Marisa C. Petrella

Marisa C. Petrella

Managing Partner
Southfield, Michigan

Ms. Petrella is a 1983 graduate of the University of Detroit School of Law. She worked at a corporate defense firm as a litigator for 9 years, specializing in the area of employment litigation. In 1990, she became the first woman partner of that firm. In 1993, she was one of the founding members of a law firm with an international law focus. The firm sponsored visiting delegations from China to meet with potential U.S. corporate partners for joint venture opportunities. She and an associate attorney began to develop an immigration law practice that initially focused on IT clients. In 1995, Ms. Petrella started her own firm where she continued to work with corporate clients who required TN, H-1B, H-2B, L-1, E-1 and other visas and labor certification work for employees and visas for their dependents. She also utilized her litigation background to represent clients in the administrative and federal court system. She is authorized to practice before the Supreme Court of Michigan, the Federal District Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second, Sixth, Seventh and Eleventh Circuits and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Ms. Petrella is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Michigan Chapter. She attended Lobby Day 2007 in Washington D.C. and met with Michigan legislators and staff members to promote business-positive changes to the U.S. immigration system. She has spoken at various conferences regarding immigration issues. She is a member of the American Bar Association.

Areas of Practice

  • Estate Planning
  • Corporate Counseling
  • Wrongful Termination
  • Immigration and Naturalization

Bar Admissions

  • Michigan, 1983
  • U.S. Federal Courts, 1983
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1990
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 2003
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit, 2003
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 2004
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2005


  • University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, Detroit, Michigan
    • J.D. - 1983
    • Honors: Order of Barristers
    • Law Review: University of Detroit Journal of Urban Law, Member, 1982 - 1983
  • University of Detroit Mercy, Detroit, Michigan
    • A.B. magna cum laude - 1980
    • Honors: Honors Program

Published Works

  • Piercing the Corporate Veil in Michigan, 61 University of Detroit Journal of Urban Law 81-103, Fall, 1983

Honors and Awards

  • Moot Court, Member, Board of Directors, 1981 - 1982
  • Alpha Sigma Nu Honor Society
  • National Order of Barristers

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • State Bar of Michigan
  • American Bar Association
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)
  • University of Detroit Law Alumni Association, 1983 - 1985
  • Mercy High School Alumnae Association, 1983 - 1988


  • French
  • Italian