staff, reviews, & media

We’d love to boast about our impressive and inspiring clients, but we respect their confidentiality too much for that. Instead, if you want to read what our clients think about our work, see what they write in our Google Reviews.

CoveyLaw and Tamizdat get a lot of attention in the media. You can see some of the press coverage of our work in our media archive.

It all comes back to our amazing staff. Below you can click on a photo, and you’ll find each person’s full biography and links to high resolution photos.

Matthew Covey, Attorney, Partner

Matthew has worked in music and arts immigration since 1996. As a member of the US/Slovak band Skulpey, as Knitting Factory Records’ Amsterdam booking agent, and as the manager of the Klezmatics, his varied career has afforded him a comprehensive understanding of the entertainment industries. He is a founding director of Tamizdat, a non-profit that promotes international cultural exchange.

Amanda leads CoveyLaw’s general immigration division. Working with both individuals and business entities, Amanda regularly files O-1 and EB-1 petitions for individuals in music, theater, tv/film, graphic arts, visual arts as well as fashion, among other industries. Amanda also represents national and international corporate clients as well as start-up entities spanning a range of industries (arts, technology, education).

Amanda Gupta, Attorney, Partner
Will Spitz, Attorney, Partner

Will Spitz leads CoveyLaw’s Performing Arts Division, focusing primarily on preparing O and P visa petitions for artists entering the U.S. temporarily to perform. He also provides pro bono services to foreign artists and arts professionals as a volunteer attorney at Tamizdat, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that promotes international cultural exchange.

Harlan Levine, Chief Operating Officer

Harlan heads the Operations team at CoveyLaw and has over a decade of involvement in New York cultural institutions. He has an undergraduate degree from Eugene Lang and a Masters of Sociology at the New School for Social Research. He has been involved in executing large scale events at MoMA PS1, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Morgan Library.

Maria Cocchiara-Klein, Chief Financial Officer
Kim Xavier, Attorney, Senior Associate

Kimberly Xavier is a Senior Associate within CoveyLaw’s general immigration division. Her focus is on creating short and long-term immigration strategies for individuals and organizations with foreign national employees.

Lee Clark, Attorney, Associate

Lee Clark is with our Performing Arts Division. Prior to joining CoveyLaw, Lee worked in eviction prevention, advocating for tenant's rights in housing court, and did public defense work in the Human Trafficking Intervention Court in Queens. He has a B.A. in Legal Studies from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and a J.D. from City University School of Law.

Marshal Garbus, Attorney, Associate

Marshal Garbus is with our Performing Arts Division. Prior to joining CoveyLaw, Marshal's work focused on corporate, family, and investment-based immigration. He holds a B.A. from NYU and a J.D. from Tulane, where he worked on immigrants’ rights and environmental law issues. Marshal is also an accomplished guitarist.

JR Strauss, Attorney, Associate

JR Strauss is with our General Immigration division, to which he brings years of experience with the O1 and EB1 visa for foreign nationals working in the arts, technology, and business. He has also worked as a professional comedy writer and comedian, and is an accomplished bagpiper. JR is graduate of Suffolk University Law School (JD), the University of Aberdeen (MLitt), and the University of Vermont (BA).

Abyan Gurase, Attorney, Associate

Abyan Gurase is with our Performing Arts Division. She comes to us from the Bronx District Attorney's Office, and while in law school worked on immigration litigation and as an immigration law fellow in the office of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. She has a B.A. in Political Science and Asian Languages and Literature with a focus in Korean from the University of Minnesota, and a J.D. from University of Minnesota Law School.

Kimya Zahedi, Attorney, Associate

Kimya Zahedi is with our Performing Arts Division. Prior to joining CoveyLaw, Kimya’s work focused on corporate and family-based immigration. She holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, an M.A. from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law, where she focused on international law, human rights and immigration.

Brian Zabinski, Senior Case Manager

Brian J Zabinski has been helping performing artists navigate the work visa process since 2012, and has been working in the music industry since 2007, with stints at Capitol, EMI, Sire, Warner, and Ba Da Bing Records.

Shelley Pinker holds a Bachelor's Degree from The State University of New York at Geneseo, where she worked as both a Radio DJ and Program Director at WGSU. Currently, she serves as a Radio DJ for WFMU, where she hosts the weekly program Maraschino Melodrama on the alt-stream channel Sheena’s Jungle Room. Through her involvement at CoveyLaw, Shelley is glad to be assisting artists in showcasing their work and diverse talent to US audiences.

Shelley Pinker, Lead Case Manager
Talia Protos, Case Manager

Talia Protos is with our Performing Arts Division. A native Brooklynite, Talia holds a Bachelor’s Degree from NYU in English and American Literature and a minor in Creative Writing. They are also a writer and have worked extensively in modern dance.

