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CYNTHIA F. LEIGH has practiced in the field of immigration law since 1988. She has been Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1999. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, the Travis County Bar Association, and the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association.

Ms. Leigh is a 1984 honors graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, where she was awarded the Order of the Coif. From 1984 to 1988, she served as Assistant Attorney General for the State of Texas in the Environmental Protection Division of the Attorney General’s office. From 1991 to 1993, Ms. Leigh was the Legal Director of the Political Asylum Project of Austin (PAPA), now American Gateways, a non-profit organization devoted to serving the needs of low-income immigrants in the Central Texas area.

Ms. Leigh has been a speaker at local and state seminars on various immigration topics. She currently serves as a mentor to other attorneys across the United States in the area of business immigration. Since 1988 she has represented many multi-national companies to obtain employment and permanent resident status for their foreign employees based in the United States. Her practice includes both large and small employers as well as individuals of extraordinary ability, outstanding researchers and professors, and multi-national executives and managers.

Since the 1980’s, Ms. Leigh has served on the Board of Directors of the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems in Austin, Texas, a non-profit education, research and demonstration organization that promotes green building systems and interdisciplinary collaborations towards regional and global sustainability and human health. Ms. Leigh is now the President of the Board of Directors for that organization. 


Barbara Hines founded Hines & Leigh, P.C. in 1982. She is considered an expert and leader in the Immigration and Nationality Law field. Ms. Hines retired from private practice in 1998.  

Most recently, Ms. Hines was featured in a February 2015 article in the New York Times related to her ongoing work against immigrant family detention.You can learn more about her current endeavors and works here and can follow her on Twitter. 

Barbara Hines was a clinical professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law, where she was a founder and co-director of the Immigration Law Clinic from 1996 -2014.  She was the first Co-Director of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law of Texas, Immigration and Refugee Rights Project in San Antonio. Ms. Hines was a Fulbright scholar in Argentina in 1996 and 2004, where she worked on Argentine immigration issues, taught immigration law and collaborated on the establishment of an immigration clinic in Buenos Aires.

During her time at Hines & Leigh, P.C. Ms. Hines received many awards for her work, including the 1992 American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Jack Wasserman Memorial Award for Excellence in Litigation; and the 1993 AILA Texas Chapter Litigation Award. 

Ms. Hines has continued to be recognized for her leadership and advocacy within the Immigration field, receiving the 2002 Texas Law Fellowships Excellence in Public Interest Award; the 2007 AILA Elmer Fried Excellence in Teaching Award; the 2009 MALDEF Excellence in Legal Services Award; and the 2010 National Lawyers Guild Carol King Award. In 2000 was selected as one of the 100 best lawyers in the state of Texas by the Texas Lawyer publication. In 2015 she received the prestigious University of Texas School of Law Massey Teaching Excellence Award. 

Barbara Hines is an Emerson Senior Fellow and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Immigration Project and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She has been a Board member of the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild since 1996. She is an active member of the RAICES/Karnes Pro Bono Coordinating Committee that provides legal services and advocacy around the detention of mothers and children at the Karnes Detention Center.  Ms. Hines frequently lectures and publishes on topics related to immigration law and immigrants' rights.