Zenobia Lai

Executive Director, Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative

Zenobia Lai is the Executive Director of Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative. She provides a strategic vision for HILSC in carrying out its dual role as a funder and program developer. Harnessing its motto of convene-incubate-launch, HILSC develops creative solutions to issues affecting Houston’s immigrant community and builds strategic partnerships to amplify the collective impact of the network. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Zenobia made her immigrant journey to attend college in the 1980s. Zenobia is a seasoned civil legal services lawyer who has worked with low-income immigrant communities around the country. She has centered her career on making legal services available to those who lack financial resources, political power, English proficiency, or knowledge of the American legal system. She helped coin the term “community lawyering” where lawyers leverage resources from private law firms and other professionals to support low-income communities’ quest for systemic changes. She is both a practitioner and an educator. She helped design training curricula, train trainers, and conduct lawyering skill trainings for the legal services community. Zenobia also taught at the University of Massachusetts at Boston where she prepared aspiring law students and human services professionals for career growth. Prior to her legal career, Zenobia was a broadcast journalist in Hong Kong, a skill that she deployed to help run a Cantonese cable television show for more than two decades in Malden, Massachusetts. Education: Juris Doctor, University of Minnesota Law School. Bachelor of Science, Journalism and Mass Communications, University of Wisconsin - Madison

Zenobia is speaking at

General Advocacy
July 16, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:15 pm


  • Zenobia Lai (Speaker) Executive Director, Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative
  • Jacqueline Dan (Speaker) Immigration Support Services Attorney, Orange County Public Defender
  • Roland Hwang (Moderator) Vice President of Public Affairs, OCA National
Sponsored By:
Association of Chinese Americans (ACA), Inc.


1.5+ million Asian Americans live in fear due to their status as undocumented immigrants. For the past several years immigrant communities have been attacked through travel bans, increased deportation efforts of Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander immigrants, attempts to undermine the family and employment visa processes and even changing the website language of the mission of the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services. What are the next steps for our communities? Join a conversation about how we can help educate and organize our communities to defend our collective immigrant rights. Learn how we can protect our families so we can all stay with our loved ones in the United States.

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