About

Himani_PodiumHimani Bhardwaj is the principal attorney of HBM Law Offices based in Des Moines, Iowa.  An immigrant herself, Himani’s international background profoundly shaped her professional career as an immigration attorney.

Born in Punjab, India, Himani also lived in Hyderabad and New Delhi before immigrating with her family to Argentina at the age of five where she learned Spanish and grew to love horses and empanadas.  Five years later, she relocated with her family to Bangkok, Thailand where she attended International School Bangkok and grew a deep appreciation for Buddhist culture and love for Thai food. After graduating high school, Himani moved to Chicago, IL to attend University of Chicago. She graduated cum laude in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies.

Himani attended DePaul University College of Law in Chicago from where she received her Juris Doctorate and certificate in International Human Rights in 2010.  In law school, she was awarded the Jeanne Sullivan fellowship from the International Human Rights Law Institute (IHRLI), worked as an editor for the International Human Rights Journal and represented DePaul in 2010 at the Willem C. VIS International Commercial Arbitration Moot court competition in Hong Kong.

A passion for human rights coupled with her international background, Himani appreciates the opportunities, dreams, and freedom that immigrating to the US brings to fellow immigrants. She is equally mindful that the road to immigration is full of hurdles.  This is where Himani strives to provide thorough, practical, and honest advice to her clients.

Himani Bhardwaj is admitted to practice law in Illinois and is authorized to practice immigration law in Iowa by the Supreme Court of Iowa.  She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyer Association (AILA) Des Moines and New York Chapter.  Fluent in Spanish, Hindi, and Punjabi, Himani also has a cursory understanding of Urdu.  Himani is an Indian national who became a naturalized US citizen in 2010.  She enjoys international travel with her husband (also an immigrant), trying different ethnic cuisines, and watching foreign films.


Work Experience

OaxacaIn the summer of 2009, Himani worked in Oaxaca, Mexico at the Center of Human rights and Advice for Indigenous People (CEDHAPI).

Alongside Mexican attorneys she gathered evidence of crimes committed by paramilitary groups against the indigenous population and helped draft petitions to the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights requesting provisional measures to protect indigenous land under customary law. Himani’s advocacy work earned media coverage in Oaxaca.

Presenting

In 2011, Himani served as a director in Iraq with a team of eight Iraqi attorneys where she oversaw the operations and budget of two US government funded grants focused on supporting democracy and female education and empowerment. Himani worked with the Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education and Deans of various law schools to improve legal education.

Women at Conference

She helped launch the first national Iraqi radio show on issues affecting minority communities and spearheaded a two-day national conference “Empowering Women Economically” that brought together political and business female leaders and experts to conduct skills-based workshops on personal finance, business planning and micro finance for 150 female Iraqi law students.

Watch a snippet of Himani speaking about the importance of moot courts in Iraqi legal education (from 0:57 – 1:06)

Publications

“S. Bill 744: Benefits & Limitations for Foreign National Entrepreneurs,” The Globe (Vol. 51, No. 2)

Awards & Recognition

Jeanne M. & Joseph P. Sullivan International Human Rights Fellowship 2009 – 2010, Chicago, IL
Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court Competition 2010, Hong Kong, China

Professional membership

American Immigration Lawyer Association (AILA)
Iowa & New York Chapter Member
University of Chicago Alum Association
Chicago Chapter
International School Bangkok Association

Pro Bono

Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS)
2012 – 2013, Pro-bono cases
Indo-American Center, Chicago
2012 – 2013, Pro-bono cases
Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR)
2012 – 2013, Naturalization workshops

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