Matthew Penfield advises and represents clients in the areas of immigration, labor and employment, and general litigation. He assists employers and individuals with employment-based visas and also guides employers through the maze of federal and state immigration law compliance. He counsels and represents employers with all their labor and employment needs. His litigation experience includes trying cases in federal and state courts and arbitration forums.

Matthew's labor and employment practice includes representing management and advising clients in a wide variety of employment matters, including discrimination and retaliation cases arising under the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Section 1981, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Alabama Workers' Compensation Act, and other analogous state discrimination and tort laws. He has experience defending both individual and class and collective action lawsuits brought by or on behalf of current and former employees.

Matthew has significant experience in litigating and providing advice relating to the enforceability of employment agreements and non-compete agreements in state and federal courts, as well as actions filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). He also helps clients draft employment agreements and non-compete agreements.  He has also litigated business disputes in state and federal court.

Matthew's immigration practice includes immigration compliance issues and visa related needs. He assists employers with state and federal immigration compliance, including the Form I-9 process and the E-Verify program, and has represented employers in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) proceedings and Department of Labor audits. He advises employers and individuals regarding all business immigration needs, including visa waivers, temporary worker visas, permanent employment-based visas, training visas, exchange visitor visas and the naturalization process. He regularly files visa petitions on behalf of employers with USCIS.

Awards & Accolades

  • Named to Birmingham Business Journal's "Best of the Bar," 2023
  • Included in the list of the Best Lawyers in America®, 2021-2024
  • Recognized in the Chambers USA Guide to "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" for Labor and Employment, 2018-2022
  • Selected to the list of the Mid-South Super Lawyers, Employment & Labor, 2022
  • Selected to the list of Mid-South Super Lawyers, 2021
  • Recognized on the Mid-South Super Lawyers, "Rising Stars" List, 2014-2019

No aspect of this or any advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. A description of the award methodologies can be found here.

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Associations & Organizations

Professional Affiliations

  • Alabama Defense Lawyers Association
  • Member, Alabama State Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Birmingham Bar Association
  • Member, American Immigration Lawyers Association

Civic Involvement

  • Board of Directors, Opera Birmingham

  • Board of Directors, Workshops Empowerment, Inc. 
  • Board of Directors, YWCA Central Alabama

  • Leadership Birmingham Members Council

  • Norton Advisory Board, Birmingham-Southern College

  • Member, Class of 2022, Leadership Birmingham


  • Cumberland School of Law, J.D., summa cum laude, 2009
  • Saint Paul School of Theology, D. Min, 2007
  • Emory University, Candler School of Theology, M.Div., 1997
  • Birmingham-Southern College, B.A., 1992


  • Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern, Middle and Southern Districts of Alabama
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • 2024 Best Lawyers
  • 2018 Chambers - Leading Individual
  • 2018 Rising Stars
  • 2017 Rising Stars
  • 2016 Rising Stars
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