Robert Loughran's Story
Robert comes from a family of immigrants and travelers. His parents met in Chile while his father was on a State Department scholarship. At the age of eleven, Robert enrolled in middle school in Chile for a year to meet his cousins and learn Spanish. Ever since, he has been drawn to working with people from other countries. He returned to study history and law in Chile at the Universidad de Concepcion after earning his undergraduate degree at the University of Texas. Through his law school internships with Catholic Charities and Carecen, Robert became especially interested in the political and litigation sides of international law. It all came together for him when he studied in Madrid during the summer of his last year of law school, when he realized that studying abroad is not just about learning facts in a classroom, but rather that it builds knowledge of law through the understanding of different experiences and points of view. From that point on Robert has constantly reminded himself to have an international outlook and understand the perspectives of people with different backgrounds or positions.
Robert went to law school to practice litigation and he became the key person at Tindall & Foster with the disposition and skill-set to litigate. As the government ramped up enforcement, however, clients' needs shifted and Robert started up and continues to run the firm's employer sanctions practice, assisting employers with immigration compliance. Finding another niche that needed to be filled, Robert began the firm's outbound global department, working with U.S. companies to secure employment authorization when sending employees abroad. In 2000, Robert opened the Austin office of Tindall & Foster, where he was able to build expert teams to do exclusively global outbound work and employer compliance work. With the merger of Tindall & Foster and Quan, Burdette & Perez, PC in 2008, Robert became a managing partner of Foster, LLP, one of the largest immigration law firms in the U.S.
In addition to his work in his firm, Robert was appointed the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Liaison to the San Antonio District Office of Department of Homeland Security from 2002 to 2006. This was an outlet for him to work on family-based and other immigration matters that were not the primary focus of his practice. Following that position, he was appointed the AILA Liaison to the Vermont Service Center of the Department of Homeland Security for H-1B issues. Robert has served for almost ten years on the State Bar of Texas Committee on Laws Relating to Immigration and Nationality, in which capacity he visits U.S. Consulates along the Mexico border, Department of Homeland Security district offices, The Texas Service Center of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, passport offices, Customs and Border Protection and Border Patrol inspection and detention facilities and interacts with the Department of Labor. Robert has taken the lessons learned while studying in Chile and Madrid and has applied them to his work on these various committees and in preparation of immigration applications, always attempting to gain a better understanding of the government's standpoint. He states, “You have to be able to see things from other people's points of view. Once you do this, you can predict how they will react, and you can then work to achieve the best outcomes.”