Des Moines

Profile photo for Lori T. Chesser, Immigration Lawyer in Des Moines, Iowa
Lori T. Chesser has been practicing U.S. immigration law since 1987.

Lori T. Chesser

Senior Shareholder and Immigration Department Chair Dentons Davis Brown
215 10th Street, Suite 1300
Des Moines, Iowa 50309

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Practice Areas

Employment-based Immigrant Visas|Family Immigration|I-9 Employer Compliance and Audits|Non-Immigrant Visas (Work-Authorized)|Student Visas

Awards & Recognitions

Chambers USA, Labor & Employment: Immigration, Iowa Ranked Band 1
Best Lawyers® ranked since 2003, Immigration Law “Lawyer of the Year” in the Des Moines Metro 2020
AV Preeminent™ rated by Martindale-Hubbell and Client Distinction Award (given to attorneys who are voted by clients to have demonstrated superior communications ability, responsiveness, quality of service, and value for money)
JDSupra Readers’ Choice Award 2017 and 2018
A. Arthur Davis Distinguished Community Leadership Award, Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute, 2015
President’s Commendation, American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), 2012 (for outstanding leadership as Chair of the Access to Counsel Committee), 2008 (for outstanding service in preparing for large scale ICE enforcement actions), 2006 (for outstanding achievement in comprehensive immigration reform advocacy).
Immigrant Champion Award, Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit, 2011
Footsteps Award, Diocese of Des Moines, for work in social action, 2009
Business Record’s Women of Influence Award, 2008
Mary Louise Smith Human Rights Award, Des Moines Human Rights Commission, 2007

Memberships & Associations

IMMLAW-The National Consortium of Immigration Law Firms
American Immigration Lawyers Association
Iowa State Bar Association
Polk County Bar Association

Pro-bono & Community Service

Lori has spent countless hours advocating for law change with community and immigrant groups, as well as providing pro bono legal services along with her team.


University of Georgia School of Law, 1987
Western Illinois University, 1984

Spanish (firm)

Lori Chesser is a senior shareholder and chair of the Immigration Department at Dentons Davis Brown  in Des Moines, Iowa.  Her practice encompasses business immigration, employment verification (I-9 review, audits and E-Verify), and family immigration.  She leads a team that covers almost all aspects of immigration law and attorneys in the firm practice in related areas including employment, tax, health, corporate formation and contracts.

Lori was the co-founder of the Iowa/Nebraska chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and has continued her service to AILA on national committees and as a speaker and author.  She is the past chair of the Board of Trustees of the American Immigration Council and has also been active locally in educating about immigration law and policy and advocating for immigrants and immigration reform.  She also serves as a source for local and national media regarding immigration issues, especially regarding worksite enforcement and immigration reform efforts.