Ilona Bray

J.D. · University of Washington School of Law

Ilona Bray, J.D. is an award-winning author and legal editor at Nolo, specializing in real estate, immigration law and nonprofit fundraising. 

Educational background. Ilona received her law degree and a Master's degree in East Asian (Chinese) Studies from the University of Washington. She is a member of the Washington State Bar. Her undergraduate degree is from Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in philosophy. She actually viewed law school as an extension of her philosophy studies, with its focus on ethics, fundamental rights, and how people can get along in society—of particular concern to her as the daughter of a WWII refugee. 

Working background. Ilona has practiced law in corporate and nonprofit settings as well as in solo practice, where she represented immigrant clients seeking asylum, family-based visas, and more. She has also volunteered extensively, including a six-month fellowship at Northwest Immigrant Rights Project in Seattle and a six-month internship at Amnesty International in London. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers' Association (AILA), the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE), and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). 

Working at Nolo. Ilona started at Nolo in 2000 as a legal editor. Since then, she has not only continued to edit other writers' books and online articles, but also has taken an active role in planning and authoring new Nolo books. Many of these have become consistent Nolo bestsellers and award-winners, among them Effective Fundraising for Nonprofits, Nolo's Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home, and Selling Your House.  Ilona particularly enjoys interviewing people and weaving their stories into her books. She also won the 2012 "Best Blog" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE). 

Spare time. (What spare time?) Ilona enjoys swimming, gardening (though she's still looking for a vegetable the squirrels won't eat every last morsel of), cooking gluten- and sugar-free meals, and writing children's books.

Articles By Ilona Bray

How Long Does a U.S. Work Permit Last?
Learn about typical expiration periods for U.S. employment authorization documents.
How Much Will It Cost to Get a U.S. Green Card?
Application fees, legal fees, and other expenses that come with applying for U.S. lawful permanent residence in 2024.
Process to Get a Green Card Under VAWA
If you're eligible to self-petition for permanent residency (green card) under the Violence Against Women Act, here's the process you'll need to go through.
Lost I-130 Approval? Use USCIS's I-824 Application for Action to Get New Copy
I-824 is used to request USCIS to take particular action with a pending I-130 petition or other application.
How to Apply for a U.S. Work Permit (EAD)
A step-by-step explanation of how to file Form I-765 for a work permit.
How to File an I-360 "Special Immigrant" or VAWA Green Card Petition
Petition for a green card as a special immigrant (visa category EB-4) or VAWA protected battered family member.
Staying in the U.S. With the I-601A Provisional Waiver of Inadmissibility
Immigrant visa applicants can request a waiver of unlawful presence in order to receive a green card.
Can I Change My Name When I Apply for U.S. Citizenship?
It's actually fairly easy to change your name if you're applying for U.S. citizenship through naturalization - but there are a few catches.
Must You Include Traffic Violations on Your N-400 Citizenship Application?
If you're applying for U.S. citizenship, you'll need to disclose your criminal record. Does that include traffic tickets?
Steps to Become an American Citizen
How to get U.S. citizenship through the naturalization process, step by step.