Kenneth K. Schmitt
Ken is a founder and principal of US Legal Solutions. He has practiced law in the St. Louis Metropolitan area for over twenty years and in the last fifteen years, has focused a substantial and increasing portion of his professional time representing immigrants and their employers and families in a variety of immigration and other matters.
Ken is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and is a past Chair of the AILA Missouri/Kansas Chapter. He has also served a number of years on the Chapter’s Executive Committee and as the Chapter’s Advocacy Coordinator for the Chapter’s legislative advocacy efforts in Missouri.
Nationally, AILA is a professional bar organization representing over 12,000 U.S. immigration lawyers practicing in all aspects of immigration law and Ken has served as member of AILA’s National Board of Governors and AILA’s national committees that engage directly with the United States Department of Labor and Citizenship and Immigration Service on various employment and family based immigration issues.
Ken has also previously served as the Missouri Bar Immigration Committee Vice Chair. He is a member of the Missouri Bar Association, and the Illinois Bar Association.
Because of Ken’s engagement and advocacy efforts on behalf of immigration reform and immigrant rights on both the national and local levels, he was recently honored by receiving the prestigious AILA National Advocacy Award in 2012.
Ken’s active involvement in the Hispanic immigrant community has also led to his designation by the Mexican State Department (or Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores de México) as an Ad Honorem consultant attorney to provide professional services on behalf of Mexican immigrants at the request of the Mexican Consulate in Kansas City, Missouri and Indianapolis, Indiana.
Ken’s legal career began after graduating from St. Louis University in 1993, as a trial attorney at one of the largest and best known regional insurance defense litigation firms in the Midwest United States. He immediately developed skill and expertise in defending corporate and individual clients before the trial and appellate courts in many different matters including serious personal injury and death related accidents, medical malpractice claims and other complex litigation matters.
In 1998, Ken founded his own firm, the Law Offices of Kenneth K. Schmitt, P.C. He expanded his area of practice to include the representation of employers and employees in employment-based immigration matters at that time. He also developed a real estate practice, founded a regional title insurance agency which provided title searches and real estate escrow-closing services, and wrote title insurance throughout eastern Missouri.
With the evolution of the Law Offices of Kenneth K. Schmitt into US Legal Solutions, LLC, Ken has expanded his immigration practice to include the representation of immigrant clients before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) in affirmative applications for family and employment based immigration benefits as well as before the Federal Immigration Courts and the United States Court of Appeals in removal cases. Ken has successfully litigated difficult defense of removal cases before the Federal Immigration Courts and the Federal Appellate Courts as well as complicated applications for business related visas.
Ken has taken his experience across a spectrum of practice areas and has broadened his client base to include a vigorous representation of immigrant clients in personal injury, work place injury and other civil liability matters before all state and federal courts in eastern Missouri and southern Illinois. Currently, Ken represents clients as diverse as subdivisions in rural Missouri with more than five thousand property owners to individual immigrant clients before the Division of Workers’ Compensation, as well as complicated claims of real estate lending fraud on behalf of immigrant victims before the state trial courts.
Because of the unique problems that criminal charges and convictions create for immigrants, Ken also recognized the need for skilled representation in criminal matters on behalf of this vulnerable population. Ken has therefore expanded his practice to include representation of clients in a variety of felony and non-felony criminal matters.
Outside of the courtroom, Ken serves as the Secretary of the governing board for the Catholic Charities affiliated agency, Saint Francis Community Services. He also served five years as the President of the Advisory Board of the agency’s Southside Center which targets private, non-profit social service programs to address the needs of immigrants in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. He has also worked closely with a number of legislators and other coalition groups (including the St. Louis University Legal Clinic, Catholic Legal Assistance Ministry, the Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates and Metropolitan Congregations United) to address immigration issues in the state capital in Jefferson City as well as locally to promote fair and equal treatment of immigrants before the law in numerous municipalities.
Ken frequently speaks to bar related organizations, Missouri Public Defenders, University classes, and a variety of professional and community organizations on matters pertaining to immigration and the representation of immigrants before the courts. He is frequently sought out as an immigration expert by local and national press organizations as well as to serve on various speaking panels related to immigration law.
Ken received his Juris Doctorate cum laude from St. Louis University School of Law in 1993, his Master of Arts in Public Administration from St. Louis University in 1993 and his Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Political Science from St. Louis University in 1989. He is a graduate of St. Pius X High School in Festus, Missouri. He is a lifetime resident of Missouri, was raised in Jefferson County and currently resides in the City of St. Louis.
Ken has a working ability to speak Spanish.