Laws are meant to help people live together harmoniously as a community, even as they pursue their individual interests. Lawyers are around to help folks navigate the legal landscape when it gets too complicated. It's a little simplistic, but this notion - that community is at the heart of the legal system - is the idea that I am building my legal practice around.
This means, first and foremost, an emphasis on education. Not everyone can afford to hire a lawyer, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't have a helping hand. To this end, I've created a number of business-related checklists and tutorials and organized a number of useful online resources that I think would be helpful to micro-entrepreneurs trying to get their businesses off the ground. Hey, maybe someday they'll grow so much that they'll want to hire a lawyer (namely, me).
In line with this approach, I also think it's important for clients to be involved in the work that I do with them. In order to demystify the law, transparency is key and it requires a great deal of communication. This can be tough in a typical lawyer-client relationship, where the client is billed for phone calls, emails, and letters. But I don't want to have a typical lawyer-client relationship, so I don't penalize my clients for staying informed about the matters that are important to them. I make it a point to touch base at least once a week and I don't charge a red cent to do so.
Finally, I believe that accessibility to quality legal services is necessary to empower a community. To this end, I've devised a unique scaled fee structure in order to accommodate the needs of more people.
Micheline earned her Juris Doctor from Pepperdine University School of Law where she was awarded scholarships by both the Beverly Hills Bar Association and the Association of Business Trial Lawyers. As a student, she clerked at Pepperdine?s Asylum and Refugee Law Clinic and at the Union Rescue Mission Legal Aid Clinic in Los Angeles. While in law school, Micheline served on the boards of the International Justice Mission and the Social Entrepreneurship Society at Pepperdine.
Before beginning her law practice, Micheline externed for the United States District Court under the Honorable Richard M. Berman at the Southern District of New York. She also clerked for the High Court of Uganda, Criminal Division, under Head Justice Edmund Sempa Lugayizi.
Having grown up in the Philippines, Micheline is a fervent advocate for international human rights. Apart from her work in Uganda, where she initiated the introduction of plea bargaining into the judicial system, Micheline previously worked at the Thai-Burma border doing advocacy work for refugees. She has also done substantive work for a genocide case at the Extraordinary Chambers at the Courts of Cambodia.
Micheline enjoys cooking, reading fiction, writing poetry, and spending time outdoors. She continues to cultivate strong ties with the Philippines, where she visits once or twice a year, and is a board member for two successful business ventures she co-founded there. One business, Spectrum Icontek, which started as a simple printing operation, has now expanded into a large-format printer distributorship. The other business, Spectrum Biosolutions, provides aquacultures and probiotics to local fish and shrimp hatcheries and is currently the largest distributorship of its kind in the country.