Shannon McKinnon


Shannon McKinnon has been practicing immigration law in various capacities for her entire career.  She is committed to helping noncitizens successfully navigate the immigration system to achieve their personal and professional goals in the United States.  She loves finding strategic solutions and sharing her knowledge about this notoriously complex area of the law.  She has deep experience as a removal (deportation) defense litigator and has represented numerous individual clients and families seeking a wide variety of family-based and humanitarian immigration relief and benefits, including complex asylum cases. 

At FordMurray, Shannon handles a broad array of matters involving healthcare and higher education, family-based, and humanitarian immigration law.  She has particular expertise in the intersection of criminal and immigration law – often referred to as “crimmigration.”  

Shannon joined FordMurray in spring of 2024 after many years of practice in the New York/New Jersey immigration legal services communities.  She most recently served as the Legal Director at Immigrant Justice Corps (“IJC”) where she was responsible for leading IJC’s in-house legal team to provide affirmative and defensive immigration representation within New York City.  Shannon previously practiced in the Immigrant Rights Program at the American Friends Service Committee in Newark, New Jersey and the Immigration Law Unit of the Legal Aid Society in New York City.  She represented adults and juveniles in all stages of removal proceedings and developed proficiency in crimmigration.  Shannon also engaged in various community education initiatives and advocated for local policy reform on immigrant rights issues.

Shannon is committed to supporting the next generation of immigration attorneys as they learn and grow.  She trained IJC fellows in the fundamentals of immigration law and practice and taught a practice-based externship course at Columbia Law School focusing on crimmigration and removal defense.  She will be teaching a bridge course at Maine Law School in Fall of 2024 designed to build essential crimmigration knowledge among law students.    

Shannon began her career as a general commercial litigator at a large, national law firm where she, together with Legal Aid, formed a pro bono program to defend detained immigrants facing deportation.  She received her J.D. from New York University School of Law and her B.A. from University of California at Los Angeles.


  • New York University School of Law, J.D. 2004
  • University of California at Los Angeles, B.A. 1998


  • American Immigration Lawyers Association

Greatest strengths:  

  • Engaging with clients,
  • Delving into careful legal analysis,
  • Finding creative solutions and presenting them with precision and passion. 

Enjoy doing:  Hiking, biking and enjoying nature in Maine with my husband and two children.  

Hidden talents:  Salsa dancing

Shannon’s words to live by:  “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou