Hello. Welcome to the website of the Law Office of Joshua J. Mikrut. Thanks for visiting!
I started this firm because I care very much about the legal profession, and I wanted to put into effect a dream of mine: to build a business that could allow me to try to serve people… to serve individuals: men and women with faces and names and stories.
The lawyer who wrote the document which declared American independence from England, President Thomas Jefferson, famously wrote that “we hold these truths to be self-evident; that all [people] are created equal, and are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights…” The preamble to the U.S. Constitution begins with similar language when it establishes “we the people” as the source and intended beneficiaries of all the laws which were written into the Constitution. The preamble reads:
We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
One of my heroes, Abraham Lincoln (another lawyer!) in an address given at the civil war military burial ground at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, ended his short speech in fantastic fashion, drawing upon both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution in some of the most electric, memorable language ever uttered by a lawyer or an American president. He said:
It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought . . . have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us . . . that we here highly resolve that . . . this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
In short, I believe it is my calling as a lawyer is to try to help make our American system work for the people. After all, as these selections above show, our government ultimately exists to provide for and to defend and protect individual liberty. Large corporations, government entities, law enforcement agencies… they will never lack money or resources or legal representation. They will always have lawyers, and the system works well enough for them.
Our system does not and will never work effectively if rights and liberties are not defended against the powerful and against the power of government, within its ever-more-complicated systems and rules. I believe that is true, and I’m trying to do my part to be helpful in that mission.
Thanks for reading!
Clients Across the Globe
Joshua was born in Grand Rapids and hails from a very large family of Polish, German, Swedish, and Dutch ancestry. His is the oldest of six, and his father is one of twelve. Because his father is from such a large family, Joshua has over fifty-five first cousins on only one side!
Joshua earned his Bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University in 2006, double-majoring in Political Science and English Language and Literature. In his time at Grand Valley, he also minored in Philosophy and studied Spanish abroad at the University of Guadalajara in Jalisco, Mexico.
After earning his Bachelor’s degree, Joshua went on to earn his Master’s degree from Western Michigan University in 2008, in “International Development Administration.” During this time, Joshua focused his study on international relations, economics, and the difficulties that developing nations face as they attempt to grow into the twenty-first century.
Throughout his master’s curriculum, Joshua focused on the People’s Republic of China, and on the unique problems that face Latin America today, especially Mexico and Central America. While studying for his Master’s, Joshua traveled to China three times and began learning the Chinese language.
Joshua also served as a graduate assistant at WMU and taught classes in urban politics.
After this, Joshua went on to law school and graduated cum laude (“with honors”) from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in January of 2011. In his time at Cooley, Joshua was the Chairman of the Grand Rapids branch of the Moot Court Board, and he was a two-time participant in the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. In 2009, Joshua earned the award for 3rd Best Advocate out of 96 in that competition, and 6th of 100 in 2010.
Joshua was a member of the editorial board of Cooley’s Law Journal, and he made the Honor Roll and the Dean’s List on multiple occasions. He also earned the “bluebook award” for highest grade in the class four different times.
Before becoming a member of the Michigan State Bar in 2011, Joshua interned for six months at the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals where he worked for the Hon. Richard Suhrheinrich.
After graduating, Joshua developed practice areas in immigration, constitutional, criminal defense, family, and appellate law. He has extensive experience in litigating cases in Immigration Court, having represented well over 200 individuals detained by the Department of Homeland Security, facing deportation.
In Immigration Court, Joshua has had tremendous success earning immigration bond, cancellation of removal, and adjustment of status for clients in very difficult circumstances, both earning and saving Permanent Resident Status for many individuals.
Joshua also has significant federal court trial experience in litigating civil rights actions, and has had success in several appeals before Michigan Circuit Courts, the Michigan Courts of Appeal, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Of much help to his practice, Joshua speaks fluent Spanish, which he learned in large part from studying abroad in 2001 at the University of Guadalajara, in Jalisco, Mexico. In his scarce free time, Joshua enjoys reading world history, British and early American literature, playing the guitar, and spending time with his wife, Laura, and his daughter, Julia.
