DALLAS, Dec, 9, 2021 – Tech-forward immigration law firm Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP’s Chief Information & Technology Officer Vince DiMascio has published groundbreaking research that will be presented at the IEEE International Conference on Data Mining (ICDM), this week in Auckland, New Zealand. DiMascio and his co-authors built an innovative tool that leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate and improve a mundane but critical step in the immigration process.

The tool uses natural language processing to “read” a job description and determine the standard occupational classification (SOC) code that best matches the job description on employment-based immigration petitions. The tool reduces turnaround time and ensures consistency in the selection of codes, especially across volumes of petitions where more than one code fits the description.

“This research sets BAL apart in an area of AI and legal tech that no one has explored, and could revolutionize the immigration application process,” said DiMascio. “We are able to train the tool to learn new job terminology and map job descriptions to SOC codes, with the aim of improving accuracy, efficiency, quality of work and client experience.”

As a trailblazer in the legal technology space, BAL continues to push the envelope on innovations that improve the immigration process. The U.S. Labor Department categorizes jobs into 867 occupational categories, each with a unique SOC code. Searching and selecting the code can be a tedious process and any problems in code selection can lead to delays or denials in immigration processing.

In this extremely competitive labor market, compounded by immigration backlogs and ongoing travel restrictions, employers depend on accurate and efficient immigration filings to fill critical job openings. DiMascio’s technology improves the process by training predictive models to determine the best-fitting SOC code based on the employee’s job description, benefiting both foreign national employees and their employers.

The published research is DiMascio’s latest achievement, following award-winning enhancements to BAL’s proprietary case management system, Cobalt®, and the use of AI to improve data migration during client onboarding. DiMascio previously co-authored a peer-reviewed paper on combining text and image readers to categorize RFEs and automating response templates. This impressive suite of technology gives BAL’s legal teams “extra hands” to respond to unpredictable surges in immigration filings caused by rapid policy changes, and enable our clients’ employees to take advantage of every opportunity to pursue their dreams.

“BAL is leading the industry in presenting peer-reviewed papers at world-class conferences like IEEE,” said BAL Partner Edward Rios, who heads the firm’s Innovation & Strategy Group. “BAL’s tech innovations are more than just academic—they are ultimately about serving people. Combining our technical and legal expertise, we design innovative solutions that create a smoother immigration experience for clients around the world. Our relentless pursuit of next-generation technologies also makes us an employer of choice for elite immigration professionals who want to lead in the industry.”

About BAL
Established in 1980, BAL powers human achievement through immigration expertise, people-centered client services and innovative technology. BAL, with 13 offices across the United States and global coverage in more than 185 countries around the world, operates as a single entity through its oneBAL culture — a uniquely holistic approach, intentionally structured as one team, one brand, one P&L, one standard of excellence and one unifying technology. This united approach enables the firm to deliver the highest level of knowledge, insights and resources from across the entire organization.

At BAL, we pursue the exceptional. To learn more visit bal.com.

Media Contact:
Emily Albrecht
Senior Director — Marketing & Communications