William Z. Reich
"As a former immigrant myself, it gives me great joy to assist others through the U.S. immigration process."
William Reich's Story
William Reich was born in Tel Aviv on October 5, 1947 before the State of Israel was established. In 1956, he immigrated to Guatemala with his parents, both of whom were Holocaust survivors. With only the knowledge of Hebrew and Spanish, his family picked up two years later and moved to the United States. Much of what Bill knew about this new country was learned from what he saw in American films, but he quickly became accustomed and helped his parents with the banking system, the language and assimilation. Growing up in the boroughs of New York City, Bill became aware of what a mecca America was for immigrants. These childhood experiences of being the outsider wearing second-hand clothing and knowing the sacrifices his parents made to be sure that he and his sister were successful are what give Bill the unique position to relate to each immigrant that he assists.
Retreating from the busy life of the city, Bill attended the University of Buffalo School of Law. After graduating in 1974, he joined the Buffalo, New York law firm then known as Serotte, Hailey, Hoffman & Green where he began his legal career in the fields of criminal law and litigation. When he introduced the practice of immigration law to the firm, his criminal law background served him well with the enforcement side of immigration and litigation. Building on his own background as an immigrant and the fact that he is fluent in Hebrew, Yiddish, Spanish and Polish, Bill took a serious interest in this emerging and dynamic area of the law. More than 30 years later, he is recognized as an expert legal strategist with a specialty toward solving complicated and challenging immigration matters, particularly related to border issues and waivers.
After years of traveling across the world on behalf of clients, the creation of the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement (later NAFTA) in 1988 helped Bill to remain local in Buffalo and create an expertise in assisting Canadian employees with TN (Treaty National) applications. Through this experience, he became the go-to lawyer within the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) community for NAFTA cases and the rehabilitation of denied cases at the border. Bill co-authored the Matthew Bender chapter on Border Problems and Remedies and authored "Processing of Canadian NAFTA Applications at the Port of Entry" in AILA's Immigration Practice and Procedure under the NAFTA. In addition to all of this, Bill is the past Chairperson of the Erie County Bar Association Immigration Law Committee, past Chairperson of the AILA Upstate New York chapter and he has served on various national committees for AILA. While continually reminded of his perspective as an immigrant, Bill takes a deep interest in helping each person that comes across the border to attain everything that this country has offered him.