Fernanda Bustamante Photo
  • Bio

Fernanda Bustamante

Attorney at Law, Partner

Fernanda has tirelessly advocated for thousands of immigrants, focusing primarily on obtaining lawful status and a fresh start for survivors of child abuse, domestic violence, and crime. She has also protected dozens of deserving immigrants from deportation in the US immigration courts. She is inspired by strength of the human spirit, and flourishes when fighting to achieve legal immigration status for the most disadvantaged clients.

Fernanda is first-generation American and grew up in a family that immigrated from Peru. She is fluent in English and Spanish and enjoys conversing in Portuguese. While working toward her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley—and long before embarking on a law degree—she demonstrated her deep commitment to immigrant rights by spending hundreds of hours volunteering as an interpreter for asylum applicants, many of whom were fleeing domestic violence and civil unrest in Central America.

In 2008, she earned her Juris Doctor from the University of San Francisco, graduating cum laude and earning numerous prestigious awards and scholarships throughout her academic career. As a law student, she partnered with the UC Hastings Center for Gender and Refugee Studies on a project that involved interviewing experts and witnesses about gender-based violence in Guatemala. By providing pro bono legal advice at Centro Legal de la Raza, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, and the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, she assisted hundreds of clients without the means to pay for legal counsel. Between 2015 and 2019, she was recognized as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine.

Today, Fernanda furthers her commitment to social justice and immigrant rights as a founding partner of Fuerza Immigration Lawyers. She sits on the Board of Directors of La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley, California, and stays deeply connected with her Latina roots as an accomplished musician and dancer. She performs with Ensambles Ballet Folklórico de San Francisco, Bululú, De Rompe y Raja Cultural Association, and many other musical ensembles around the Bay Area. She shares a warm, rambunctious, and music-filled home in her native Oakland with her musician husband and two young children.


  • University of San Francisco School of Law, San Francisco, California
    • Juris Doctorate, cum laude, 2008
      • Student Body Association Diversity Committee, Officer
      • La Raza Student Association, Member
      • Public Interest Law Foundation, Member
      • 2008 CALI award for excellent achievement in the study of Legal Ethics & Practice of Law
      • 2008 California State Bar Foundation Imelda Rosenthal Bar Scholarship Recipient
      • 2007-2008 McAuliffe Honors Society
      • 2007-2008 USF Saber Es Poder Scholarship
      • 2007-2008 Dean’s Scholarship
      • 2007 USF Public Interest Summer Grant
      • 2006-2007 McAuliffe Honors Society
      • 2006-2007 Dean’s Scholarship
      • 2006-2007 Arthur C. Zief, Jr. Law Scholarship
      • 2006-2007 Foundation of the State Bar of California Law School Scholarship
      • 2006 San Francisco La Raza Lawyers Association Public Interest Summer Fellowship
      • 2005-2006 McAuliffe Honors Society
      • 2005-2006 Dean’s Scholarship
      • 2005 CALI award for excellent achievement in the study of Criminal Law
  • University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California
    • Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, 2003

Bar Admissions

  • Admitted in California
  • Licensed to practice before:
    • All Immigration Courts
    • Board of Immigration Appeals
    • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
    • Supreme Court of California

Practice Areas

  • Immigration Law


  • Pediatric Grand Rounds: An Introduction to Immigration Law for Pediatricians | Kaiser Permanente | 2016
  • An Introduction to Immigration Law for Pediatricians | Marin Community Clinic | 2015

Professional Associations

  • State Bar of California, Active Member, 2008-present
  • San Francisco La Raza Lawyers Association
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association

Pro-Bono Activities

  • Member, Board of Directors, La Peña Cultural Center


  • English
  • Spanish
  • Conversational Portuguese