Vaishalee V. Yeldandi is an associate in the Litigation Department. She joined the firm in 2017. Her practice focuses on internal and government-initiated investigations.
Ms. Yeldandi maintains an active pro bono practice, with an interest in immigration and First Amendment law. She filed briefs of amicus curiae on behalf of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, arguing that changes made in 2018 to asylum policy were at odds with the United States’ obligations under domestic and international law. In addition, she served as part of a team that represented a public radio affiliate in successfully challenging a trial judge’s refusal to allow public access to the court file in the prosecution of officers charged with obstruction of justice in the murder of Laquan McDonald. As a member of the Consumer Fairness Act of 2019 Coalition, Ms. Yeldandi received the Center for Disability and Elder Law 2020 Impact Award for her work to draft and pass legislation that reduces the post-judgment interest rate in Illinois.
At the firm, Ms. Yeldandi serves on the Associates Committee and the Associate Board of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
Ms. Yeldandi earned her JD from the University of Chicago Law School in 2017. In law school, Ms. Yeldandi served as Symposium Editor and Articles Editor for the University of Chicago Legal Forum, child advocate in the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, and vice president of the Federal Bar Association student chapter. She also served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Rebecca R. Pallmeyer of the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Prior to law school, Ms. Yeldandi was a legislative aide to US Senator Richard J. Durbin on the US Senate Judiciary Committee. In that role, she advised Senator Durbin on a range of issues, including the DREAM Act, comprehensive immigration reform, sentencing reform, the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). She also assisted in staffing Senator Durbin during the confirmation hearing of Associate Justice Elena Kagan.