Attorney Profile

Rachel M. Self

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Rachel M. Self is the founding member of Rachel M. Self, P.C., and appears regularly as a legal analyst for the Fox News Channel and CNN. Attorney Self represents individuals in criminal and immigration matters. The firm specializes in criminal trial work, family immigration, citizenship, deportation defense, and post-conviction relief.

Rachel has been selected by Boston Magazine and Superlawyers as a top immigration attorney from 2009-2017 and has recently been honored for the sixth year in a row by The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 Under 40. She is regularly asked to teach and speak on both criminal and immigration issues. She has taught advanced immigration and crimmigration seminars for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Massachusetts Bar Association and the New Hampshire Judicial Education Program. She has also taught at New England Law Boston. She is rated “Superb,” the highest possible ranking, by Avvo, a national attorney rating service and was awarded with the Client’s Choice award for 2013-2017. Rachel is fluent in Spanish, and has a broad base of knowledge in international and cross-cultural issues.

    Practice Areas

    Criminal Defense: Arraignment and bail hearings Post conviction relief Narcotics Violations Money Laundering Theft Sexual Assault Domestic Violence Assault & Battery Alien Smuggling Illegal re-entry after deportation Juvenile Criminal Defense Driving under the influence

    Immigration: The firm specializes in all aspects of immigration law and dedicates itself to honest and communicative representation while providing you with all possible resolutions for your immigration problem.


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    Representative Cases - Verdicts and Settlements:

    • Rachel obtains approval in I-601A case for client.  Lawful permanent residence granted., 2017
    • Rachel wins Motion for New Trial in Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon case.  All charges against client dismissed.  Citizenship granted., 2017
    • Rachel obtains favorable outcome for client charged with 2 counts of Rape.  All Rape charges dismissed., 2017
    • Rachel obtained a Nolle Prosequi in a drug trafficking case.  All charges against the client dismissed., 2017
    • Rachel wins Motion for New Trial on DUI charges.  Case dismissed.  Lawful Permanent Residence Granted., 2017
    • Rachel wins Motion for New Trial in larceny case.  Lawful permanent residence restored to client.  Deportation proceedings terminated., 2016
    • Rachel obtains a Not Guilty jury verdict for client wrongfully accused of several counts sexual assault., 2016
    • Rachel wins Motion for New Trial in Drug Possession case.  Charges dismissed.  Citizenship granted., 2016
    • Rachel wins Motion for New Trial in Drug Trafficking case.  Charges dismissed., 2016
    • Rachel received a Not Guilty in a Reckless Driving trial., 2016
    • Rachel received a Not Guilty in an OUI second offense jury trial., 2015
    • Rachel obtained a Not Guilty in an Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon case., 2014
    • Rachel recently obtained a Not Guilty verdict in a sexual assault trial., 2014
    • Rachel obtained a Not Guilty in a Threats and Assault and Battery Trial., 2013
    • Rachel obtained a Not Guilty in a Assault and Battery and Assault and Battery of a Police officer trial., 2013
    • Rachel obtained a Not Guilty in a Threats and Assault and Battery trial., 2012
    • Rachel obtained a Not Guilty in an Assult and Battery trial., 2012

    Scholarly Lectures and Writings:

