Citrin-Cooperman--Leaders in Professional Services & Industry Insights. Learn More.
Biographies Current Issue Law

Bringing International Talent to the Business Forefront

Headshot of Brian Hemsworth Of Newman Grace Inc
Written by Brian Hemsworth

A local upbringing, a stint working in the White House, and dedication to family has helped Global Immigration Partner’s managing partner Danielle Gotcher find her own definition of success

For most of us, any mention of “immigration law” conjures up one of two scenarios. First is the marriage scenario, where someone gets married to gain citizenship into the country. It’s the fodder for romcoms and TV movies. Or there is the “undocumented” immigrant, fighting his or her way to a new land for a chance at a better way of life. Travel downtown in most West Coast cities, and you’ll see lots of advertisements on buses and benches for attorneys specializing in these practice areas.

But there is another, lesser-known area of immigration law. It is one significantly different from the other forms of immigration law. This is the area companies are developing strategies around, pouring money into, and building successful companies around. 

This area of immigration law lies at the intersection of human capital and federal immigration laws. When a company reaches beyond our country’s borders to find talent and expertise, beyond that which can be found locally, it must navigate the very challenging and confusing world of immigration. That’s where the story of Danielle Gotcher and Global Immigration Partners (GIP) begins. 

Locally Grown


Attorney Danielle Gotcher is about as local as local gets here in Los Angeles. Her parents lived in Reseda when she was born. Her family later moved to Calabasas, and Danielle was a student in the Las Virgenes School System all the way through Calabasas High. But the Valley wouldn’t hold Danielle forever. 

“I knew that I wanted to go far away for college,” said Danielle. “I wanted something new. I had lived in a bubble in Calabasas. I really wanted something new and different. And east! I really wanted to be on the East Coast. I don’t know, I was enamored by it. At the time. I thought it so cool…New York and Boston, right? And D.C. At the time I wanted to do broadcast journalism. I didn’t want to be on camera at all but be behind the scenes and do, like, investigative journalism or something like that. So thankfully,” she continued, “I got a scholarship to Boston University and went there. I was a dual major, political science and communication.”

It was while at school Danielle began to envision working in Washington D.C. She grew to love not only the idea of working in a press office, but eventually even as a lobbyist advocating for an important cause.

“And so, I got the opportunity to work in D.C.,” Danielle revealed. “I got to work in the White House while I was in college. Law school hadn’t even occurred to me. At the time, it was a pretty cool experience to be in D.C. I had to go through a pretty significant background check to work there. It was exciting.” 

Danielle ended up working for an up-and-coming prominent figure, who unfortunately lost his election. She had planned that if the person won, she would move to D.C. and work there full time. But it was not meant to be. Upon graduation, she moved back to Los Angeles and began working. She also began entertaining the thought of law school. 

She reasoned with herself that law school would provide a lot of opportunities, which it did, and not just professionally. She also met her future husband Jim there in her first year of law school. Danielle also thought her future lay not in court, but in transactional or estate planning. As happens with the best of plans, upon graduation, her first job was as a…litigator!

A Family Affair

Danielle’s husband Jim was destined for an immigration practice. Upon his own graduation, he joined his father, Ron, in practice. Ron, a longtime business immigration attorney, brought a vast amount of experience and expertise to the practice. Jim brought the fresh energy of a young attorney, but also the eagerness to learn the ins and outs of this unique practice area.

In 2009, Global Immigration Partners, a firm focused on business immigration was born, headed up by Jim and Ron. With retirement on the horizon for Ron, Jim was on the fast track not only in business immigration law, but also in running a firm. In the beginning, it was just Jim, Ron, a paralegal, and a receptionist. 

“Jim was doing everything at that time,” recalled Danielle. “He was doing the books, billing, sending out the invoices, collecting the money, making sure everything was running smoothly.” At the same time, the firm was growing. Its clients were referring them additional work, new clients were coming into the fold, and within a few short years, they were up to 12 employees. Growth had no appearance of slowing anytime soon.

“It got to a point where it was just a lot,” continued Danielle. “And Jim asked if I would consider coming to help him run the business. That was a huge decision for me, because I had worked really hard to become a partner at this other firm. That’s when Jim suggested I could be a partner at GIP.”

Danielle felt conflicted. Not about working for the firm, as she put it, but because she didn’t feel like she had “earned it.” She had worked hard to prove herself at her current firm and been given a lot of responsibility. But despite those initial reservations, in 2012, she joined the firm. It was baptism by fire—learning about immigration law at the same time taking much of the management from Jim so he could concentrate on client management. Oh, and one other thing, Danielle and Jim also had just had their daughter. To say it was a Herculean undertaking is a true understatement.

“Everything about GIP relates to family. It was started by Jim and his dad. We’ve got multi-generational clients. We even have multi-generational employees, parents whose kids work at the firm.”

