Domestic Violence Staff

Kathleen Allen

Kathleen Allen is the Supervising Attorney of the CVLAP-Domestic Violence Initiative and the CVLAP-Elder Justice Initiative in Washtenaw County Office of the Michigan Poverty Law Program. Kathleen has been in both private practice and public interest where she has practiced housing, consumer, family and public benefits law. Most recently she was Staff Attorney at Lakeshore Legal Aid and a Managing Attorney in Legal Aid of Western Michigan. She also founded and was Legal Director of Michigan's first Pro Se Tax Clinic. She received her B.A. from Michigan State University and earned her J.D. from Valparaiso School of Law.

Kendall Dingwall

Kendall Dingwall is a Staff Attorney with the CVLAP-Domestic Violence Initiative in Legal Aid of Western Michigan's Muskegon office. Kendall was previously an a Judicial Assistance for 7th Judicial Circuit Court of Genesee County, a Judicial Extern with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, a Clerk with the Illinois Attorney General's Office and a Legal Intern at both Catholic Charities Legal Assistance and Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation.  Kendall received her B.A. from the University of Iowa and her J.D. from DePaul University College of Law, LL.M in International Law and she studied abroad in both Germany and South Africa.

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Linda J. Kellum is the CVLAP-DV attorney in the Battle Creek office of Legal Services of South Central Michigan. Prior to her current position, she was a staff attorney in the Battle Creek office of Legal Services of South Central Michigan, representing seniors in various legal matters.  She graduated Cum Laude from both Thomas M. Cooley Law School where she earned her law degree and Western Michigan University, with a BBA degree. She is a member of the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan.

Anastassia Kolosova

Anastassia Kolosova is a Staff Attorney with the CVLAP-Domestic Violence Initiative in the Family Law Project office in Ypsilanti. Ana was previously an American Bar Association Taxation Section Christine A. Brunswick Public Service Fellow with the Accounting Aid Society Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, a Summer Clerk with Legal Services of South Central Michigan and the Michigan Low Income Taxpayer Clinic and a Student Clinician with University of Michigan's Pediatric Advocacy Clinic. Ana received her B.A. from Whitman College, a Graduate Certificate from Hopkins-Nanjing Center and her J.D. from the University of Michigan.

Sokainah Mahmutovic

Sokainah Mahmutovic, Law School Graduate, is a member of the Crime Victims Legal Assistance Project team in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her focus is on immigration relief available to victims of domestic violence and crime. Sokainah graduated from Grand Valley State University with a degree in International Relations, concentrating on Middle Eastern Studies, and a minor in Political Science. She is a graduate from Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School where she received her Juris Doctor degree. While attending law school, Sokainah interned for MIRC’s Grand Rapids office which allowed her to advance her knowledge and expand her interest in immigration law. She is a passionate world traveler and has a strong devotion to human rights and social justice. Sokainah is fluent in Arabic.

Emily Miller

Emily Miller is the Managing Attorney of the CVLAP-Domestic Violence Initiative and the CVLAP-Elder Justice Initiative in Washtenaw County Office of the Michigan Poverty Law Program. Emily previously worked as a Staff Attorney with the Family Law Project in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she represented victims of domestic violence, and Staff Attorney in the Florence Office of South Carolina Legal Services, where she practiced family law, public benefits and elder law. Emily received her B.S. from Michigan State University, Masters from Vermont Law School and J.D. from Vermont Law School.

Marie Nelson

Marie Nelson is a Staff Attorney of the CVLAP-Domestic Violence Initiative in Washtenaw County Office of the Michigan Immigrant Rights Program. Marie specializes in representing immigrant survivors of intimate partner violence.  Prior to joining MIRC, she was the senior attorney at Freedom House Detroit where she represented US asylum seekers.  Marie also spent three years in private practice as an immigration lawyer with Antone, Casagrande & Adwers, P.C.  While in law school, she was a student attorney with the Harvard Immigration Project and the Predatory Lending Prevention Clinic, and a legal intern with the US Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division and the New York Attorney General's Consumer Fraud's Bureau. Marie is a graduate of Harvard Law School and New York University.

Jamila Odeh

Jamila Odeh is a Law School Graduate with the CVLAP-Domestic Violence Initiative in the Saginaw County Office of Legal Services of Eastern Michigan. Jamila previously worked as a Law Clerk/Student Attorney with Legal Services of South Central Michigan, Michigan Human Trafficking Clinic at University of Michigan, the Refugee Law Office at Legal Aid Ontario and the Michigan Civil-Criminal Litigation Clinic where she served clients with a wide variety of legal issues, including housing, public benefits, immigration and consumer issues. Jamila received her B.A. from Amherst College and her J.D. from the University of Michigan.