Janet Rucker, Case Manager

Janet Rucker is with our Performing Arts Division. She has freelanced extensively in NYC and has vast experience coordinating visas from working at institutions like the Park Avenue Armory, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the San Francisco Ballet. She earned a Bachelors in Music from DePaul University and a Paralegal Certificate from Auburn University.

Hannah Barlow, Case Manager

Hannah Barlow is a Case Manager in the Performing Arts Division. She has been working in the legal field since 2021, and also has worked extensively as an concert promoter. She has a B.A. in International Studies from DePaul University.

Zoe McKeown, Case Manager

Zoe McKeown is an assistant case manager on the performing arts team helping artists obtain visas to share their talent with U.S. audiences. She holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Tufts University with a concentration in philosophy of law. Off the clock, Zoe can be found playing drums, training MMA, illustrating, or exploring music venues throughout New York.

Davina Wells, Senior Paralegal

Davina is a Paralegal with the General Immigration division and holds a Paralegal Certification from Pace University, a bachelor's degree in Theater Costume Construction and a minor in Political Science from Nazareth College of Rochester. She has costumed Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, as well as for national tours, cruises, and regional productions, and has worked closely with artists of all kinds.

Davina is a Senior Paralegal with the General Immigration division and holds a Paralegal Certification from Pace University, a bachelor's degree in Theater Costume Construction and a minor in Political Science from Nazareth College of Rochester. She has costumed Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, as well as for national tours, cruises, and regional productions, and has worked closely with artists of all kinds.

Javier Daniel, Paralegal

Javier Daniel is in our General Immigration Group. He has years of experience as a paralegal in business and investor visas. He got his B.A. in History from Hunter College, did post-graduate work in Soviet Foreign Policy at Brooklyn College. Javier is fluent in Spanish and Italian.

Patrick Paniagua, Paralegal

Patrick is a Paralegal within CoveyLaw's general immigration division. Having worked with various Fortune 500s, spanning various industries (pharmaceutical, technology, biotechnology, finance), Patrick has experience preparing a wide-range of visa applications including EB-1, PERM LC, H-1B, L-1, TN, E-3, among others.

Will Lulofs, Evidence Chief

Will has worked at Covey Law and Tamizdat since 2009. His interdepartmental work involves research and administrative projects. He graduated from Bennington College with a BA in literature and music composition.

Kayla Cohen holds a Bachelor's Degree in English and Music from New York University, where she also worked as Music Director at WNYU. At CoveyLaw, she specializes in copyediting and coordinating our group of freelancers, as well as research and preparing documentation. She has been working with Tamizdat and CoveyLaw since September 2010. She is also a musician, playing folk guitar under the alias Itasca.

Kayla Cohen, Evidence Manager
Iz Argondizza, Evidence Assistant

Iz Argondizza is with our Evidence Division. They hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Classical Vocal Performance from Bard College. They are a Scottish-born soprano, and simultaneously pursues their work as a vocalist within contemporary art music.

Sophie Israelsohn, Evidence Assistant

Sophie Israelsohn is with our Evidence Division. She graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in vocal performance and journalism. As a writer and musician, Sophie is passionate about the intersection of music and storytelling and how artists reflect their influences. She writes about the impact found sound has had in music history in a newsletter called Sounds Familiar.

Pascal Emond, Data Systems Developer

Pascal Emond is our Data Systems Developer. He studied philosophy and computer science at University of Montreal and University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) and is the proud recipient of an Upright Citizens Brigade improvisation certificate.

Marla Guttman, Attorney Of Counsel

Marla’s practice focuses on contracts and transactional law in the entertainment space. She has extensive legal experience in entertainment and commercial law in Latin America, and brings that experience to CoveyLaw’s Arts & Entertainment practice. 

Janis Shen, Attorney Of Counsel

Janis Shen leads CoveyLaw’s Arts and Entertainment Practice, where she focuses on business affairs services, strategic guidance for brand longevity, and transactional legal services which include services for business development, performing arts institutions, musicians, producers, filmmakers, writers, composers, recording, publishing, production, licensing, touring, merchandising.

Michael Lawrence, Attorney Of Counsel

Michael Lawrence leads CoveyLaw’s Non-Profit & Business Practice, where he focuses on non-profit formation and maintenance, business start-up, compliance, and long-term planning. Michael has done corporate work for a wide variety of companies and nonprofits, and he has represented artists, musicians, record labels, artist managers and producers in entertainment law matters.

Monica Lee, Attorney Of Counsel

Monica Lee, a member of CoveyLaw's Nonprofit & Business group, works in several practice areas, including tax law, art law, and trusts and estates.