they did not tell the social worker about a previous arrest, thinking it was expunged.
- After a U.S. couple successfully adopted a child in Romania, the I-600 Petition was denied because insufficient evidence was provided about the birth mother's inability to adequately care for the child to meet the U.S. immigration definition of orphan.
- A couple living in Pennsylvania wanted to adopt a child born in Korea who was in the U.S. on an expired visa and get him legal U.S. immigration status and U.S. citizenship.
- A U.S. citizen wanted to adopt her nephew who was living in Thailand and bring him to the U.S. to live with her. As Thailand is a Hague convention country, the adoption is being processed pursuant to the Hague law.
- A U.S. couple adopted a child from Brazil while they were living abroad and subsequently wanted to bring the child home to live with them in the U.S.
- A couple living in Pennsylvania obtained custody and guardianship of a child born in India and needed to have the adoption finalized in Pennsylvania.
- A single mother adopted a child from Ethiopia and needed to readopt the child or have the adoption recognized under Pennsylvania law so that the child would become a U.S. citizen.
- A U.S. citizen married a woman from Jamaica and wanted to bring the mother and her child to the U.S. The U.S. citizen spouse subsequently adopted the child in Pennsylvania as a stepparent.
- A U.S. couple who was living outside of the U.S. applied for U.S. citizenship for their foreign born child and the application was denied.
- A Pennsylvania couple met a possible birth mother and needed legal guidance on how to proceed.