    • In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings in Moncrieffe v. HolderDescamps v. United States, and Mathis v. United States, a well-structured plea bargain can make all the difference to your immigration case. What can you do to ensure your clients receive the best plea bargain? How can you improve communication with defense counsel? The panelists will provide insight and tips on coordinating the plea process with defense counsel, increasing your chances for the best possible outcome.   Featured Topics Documents: What Comprises the "Criminal Disposition"? Sentences and Enhancements: When Do Misdemeanors Equal a Felony? Educating the Prosecutor Don't Ask Too Much: Knowing Where Defense Counsel Will Draw the Line Knowing Your Jurisdiction, Panelist, The Perfect Plea Bargain: What Defense Counsel Wants You to KnowAILA, 2017
    • “You who are so-called illegal aliens must know that no human being is illegal. That is a contradiction in terms. Human beings can be beautiful or more beautiful, they can be fat or skinny, they can be right or wrong, but illegal? How can a human being be illegal?” —Elie Wiesel, writer, Nobel Prize winner, and holocaust surviver. “Help! My husband has just been detained by ICE. I don’t know what to do!” Now, more than ever, immigrants are being taken into custody by ICE. A mother, brother, husband, or child has just been detained by Immigration and the family has no idea what do to next. Where is the client? Where will they be taken? What happens next? What are the client’s rights? In this new era, we need to be ever vigilant in how we zealously advocate for our clients. How has the new administration and its policies affected representation of immigrants and immigrants with criminal issues? Is it a crime in itself to be “illegal”? “Hey counsel, just so you know, that guy has a detainer from ICE.” Hearing this at the arraignment could change your entire strategy for how to argue bail and how to effectively and zealously protect your client’s interests. Should you argue to have him held in state custody, or try to get him into federal immigration custody? What should your analysis be?, Chair, CrimmigrationMCLE, 2017
    • Immigration Law: MCLE BasicsPlus!® is an intensive program of lectures and discussion sessions that covers both family- and employer-based immigration law. Experts give you a practical introduction to the concepts and practice of immigration law, with updates and real-world strategies for successful lawyering. Over a series of two days, they provide you with an overview of laws, regulations, and agency policies and teach you how to spot issues and assess the immigration options for your clients. There is simply no better way to get the nuts-and-bolts training you need to kick-start your immigration practice., Panelist, Immigration Basics PlusMCLE, 2016
    • - Dealing with ICE and how to Find your Client - What is a Detainer? - Challenging ICE Detainers in State Court - Federal Immigration Custody v. State Custody - To Bail or Not to Bail?  Reasons why Posting Bail is Not Always the Best Choice - Basics of Bond Hearings - Motions for New Trial and Sentence Reductions, Chair, CrimmigrationMCLE, 2016
    • Crimmigration—the intertwining of criminal and immigration law—can affect the noncitizen during every stage of his or her immigration status. This seminar discusses how to identify, analyze, and minimize the effect of a criminal conviction on your noncitizen client.Featured TopicsOverview of the Grounds of Inadmissibility and Removability Most Common Criminal Grounds of Removability and Inadmissibility Importance of Determining the Immigration Consequences of a Criminal Conviction How to Determine If a Conviction Is a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude, an Aggravated Felony, or a Crime of Violence Minimizing the Effect of a Criminal Conviction on Your Client's Immigration Status, Panelist, Crimmigration 101, AILA, 2016
    • What is the categorical approach and how is it relevant to your client? This seminar focuses on recent case developments and practical approaches in removal defense. Learn how to use recent case law to contest removability or to argue eligibility for forms of relief. The panel gives practitioners an understanding of the authority behind the categorical approach and provides clear guidance on the concepts. In addition, the speakers offer practical suggestions on how to utilize the analysis in practice. Key Topics Include:Identifying the Difference Between a Singular Offense (Which May Be Committed in Various Ways) vs. a Divisible Statute that Provides Alternative Offenses Essential Holdings in Moncrieffe and DescampsExtending Moncrieffe Past the Determination of Removability and into Available Relief Recent Activity Involving the Categorical Approach and How It May Save Your Client Practical Tips to Implement into Your Practice, Panelist, Categorial Approach - What Every Practitioner Needs to KnowAILA, 2015
    • Seminar focusing on some of the fundamentals of what to do when your client encounters the immigration consequences of criminal charges., Chair, Crimmigration 101, MCLE, 2014
    • Rachel is on a panel discussing the ins and outs of practicing before the Boston Immigration Court., Panelist, MCLE Basics Plus Immigration Law, MCLE, 2014
    • Rachel participated on a panel which conducted a mock Motion for New Trial based on issues under Padilla v. Kentucky., Panelist, Mock Trial: Current Issues Under Padilla v. KentuckyMassachusetts Bar Association, 2014
    • Chaired a seminar focused on fundamentals of what to do when ICE issues detainers against your client and what to do when the murky waters of criminal law and immigration consequences intersect., Program Chair, Crimmgration 101MCLE, 2014
    • Rachel was a panelist for this program sponsored by the Massachusetts Bar Association.  Topics to be highlighted include information-gathering for the client's immigration file, qualification status for permanent residence, selective service issues, the effect of previous deportation/unlawful presence in U.S., and criminal issues., Panelist, MBA Pitfalls for the Unwary - How to get citizenship without getting deportedMassachusetts Bar Association, 2014
    • Rachel did a seminar in the Zealous Advocacy class on how to do your best closing argument., Panelist, MCLE Zealous Advocacy in the District CourtsMCLE, 2014
    • Rachel was a panelist discussing Immigration Court practice tips., Panelist, MCLE Basics Plus in Immigration LawMCLE, 2013
    • Rachel guest lectured at Harvard University's Introduction to the Law class and discussed the history of immigration law and present issues facing people wanting to immigrate to the US., Guest Lecturer, Harvard University Introduction to the Law, 2013
    • Rachel presented to members of the MBA how to effectively prepare an affirmative asylum application., Panelist, Preparing Successful Affirmative Asylum Applications, Massachusetts Bar Association, 2013
    • Rachel presented on the MCLE panel regarding criminal defense and immigration and the immigration consequences of criminal activity., Panelist, Criminal Defense and Immigration, MCLE, 2012
    • Rachel was the moderator at the 2011 AILA New England Immigration Law Conference in Advanced Immigration Strategies for the EOIR panel.  Topics discussed included prosecutorial discretion, criminal consequences, Padilla v. Kentucky, and recent case law in Removal Proceedings., Moderator - EOIR Advanced Practice Stragies, 8th Annual New England AILA Advanced Immigration Strategies Conference, 2011
    • Rachel presented on the basics of Removal Proceedings before the immigration court., Panelist for Immigration Court Procedure and Relief from Removal, MCLE Immigration Basics, 2010
    • Rachel lectured on the immigration consequences of criminal activity and post conviction relief issues., Lecturer - Advanced Topics in Litigation, AILA New England Immigration Law Conference, 2010