Ryan M. Felber is an Associate Attorney who has been practicing law in West Michigan for ten years. He obtained his Juris Doctorate from Michigan State University College of Law in 2011 after graduating from James Madison College at Michigan State University in 2008. At MSU, Ryan double-majored in Political Science and Political Theory & Constitutional Democracy while earning his Bachelor of Arts degree.
Since joining the Law Office of Joshua J. Mikrut, PLC, Ryan has practiced primarily Immigration Law and Criminal Law. This comes on the heels of his solo practice in criminal defense, in which he served as a public defender in three separate courts in Kent County. Ryan’s dedication to the rights of society’s most vulnerable has transitioned from criminal defense to immigration, where he serves as a fierce advocate for individuals who are seeking ways to legally become part of the fabric that has made the United States what it is today.
Ryan embraces courtroom litigation and looks forward to the challenges associated with handling difficult cases. When he’s not in the courtroom, Ryan enjoys spending time with his wife, Amanda, two sons, Landon and Easton, and two dogs, Cooper and Otis. He is also a big hockey fan, having played collegiately for the Michigan State University Division III team for three years. Additionally, he roots for Spartan football and basketball. Finally, Ryan has a love of classic rock music, notably The Rolling Stones and Guns N’ Roses.
Stellita Coelho Bouma Terpstra
Stellita Coelho Bouma Terpstra is an associate attorney at the Law Office of Joshua J. Mikrut, PLC. Stellita focuses on immigration law, with the occasional foray into criminal law.
Stellita is a first-generation American. Her mother is from Brazil, and became a U.S. citizen when Stellita was in high school. Her father’s family originally comes from the Netherlands. Her great-grandparents arrived in the United States by boat through Ellis Island. She has always been inspired by these courageous immigrant family members.
Stellita received a B.A. in English from Calvin College in 2003, with minors in political science, international development, and art. She interned at the UNHCR in Washington, D.C. in 2002. She had opportunities to attend hearings on Capitol Hill and meetings with NGOs around the city on various refugee issues from around the world.
After earning her B.A., Stellita worked in international adoptions for several years at Bethany Christian Services.
Stellita then decided to follow her father’s footsteps and go to law school. She graduated cum laude from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in the spring of 2011. During law school, she served as a managing associate editor for the Cooley Law Journal. She also earned the blue book awards in Immigration Law and Advanced Legal Writing, and achieved the Dean’s List and Honor roll on several occasions.
Stellita interned with the Hon. David H. Sawyer at the 3rd District Court of Appeals in Grand Rapids, and also with the Muskegon Prosecutor’s Office in the appellate division.
After law school, Stellita worked with her father in the field of international tax law as a contract attorney for Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC. She assisted attorneys from around the globe with editing their contributions to Bloomberg’s BNA Tax Management.
Thanks to her mother, Stellita speaks fluent Portuguese.
Stellita enjoys spending time with her husband, Chad, and their two children, Mariel and Jonas. They are avid campers, and also enjoy weekly family movie nights. Once a year, Stellita tries to make it back to her hometown to catch a Washington Capitals hockey game with her brother. And, every couple of years, the Terpstras pack their suitcases and get on a flight to Brazil to hang out with their cousins.
United States District Court, Western District of Michigan, 2011
Executive Office of Immigration Review, 2019
Dylan J. White is an associate attorney with a focus on immigration law at the Law Office of
Joshua J. Mikrut, PLC. He obtained his Juris Doctorate from the Western Michigan University
Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2016 where he graduated magna cum laude with certificates
of merit in multiple courses. Before this, he graduated from Grand Valley State University with
a degree in Anthropology.
Dylan has had a varied career from working in shipping to managing offices before he became
an attorney. His past legal work has focused on civil litigation throughout Michigan. Dylan has
practiced in courts from Port Huron to Holland and from St. Joseph to as far north as Kalkaska.
He has also practiced before the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe in Mt. Pleasant. Dylan’s drive
is to help those who are looking for a chance at something better and firmly believes that the
United States is at its best when filled with many and varied voices.
When not in the courtroom, Dylan spends most of his time with his wife Sarah and their two
sons, Gideon and Seth. They especially enjoy trail walking and swimming Lake Michigan. Dylan
enjoys speculative fiction of all types and all formats and is always enthusiastic to speak about
such topics with whoever wants to listen.
