“Our family immigrated to the U.S. when I was a young child, and I grew up watching my parents welcome and help other immigrants settle into the community.  I feel privileged to continue that tradition by advising individuals, companies and policy-makers on such an important topic.”

Lynden Melmed is a partner with Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP and oversees the firm’s compliance and government affairs practices. Before joining BAL, Lynden served as Chief Counsel of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), that agency’s highest ranking legal position. As Chief Counsel of USCIS, Lynden managed a legal program of approximately 130 attorneys and was a key advisor to senior leadership within USCIS, DHS, the White House, and other federal agencies on all aspects of immigration law.

Prior to his appointment as Chief Counsel, Lynden served as Special Counsel to Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), who at that time was Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship. In that capacity, he was actively involved in oversight of federal immigration agencies and played a leading role in drafting and managing the comprehensive immigration legislation that passed the U.S. Senate in 2006.

Today, Lynden counsels corporate clients on complex immigration matters, assists businesses in establishing and managing global immigration programs, and represents businesses in connection with audits and investigations by the federal government. He has served as immigration counsel in connection with several of the largest immigration investigations ever pursued by the federal government.

Lynden is uniquely situated to help clients navigate politically sensitive immigration matters. He serves as counsel to several prominent business trade associations, has testified before the U.S. Senate’s Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, and has strong bi-partisan connections with House and Senate leadership. He has a track-record of success in helping clients develop, draft and achieve policy solutions.

Earlier in his career, Lynden served as an attorney in the DHS and INS General Counsel’s offices, where he focused on immigration benefits, visa and border security issues. Before joining the federal government in 2002, Lynden spent four years in private practice in Dallas, Texas, first at Jackson Walker LLP and later at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy LLC.

Lynden has an active pro-bono practice and provides legal advice to patients and families staying at the Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health. He is married and lives with his wife and three children in Bethesda, MD.

Education & Admissions

University of Virginia, Juris Doctorate
University of Virginia, Bachelor of Arts
Admitted to: State Bar of Texas


American Immigration Lawyers Association


Best Lawyers since 2013
Best Attorneys in Washington, DC and Baltimore
Chambers District of Columbia Band 2, 2011-2023
Chambers USA Band 2, 2011-2023
Chambers Global Band 2, 2011-2023
The Legal 500
Who’s Who Legal
Human Resources Executives Magazine and Lawdragon - Most Powerful Employment Attorney 2018

Professional Accomplishments

Speaker, Immigration Works USA Teleconference U.S. v. Texas: the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (April 2016)
Speaker, BAL Webinar: How to Comply with the New STEM OPT Regulations - Part 2: Best Practices – How to Comply with New OPT Paperwork and Reporting Obligations (April 2016)
Speaker, BAL Webinar: How to Comply with the New STEM OPT Regulations - Part 1: Overview of the New OPT Program for STEM Graduates (March 2016)
Speaker, National Foreign Trade Council International Human Resources Conference, Compliance, Risk and the International Business Traveler (March 2016)
Speaker, BAL Breakfast Briefing, Latest US and Global Immigration Policy and Compliance Trends (February 2016)
Speaker, BAL Webinar: Latest Developments in U.S. Business Immigration (September 2015)
Moderator, American Bar Association’s 10th Annual Security Law Institute (August 2015)
Speaker, BAL Webinar: Latest L-1B Policy Guidance and Adjudication Trends (March 2015)
Speaker, BAL Government Affairs Webinar: Immigration Accountability (December 2014)
Speaker, Worldwide ERC® Master Series: Focus on Business Immigration (November 2014)
Speaker, Greater Washington Employee Relocation Council Membership Meeting (September 2014)
Speaker, FEM New York Totally Expat Show: Government Investigations (March 2014)
Speaker, 10th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference (October 2013)
Speaker, Brookfield Leadership Conference, Chicago, IL (July 2013)
Speaker, 8th Annual Homeland Security Law Institute Conference, Washington, DC (June 2013)
Speaker, BAL Compliance Briefing (May 2013)
Speaker, GIBC Webinar on Legislative Developments (May 2013)
Speaker, Worldwide Employee Relocation Council Legislative Developments Webcast (April 2013)
Speaker, Capitol Hill Briefing (January 2013)
Speaker, BAL Fall Compliance Conference, Dallas, Texas (November 2012)
Speaker, BAL Government Relations Webcast (August 2012)
Speaker, Society for Human Resource Management Talent Management Conference (May 2012)
Speaker, Worldwide Employee Relocation Council Global Workforce Symposium (October 2011)
Speaker, Global Personnel Alliance Conference, Washington, DC (May 2011)
Speaker, 6th Annual Homeland Security Law Institute Conference, Washington, DC (March 2011)