    Selected teaching engagements:

    • Immigration and the Law, UMASS Dartmouth School of Law, 2012
    • Mexican Judiciary Exchange Program on Criminal Law, Judicial Conference, 2012
    • Criminal Law and Immigration Law Training, Massachusetts Bar Association Conference, 2012
    • Immigration Basics, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc, 2011
    • Immigration Consequences of Criminal Conduct, Judicial Conference, 2011
    • Advanced Immigration Litigation Practice, AILA New England Immigration Law Conference, 2011
    • From Cuffs to Court – What Happens when ICE Detains Your Client? – Presenter, AILA New England Chapter, 2011
    • Immigration Basics, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc., 2010
    • Advanced Issues in Litigation, AILA New England Immigration Law Conference, 2010

    Honors and Awards:

    • The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 under 40 is a professional organization composed of the top trial lawyers from each state or region who are under the age of 40.  Membership into The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 under 40 is by invitation only and is extended exclusively to those trial lawyers practicing civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense law. Membership is extended solely to the select few of the most qualified attorneys from each state who demonstrate superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature and public profile measured by objective and uniformly applied standards in compliance with state bar and national Rule 4-7. Invitees must exemplify superior qualifications, trial results, and leadership as a young lawyer under the age of 40. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research. Each of our distinguished Top 40 under 40 members strives to encompass the knowledge, skill, experience and success held by only the best lawyers in America.  It is our mission to promote a unique and professional networking opportunity for young lawyers, while developing progressive ideas to pursue justice for those injured by the negligence of others, to educate the public about the importance of access to courts that are free of bias and undue influence, and to protect the right of trial by jury., Top 40 Under 40, National Trial Lawyer, 2017
    • https://www.avvo.com/attorneys/02108-ma-rachel-self-1341417.html, AVVO Client's Choice Award, AVVO, 2017
    • The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 under 40 is a professional organization composed of the top trial lawyers from each state or region who are under the age of 40.  Membership into The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 under 40 is by invitation only and is extended exclusively to those trial lawyers practicing civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense law. Membership is extended solely to the select few of the most qualified attorneys from each state who demonstrate superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature and public profile measured by objective and uniformly applied standards in compliance with state bar and national Rule 4-7. Invitees must exemplify superior qualifications, trial results, and leadership as a young lawyer under the age of 40. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research. Each of our distinguished Top 40 under 40 members strives to encompass the knowledge, skill, experience and success held by only the best lawyers in America.  It is our mission to promote a unique and professional networking opportunity for young lawyers, while developing progressive ideas to pursue justice for those injured by the negligence of others, to educate the public about the importance of access to courts that are free of bias and undue influence, and to protect the right of trial by jury., Top 40 Under 40, National Trial Lawyers, 2016
    • https://www.avvo.com/attorneys/02108-ma-rachel-self-1341417.html, AVVO Client's Choice Award, AVVO, 2016
    • The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 under 40 is a professional organization composed of the top trial lawyers from each state or region who are under the age of 40.  Membership into The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 under 40 is by invitation only and is extended exclusively to those trial lawyers practicing civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense law. Membership is extended solely to the select few of the most qualified attorneys from each state who demonstrate superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature and public profile measured by objective and uniformly applied standards in compliance with state bar and national Rule 4-7. Invitees must exemplify superior qualifications, trial results, and leadership as a young lawyer under the age of 40. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research. Each of our distinguished Top 40 under 40 members strives to encompass the knowledge, skill, experience and success held by only the best lawyers in America.  It is our mission to promote a unique and professional networking opportunity for young lawyers, while developing progressive ideas to pursue justice for those injured by the negligence of others, to educate the public about the importance of access to courts that are free of bias and undue influence, and to protect the right of trial by jury., Top 40 Under 40, National Trial Lawyers, 2015
    • https://www.avvo.com/attorneys/02108-ma-rachel-self-1341417.html, AVVO Client's Choice Award, AVVO, 2015