“Our daughter was six months old when I started working for Global Immigration Partners,” tells Danielle. “In the beginning, it was part time. I just came in to help get things organized with the business, make sure things were in place. I did things like help clean up the books. Now remember, we didn’t go to business school, we went to law school, and nobody necessarily teaches you how to run a business. So we were figuring things out on our own along the way.

“I was really fortunate in terms of learning a new area of law and that I had my father-in-law, who had been practicing in this field for more than 40 years. He had a huge amount of expertise in the law, but also experience and practical knowledge of how the machine works, so to speak. We deal with government agencies. So having access to him, basically 24/7, was great. My learning curve was very, very steep. But I was able to learn a lot quicker than I think other people coming into this field would because I could just ask him questions or bounce things off him and he would teach me.”

Echelon-Professional-Danielle-Gotcher-Global-Immigration-Partners-INternational-Talent-With Globe-FEATURE

Professional, With A Personal Touch

The firm has continued to grow since day one. Once Danielle came aboard, it really freed up Jim and the firm to grow wings and thrive. Today the firm has more than 50 employees and an ever-growing client list. 

Despite the growth, Global Immigration Partners has been able to keep doing two things that really helped shape the firm. The first comes right out of the name—partners. GIP works as much as a business partner as they do providing legal counsel. They learned early on that businesses, for the most part, just want to grow and be the best at what they do. Unfortunately, most businesspeople have little knowledge of how business immigration works, but in this day and age, the need to expand their reach internationally to hire the right talent is increasing dramatically. This is particularly true in the STEM fields, especially areas such as high tech, software, and bio tech. With their vast experience, GIP is able to provide guidance far beyond the alphabet soup of government forms and filings and paperwork. They are able to guide clients with savvy business strategies and tactics that help their clients achieve greater success as companies.

“We’re working directly with these business owners and their investors,” tells Danielle. “We’re helping them grow their business through immigration, because they truly cannot find the talent that they need in the U.S. They wouldn’t need us if they could. We also make sure that they’re doing things in a way that remains compliant, because hiring one foreign national is one thing, but if you have multiple foreign nationals on your payroll, you have got to make sure you’re giving out immigration benefits fairly and consistently throughout the organization. This is where my litigation expertise comes into play. I get brought in a lot to draft immigration policies for larger companies that have multiple people that they sponsor to ensure that everything is set out properly.”

The other thing that has shaped GIP during this time of rapid growth is their personalized approach to their work. Herb Kelleher, co-founder and retired CEO of Southwest Airlines, has a famous quote, “Your people come first, and if you treat them right, they’ll treat the customers right.” Global Immigration Partners appears to take that advice to heart in the way they run the firm.

“Everything about GIP relates to family,” says Danielle proudly. “It was started by Jim and his dad. We’ve got multi-generational clients. We even have multi-generational employees, parents whose kids work at the firm.”

This personal, even family-oriented, approach to work must be seen as an important factor in GIP’s success. Many individuals, startups, and small businesses that began with them back in the early years are now much bigger, multinational companies that still retain GIP. Additionally, some of their long-standing clients consist of HR execs and recruiters that have left one firm and enlist GIP’s help at their new companies.

Keeping The Fires Lit

Immigration law, particularly business immigration law, requires a lot of time and attention. Working with governments and layer upon layer of laws, forms, filings, and regulations, can require assignments that are measured not just in days or weeks, but often months and years. Knowing the law, the client needs, and keeping everything in order and complaint can take a toll.

Family time is certainly one thing that keeps the Gotchers grounded and their work/life balance in perspective. “We like to travel,” says Danielle. “Even if it’s just taking a simple road trip. I find that if I’m home, even if we have a couple of days off, it’s not necessarily easy to relax and hang out. We’re often going to take care of stuff around the house or do something for the business that comes up. So it’s really helpful to go away. Jim’s really good about insisting that we take breaks and go on trips or go out of town, whether it’s just the two of us, or the three of us. We do need that mental break from everything that we do. I think if I had all the time in the world and all the money in the world, I would travel all over.”

When asked about the cornerstones of Danielle’s values, the answer came quickly and easily. “Family, integrity, empathy, and teamwork. Family is a huge core part of everything that we do at the firm and that’s how we run the firm, and how we’re able to run it because we have such an amazing supportive family that helps us take care of everything. I mean, my in-laws are still a huge sounding board for us. And it’s not just my father-in-law, but my mother-in-law cooks dinner once or twice a week, which is huge for me. It’s very difficult to have any kind of full-time job, let alone run a company, and be able to go home and make dinner every night. My family is nearby too, and we’re all a very tight group. I personally could not do what I do without my family.”

The company itself has become an extended family. Danielle and Jim have helped numerous employees in difficult situations over the years, and that has translated into devout loyalty to the Gotchers and the firm. 

While no mortal can tell the future, it’s a safe bet that the global nature of business, the rise of new technologies, and Global Immigration Partners will continue to expand. And it’s also a pretty safe bet that Danielle Gotcher will continue to be there for her own family and work families, and they will all be there for her and GIP as well.  

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.