Okan Sengun, Esq., Principal Attorney
Okan Sengun is a passionate immigration attorney, and an immigrant himself, with a great understanding of each individual’s unique needs throughout their immigration journeys in the United States. Okan has represented established businesses, startup companies, entrepreneurs, families, dreamers, documented and undocumented individuals, and himself before the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; San Francisco Asylum Office; U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review; and U.S. Department of Labor.
Since 2012, Okan has been serving on the Advisory Council, as the LGBT Coordinator and the Asylum Liaison to the San Francisco Asylum Office of American Immigration Lawyers Association, Northern California Chapter, a professional bar association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.
Okan also serves as a panel attorney at AIDS Legal Referral Panel (ALRP), a nonprofit organization that helps people with HIV/AIDS maintain or improve their health by resolving their legal issues. He provides pro bono immigration counseling and representation to people living with HIV/AIDS.
Okan is a mentor immigration attorney at Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, an organization to advance the rights of immigrants, refugees and communities of color. He is also an active member of Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF), which is the nation’s oldest and largest bar association of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgendered persons in the field of law.
Okan worked at several non-profit organizations and law firms in California and Turkey prior to staring his own firm.
- New York
- U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
- University of California, Hastings College of the Law, Master of Laws (LL.M.), 2010
- University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Certificate in International Trade and Commerce, 2009
- Bilkent University, Bachelor of Laws, 2007
Brooke Westling, Esq., Immigration Attorney
Brooke Westling is a California-licensed immigration attorney who is dedicated to addressing human rights abuses and challenging social and legal constraints on gender and sexuality. She began working with Okan in January of 2015, after returning to law school to pursue an LLM in International Legal Studies, with the goal of aligning her legal career with her personal passions. Since Brooke began working at the Law Office of Okan Sengun, she has been integrally involved in a range of asylum and immigration cases, including LGBT-based asylum claims and marriage-based green cards.
Brooke has always been interested in politics and social justice. She previously worked in state-level government with the Legal Counsel for the Ohio Democratic Caucus. Brooke served as a mediator for the Franklin County night-prosecutor’s office and as a Hearing Officer at Franklin County Teen Court, a diversion program for at-risk teen offenders.
Brooke is a panel attorney at the AIDS Legal Referral Panel (ALRP), a San Francisco-based non-profit, which provides legal assistance and education to persons living with HIV/AIDS. As a panel attorney, Brooke provides pro bono legal representation to people in the San Francisco Bay Area who are living with HIV/AIDS.
In addition to working with ALRP, Brooke is involved in several community and non-profit organizations. She is an active member of WGID (Women Get it Done), a national social group that addresses the issues faced by women in the professional realm and seeks to empower the next generation of women to achieve their goals free of social hindrances. Brooke regularly volunteers for local and national political campaigns to actively promote social change.
Education and Affiliations:
– State Bar of California, 2011
– Golden Gate University Law School, Masters of Law (LL.M.), July 2015
– Capital University Law School, JD, 2009
– Capital University Law School, Alternative Dispute Resolution Certificate, 2009
– Franklin County Court, Divorce Mediation Certification, 2009
– The Ohio State University, Bachelor of Arts, 2006
– BA in Psychology with minors in Political Science and Women’s Studies
Ian Barber, Law Clerk
Ian Barber primarily works in affirmative asylum cases and has experience in conducting client interviews, preparing detailed sworn declarations, and gathering supporting evidence to be submitted to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services for cases including political asylum cases, gender and LGBT-based asylum cases. He has also assisted with marriage-based green card and naturalization applications.
Ian has been awarded joint scholarship by BALIF/APABA-SV for providing legal representation for LGBT and Asian immigrants including a lesbian couple from Vietnam, a gay HIV positive man from Nigeria facing death penalty and an openly gay man from China.
Ian graduated from McGill University in Montreal, Canada with a Bachelor’s Degree in History and minored in Political Science. He is currently a 2L at University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Ian currently serves as the Communications Chair of OUTLAW and an Editor at Hastings International and Comparative Law Review at U.C. Hastings.
Husniye Inal, Paralegal
Husniye Inal is passionate about working on affirmative asylum applications in our San Francisco office. She assists our clients with their documentation of their asylum claims in the best possible way.