Nickie Perera

Veronica (Nickie) Perera is the CVLAP-DV Staff Attorney in the Lansing office of Legal Services of South Central Michigan. She previously worked as a staff attorney for the Center for Civil Justice in Flint, MI, and as an attorney at Lakeshore Legal Aid on the Counsel and Advocacy Call Line. She earned her B.A. and J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, where she was a student attorney in the Human Trafficking Clinic.

Ruby Robinson

Ruby Robinson, Managing Attorney for the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (MIRC), supervises the CVLAP-DV attorneys in the MIRC offices who focus on immigration law. Ruby worked as a staff attorney at Lakeshore Legal Aid's Counsel & Advocacy Law Line and at LA VIDA, a partnership of Lakeshore Legal Aid and Community Health and Social Services, Inc. During law school, he worked as student attorney with the school's Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic, during which he represented clients in asylum cases. Prior to law school, Ruby served as an AmeriCorps*VISTA in Brooklyn, NY for a social services agency. Ruby graduated from Wayne State University Law School and the University of Michigan.

Stephanie Saad

Stephanie Saad is a CVLAP-DV attorney working in Lakeshore Legal Aid’s Pontiac office. She graduated from Wayne State University Law School and Ferris State University. She. During and before law school, she interned at the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office in the General Trials Unit. She also interned at the Solution Oriented Domestic Violence Prevention Court in Wayne County Circuit Court, in the PPO Courtroom and on the Family Law Docket. She has represented domestic violence survivors in a variety of cases, including divorce and custody, personal protection matters, contracts, and landlord tenant.

Sharron Sanders

Sharron Sanders is the CVLAP-DV Staff Attorney in the Cass Corridor - Detroit office of Lakeshore Legal Aid. She previously worked as an associate attorney at Woodward Law Group and as the communications manager and acting compliance officer for the Wayne County Employees Retirement System. She earned her B.A. from University of Michigan and J.D. from Michigan State University's College of Law where she was a student clinician in the Prisoners Rights Clinic.

Rebecca Shiemke

Rebecca Shiemke is the Consulting Attorney of the Crime Victims Legal Assistance Project’s Domestic Violence Initiative (CVLAP-DV). She is also the family law attorney at the Michigan Poverty Law Program (MPLP), a cooperative project of the Michigan Advocacy Program and the University of Michigan Law School. Rebecca is also the managing attorney of the Family Law Project, which represents and advises low-income domestic violence survivors in family law matters in Washtenaw County. Rebecca is a current member and a past co-chair of the State Bar of Michigan Domestic Violence Committee, a past chair of the State Bar of Michigan Family Law Section, and currently active in the Amicus Committee and the Domestic Violence Committee. Rebecca received her B.A. from Albion College and her J.D. from Wayne State University.

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Jessica Topor is is the CVLAP-DV Staff Attorney in the Monroe office of Legal Services of South Central Michigan (LSSCM). Prior to joining CVLAP, she worked from Law Clerk to Supervising Attorney at the Center for Victim and Human Rights in Indianapolis where she did family law, civil protective orders and immigration law. Jessica also served as a Law Clerk at the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights and Catholic Charities. She graduated from University of Michigan and earned her J.D. from Indiana University Robert McKinney School of Law.

Brittany Tucker

Brittany Tucker is the CVLAP-DV Staff Attorney for the Lakeshore Legal Aid office in Warren. She earned both a B.A and M.A. degree from Michigan State University and her J.D. from Michigan State University College of Law. She is also a PhD candidate in sociology with a specialization in women and gender.  During law school, Brittany completed a Family and Childhood Advocacy Certificate through the University’s Chance at Childhood Program. Brittany is a member of the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan.

Catherine Villanueva

Catherine Villanueva is the CVLAP-DV Staff Attorney at the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (MIRC) in the Kalamazoo office. Prior to joining CVLAP-DV, she worked in private practice and represented clients pro bono for MIRC. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University. Catherine worked in marketing and owned her own business before earning her J.D. from the University of Toledo College of Law. She speaks Spanish.

Brooke Wilsner

Brooke Wilsner is the CVLAP-DV Staff Attorney housed at Legal Aid of Western Michigan in Grand Rapids. Prior to joining CVLAP, she was a law clerk and staff attorney for the 9th Judicial Chancery District of Mississippi, which primarily focused on family law. A native Mississippian, she received her B.A. from Millsaps College and her J.D. from the University of Mississippi School of Law.