The Florida Bar

News Releases


January 12, 2023
CONTACT: Jennifer Krell Davis, [email protected]
The Florida Bar

Irina Shabetayev

Irina Shabetayev

Irina Shabetayev has been nothing short of a hero to countless Ukrainian refuges facing unimaginable circumstances and significant challenges in relocating to the United States following the Russian invasion of their country.

Recognizing the exceptional hurdles these refugees were facing, Shabetayev organized a series of pro bono community events for refugees in which attorneys and paralegals would explain the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) process, answer questions, and help refugees fill out the necessary paperwork.

Shabetayev partnered with the Russian American Bar Association to lead this initiative, culminating in multiple events taking place throughout South Florida and helping hundreds of refugees in only a few short months.

Shabetayev also gave of her time and skills as an immigration attorney at these successful all-day events. In addition to leading the team of attorneys, Shabetayev donated supplies and food and water to provide a modicum of comfort in an otherwise stressful time.

The service Shabetayev has provided to the refugee community during this crisis was in addition to the pressures she faced as a young attorney working in a busy firm and as a mother to three young boys. Adding to the pressures were the challenges that the Ukraine conflict created for her own family, who were trying to leave her native Moldova due to the ongoing risks of the war.

Shabetayev joined Elizaveta V. Samorukova, P.A. in 2014, where she specializes in various areas of immigration law, primarily in matters of political asylum and deportation; petitions from victims of domestic violence (VAWA); difficult situations when applying for a green card; and in family law, assisting clients with divorces, name/surname changes, prenuptial agreements, and other matters.

This year’s awards ceremony, which also honors Individual, Circuit, Voluntary Bar, Law Firm, Distinguished Federal Judicial Service, and Distinguished Judicial Service pro bono efforts, takes place at the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday, Jan. 26, at 3:30 p.m. Watch it live on FacebookWFSU: Gavel to Gavel and the Florida Channel.

EDITORS: Please note The Florida Bar is not an association and "Association" is not part of our name. Proper reference is "The Florida Bar." Local bar organizations are properly termed "associations."