Providing Access To Justice For Citizens And Noncitizens Alike

Photo of attorney Paul W. Shonk

Paul W. Shonk


Practice Areas

  • Immigration -Family, Employment, Removal Defense
  • Probate
  • Criminal
  • Criminal Appeals
  • Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA)


Paul Shonk graduated from Ohio Dominican University with a bachelor's degree in English literature and obtained his law degree, cum laude, from Ave Maria School of Law in Ann Arbor, Michigan. During law school, he clerked for a law firm in his hometown of Lancaster, Ohio. Despite a fondness for small-town life, after passing the Ohio bar, Paul decided it was time to broaden his experience, so in 2004 he took an opportunity to move to New York City.

In the big city, Paul provided non-profit immigration legal services through the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, advocating on behalf of immigrants of divergent backgrounds, cultures, and creeds. Paul was responsible for a variety of immigration matters, including affirmative applications to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and removal defense before the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR). His accomplishments during this time included winning lawful residence for victims of domestic violence and other crimes, in addition to winning several difficult political asylum cases.

In 2008, Paul continued his immigration advocacy while taking on the additional responsibilities of managing attorney for immigration legal services in the diocese, a position he filled until he moved to the Cincinnati area in 2011.

Transitioning from the non-profit world to private practice, Paul joined the Cincinnati firm of McKinney & Namei in 2011. Working with seasoned attorneys, he expanded his practice into family law, probate matters, personal injury, and criminal defense, counseling many non-citizen clients who had been accused of crimes. In a fast-paced law firm environment, where the stakes were often high and the deadlines imminent, Paul learned that skillful advocacy often makes the difference between deportation and keeping a family together. In addition to representing clients in trial courts throughout Hamilton, Butler, and Warren counties, Paul developed a successful appellate practice by refusing to give up when his clients were denied justice. In some instances, he is proud to say that he was able to obtain reversal or reopening of wrongly decided cases in the Ohio Court of Appeals, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Paul is excited to be joining the firm of Rodriguez & Porter. He is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association and a parishioner at St. Gertrude Catholic Church. He and his wife Cristina have four children, two boys and two girls. In his spare time he enjoys practicing the piano.


  • Ave Maria School of Law, Ann Arbor, Michigan
    • J.D. - 2003
    • Honors: cum laude
  • Ohio Dominican University
    • Major: English Literature

Bar Admissions

  • Supreme Court of Ohio
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit
  • Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)

Professional Associations

  • Ohio State Bar Association