Jeffrey Steenblik has lived in West Michigan all his life, except for a brief time when he attended Taylor University in Indiana. He has had a long and diverse set of professional experiences, having worked in sales, health care, and most recently, for the Grand Rapids Teacher’s Union. He loves problem solving, math, and helping people, which makes him a very good account manager at the Law Office of Joshua Mikrut. Jeff also works as a paralegal in addition to “making the trains run on time” at the office, and has helped numerous clients obtain their permanent residency in the United States. In his free time, Jeff enjoys documentaries, science fiction, and reading. He also plays the acoustic guitar, and is an avid music lover and connoisseur.
Office Manager & Paralegal
Sonia is a Paralegal at the Law Office of Joshua Mikrut. Sonia was born in McAllen, Texas and raised in a small town in southwest Michigan.
She graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2021, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a double minor in Juvenile Justice and Spanish. During high school, Sonia earned her paraprofessional certificate and was able to gain experience working with children of all ages in various positions through the YMCA. She hopes to further her knowledge in immigration law. Sonia is passionate about working with people, especially with youth. She puts this passion to use every day by striving to serve our clients.
Lauren Punch is an only child born in Havana, Cuba, who immigrated to the United States at the young age of 13 with her parents. She has many family members who followed her to Michigan, and her family has now established has a veritable enclave in Lansing, MI. She learned English as a second language, and excelled academically.
Lauren earned her associate degree in Business and Accounting at Lansing Community College, and also took advanced science courses at Michigan State University. She is a Spartan at heart, and bleeds green! She has held various positions in the healthcare field, including running a Pathology Department, and serving as the administrative assistant of a large Pharmacy Department. Lauren has also worked extensively as an executive assistant at a tax office as a registered tax preparer, Spanish / English translator, and notary public.
Lauren moved to Grand Rapids in 2018, following her husband accepting an attending position. She is excited to work at the Law Office of Joshua J Mikrut PLC. In her spare time, she likes to paint landscapes and spend time with her daughter, husband, and parents.
Amairani Rojas is a family based immigration paralegal. She was born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI. She is from a Mexican-American family of immigrants, making her a paralegal who has a deep understanding of the immigration process and it’s intricacies. Amairani has been working in immigration since 2015.
Amairani’s experiences have helped her become a passionate professional constantly striving to learn more about immigration law and the ways she can help others. In her free time, Amairani likes to spend time with her family, including her son and her German Shepherd, Canela.
Priscilla is a Law Clerk at the Law Office of Joshua Mikrut, PLC. Priscilla was born in Dodge City, Kansas and raised in a small town in Weslaco, Texas.
She graduated from South Texas College in 2013, earning an Associates of Arts in Criminal Justice. She has gained experience in the legal field from various positions at many law offices throughout the years, and hopes to further her knowledge of immigration law in working with clients at the Law Office of Joshua Mikrut!
In her free time, Priscilla enjoys spending time with her family, including her one-year-old granddaughter.
Sophie Vazquez is originally from Holland, Michigan. She graduated from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Allied Health Sciences, and a minor in Spanish. Having grown up in a Mexican household, she is able to relate very well to our clients and it has inspired her to further her knowledge of the crazy world of immigration law.
In her free time, Sophie likes to spend time with family and friends, to dance, cook, and watch movies… though not usually at the same time!
Daniela is a paralegal at the Law Office of Joshua Mikrut, PLC. Throughout the past six years, she has been using her organizational and communications skills in the customer service field, also having accumulated a few years of knowledge of the medical field. Daniela is fluent in Spanish, and knows the struggles of immigrants first hand, because she comes from a first-generation immigrant family herself.
Daniela is always welcoming, and eagerly tries to be helpful to others in her work! She looks forward to a future of continuing to expand her knowledge base at the firm, and she hopes to commit to being a lifelong-learner in everything she does. Daniela enjoys spending her free time with family and friends, she loves to dance, and listening to criminal documentaries.
Yatzi was born in Grand Rapids, MI, but raised in a small town in West Texas. After graduating high school in 2018, she decided to move back to Grand Rapids and start her life here.
Yatzi is fluent in both English and Spanish, which has always been a huge help to her family growing up since English was not their first language. Having first-hand experience with the immigration process, she now enjoys being able to help others who are going through it.
In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, listening to music, and dancing.
Lessons from the Past
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