Teodora D. Purcell

Special Counsel

  • Teodora D. Purcell
  • Phone: +1 619 744 2266
    Fax: +1 619 839 3972

    Import to Address Book

  • Duane Morris LLP
    750 B Street, Suite 2900
    San Diego, CA 92101-4681

Teodora D. Purcell practices in the area of immigration law. With extensive and diverse experience, she focuses on business immigration matters. Ms. Purcell advises corporate and individual clients on employment and family-based nonimmigrant and immigrant petitions, I-9 compliance, applications for U.S. citizenship and other immigration benefits. She also provides counsel on various global mobility and business traveler issues.

Ms. Purcell's corporate immigration practice focuses on the technology, life science, biotech, telecommunications, engineering, and construction sector. She also works with entrepreneurs, emerging companies and investors, as well as represents individuals in various immigration matters before the Department of Homeland Security and its agencies. Ms. Purcell is sought after to provide creative solutions to complex legal issues related to inadmissibility, removability and eligibility for a wide spectrum of immigration benefits in the U.S.

Ms. Purcell is certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the California State Bar, Board of Legal Specialization. She is a frequently invited speaker on business immigration topics and an Instructor in Immigration Law at the University of California San Diego ABA approved paralegal program. Ms. Purcell is committed to pro bono work and assists indigent clients obtain humanitarian immigration benefits such as asylum, withholding of removal, protection under the Violence Against Women Act, U visas, T visas, to name a few. She is also dedicated to community service and has served in leadership positions for different local organizations.

Ms. Purcell is a 2001 graduate of the University of San Diego School of Law and a graduate of Sofia University, St. Clement Ohridski School of Law. She is licensed to practice in California (USA) and Bulgaria. She is fluent in Bulgarian and conversant in Russian and Spanish.

Ms. Purcell works with biotechnology, life science, pharmaceutical, medical device companies and research organizations to ensure they hire highly skilled talent and innovators from around the globe. From start up to large entities, including nonprofit institutions, she provides strategies to medical technologies and life science to ensure their immigration compliance and that they can rely on the best and the brightest innovators. Ms. Purcell frequently works with post-doctoral fellows, scientists, researchers, entrepreneurs in industry whom she assists with creative solutions to obtain temporary and permanent work authorization or status in the United States.

Areas of Practice

  • Immigration Law


  • California


  • University of San Diego School of Law, LL.M., 2001
  • Sofia University, J.D. and LL.M., 1998


  • Duane Morris LLP
    - Special Counsel, 2019-present

  • Tafapolsky Smith Mehlman LLP
    - Senior Attorney, 2017-2019

  • Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsent & Loewy LLP
    - Senior Attorney, 2006-2017

  • University of California San Diego
    - Faculty Instructor, Immigration Law ABA Approval Paralegal Program, 2013-present

  • Aguirre Law Group
    - Associate, 2004-2006

  • Casa Cornelia Law Center
    - Staff Attorney, 2002-2003

Professional Activities

  • California State Bar, Board of Legal Specialization
    - Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law, 2011-present

  • San Diego County Bar Association
    - Board of Directors, 2018-present
    - Immigration Law Section Chair, 2013-2015

  • American Immigration Lawyer Association
    - Executive Committee Member/Treasurer, San Diego Chapter, 2013
    - USCIS Committee, 2014
    - Consular Corp. Liaison Committee Chair, 2014-2015

  • Casa Cornelia Law Center Inn of Court
    - Benchers' Committee, 2013-2016

  • Lawyers Club of San Diego, 2006-present
    - Professional Advancement, Community Outreach, Diversity Women Committee Member, 2013-present

  • American Corporate Counsel, San Diego Chapter
    - Pro Bono Committee, 2016-2017

  • BIOCOM San Diego, 2014-2017
    - International Committee and Capital Development Committee Member, 2015-2016

  • San Diego Human Resource Forum, 2015-2017

  • Women in Bio San Diego, 2015-2017

Honors and Awards

  • Listed in Super Lawyers Top 25 Women Lawyers, 2019

  • Listed in Super Lawyers San Diego, 2016-2019

  • KPBS Local Hero Award, 2016

  • Listed in San Diego Daily Transcript Top Attorneys, Immigration Law, 2014 and 2015

  • Corporate LiveWire Global Awards, Relocation Category, 2016

  • Casa Cornelia Law Center
    - La Mancha Award, Distinguished Pro Bono Attorney of the Year, 2015
    - Pro Bono Publico Award, 2011 and 2014

  • State Bar of California
    - Wiley W. Manual Award for Pro Bono Legal Services, 2002, 2012 and 2014-2018

Civic and Charitable Activities

  • Vasil Levski Education and Cultural Foundation
    - Board Member, 2007-2016

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Moderator, "2020 All Day MCLE La-LAW-palooza," Association of Corporate Council, San Diego, California, January 29, 2020
  • Speaker, "DACA Employees: The Supreme Court’s Decision and What Employers Know," Duane Morris Institute, Webinar, March 12, 2020
  • Featured on "It's a Heckuva Time to Be an Immigration Attorney in Our Border City," San DIego County Bar Association's Meet and Confer Podcast, August 2019