    • The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 under 40 is a professional organization composed of the top trial lawyers from each state or region who are under the age of 40.  Membership into The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 under 40 is by invitation only and is extended exclusively to those trial lawyers practicing civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense law. Membership is extended solely to the select few of the most qualified attorneys from each state who demonstrate superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature and public profile measured by objective and uniformly applied standards in compliance with state bar and national Rule 4-7. Invitees must exemplify superior qualifications, trial results, and leadership as a young lawyer under the age of 40. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research. Each of our distinguished Top 40 under 40 members strives to encompass the knowledge, skill, experience and success held by only the best lawyers in America.  It is our mission to promote a unique and professional networking opportunity for young lawyers, while developing progressive ideas to pursue justice for those injured by the negligence of others, to educate the public about the importance of access to courts that are free of bias and undue influence, and to protect the right of trial by jury., Top 40 Under 40, National Trial Lawyers, 2014
    • The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 under 40 is a professional organization composed of the top trial lawyers from each state or region who are under the age of 40.  Membership into The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 under 40 is by invitation only and is extended exclusively to those trial lawyers practicing civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense law. Membership is extended solely to the select few of the most qualified attorneys from each state who demonstrate superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature and public profile measured by objective and uniformly applied standards in compliance with state bar and national Rule 4-7. Invitees must exemplify superior qualifications, trial results, and leadership as a young lawyer under the age of 40. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research. Each of our distinguished Top 40 under 40 members strives to encompass the knowledge, skill, experience and success held by only the best lawyers in America.  It is our mission to promote a unique and professional networking opportunity for young lawyers, while developing progressive ideas to pursue justice for those injured by the negligence of others, to educate the public about the importance of access to courts that are free of bias and undue influence, and to protect the right of trial by jury., Top 40 Under 40, National Trial Lawyers, 2013
    • The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 under 40 is a professional organization composed of the top trial lawyers from each state or region who are under the age of 40.  Membership into The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 under 40 is by invitation only and is extended exclusively to those trial lawyers practicing civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense law. Membership is extended solely to the select few of the most qualified attorneys from each state who demonstrate superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature and public profile measured by objective and uniformly applied standards in compliance with state bar and national Rule 4-7. Invitees must exemplify superior qualifications, trial results, and leadership as a young lawyer under the age of 40. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research. Each of our distinguished Top 40 under 40 members strives to encompass the knowledge, skill, experience and success held by only the best lawyers in America.  It is our mission to promote a unique and professional networking opportunity for young lawyers, while developing progressive ideas to pursue justice for those injured by the negligence of others, to educate the public about the importance of access to courts that are free of bias and undue influence, and to protect the right of trial by jury., Top 40 Under 40, National Trial Lawyers, 2012

    Other Outstanding Achievements:

    • — Rachel received the National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40, 2017
    • Rachel received the Client's Choice Award for the fifth year in a row. She is rated a "10" Superb client rating by AVVO, a national lawyer listing service. To see Rachel's client reviews, click here: http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/02108-ma-rachel-self-1341417/reviews.html, 2017
    • — Rachel received the National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40, 2016
    • Rachel received the National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40., 2015
    • Rachel received the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers., 2014
    • Rachel received the National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40., 2014
    • Rachel received the Client's Choice Award for the second year in a row. She is rated a "10" Superb client rating by AVVO, a national lawyer listing service. To see Rachel's client reviews, click here: http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/02108-ma-rachel-self-1341417/reviews.html, 2014
    • Rachel received the Client's Choice Award and a "10" Superb client rating by AVVO, a national lawyer listing service. To see Rachel's client reviews, click here: http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/02108-ma-rachel-self-1341417/reviews.html, 2013
    • Rachel received the National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40., 2013
    • Rachel received the National Trial Lawyers top 40 under 40., 2012

    News Appearances: