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:
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.
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
- American Immigration Lawyers Association
- Grand Rapids Bar Association
- Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association
- National LGBT Bar Association
- Michigan, 2015
- United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 2015
- United States District Court, Western District of Michigan, 2016
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 the 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.
- Michigan, 2011
- United States District Court, Western District of Michigan, 2011
- Executive Office of Immigration Review, 2019
Kevin Michael Fein
Kevin M. Fein is an Associate Attorney at Law Office of Joshua J. Mikrut, PLC. He primarily focuses on the practice of Immigration Law, with some overlap into Criminal Law where there may be immigration consequences at stake.
Kevin has a strong passion for using his skills to help others achieve their goals. When it comes to immigration matters, these goals are often as essential as obtaining personal safety, liberty, the unification of family, and the right to earn a living. As an attorney, he strives to help each client succeed in these objectives to the fullest extent available under the law. This work aligns with his personal ethics as a firm believer in human equality and in the value of cultural exchange.
Kevin speaks Spanish and has been a licensed attorney and member of the Michigan State Bar Association since 2011. Before working at Law Office of Joshua Mikrut, PLC, his earlier practice largely focused on supporting the arts and small business.
Kevin earned his B.A. from Michigan State University Honors College in 2007. He graduated Summa Cum Laude, completing two majors and a minor in only three years. For the minor, Kevin studied the Spanish language. He reached fluency after completing a study abroad program in Quito, Ecuador. His majors were Humanities Pre-law and Telecommunications (Digital Media Arts & Technology). During his time at Michigan State, he earned a scholarship and internship awarded to the top 1% of freshman, made the Dean’s List every semester, and graduated as salutatorian in one of his majors.
Two years later, Kevin accepted a full ride scholarship to Thomas M. Cooley Law School. While attending Cooley, Kevin participated in the Law Review as a Senior Associate Editor, earning the John D. Voelker Award for significant contributions to the publication. During this time, his own article was selected for publication by the Eastern District of Michigan Intellectual Property Report. Additionally, he was hired into two positions at the school: tutoring other students at the Academic Resource Center and reviewing final exam scores as a member of the Grade Appeals Board. He also spent a semester working for the Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, managing a staff of ten interns who were coordinating pro bono legal services for low income artists and nonprofit organizations. He earned a total of five “bluebook award” Certificates of Merit: Constitutional Law II; Evidence; Professional Responsibility; Wills, Estates, and Trusts; and Intellectual Property of Entertainment.
In May of 2011, Kevin earned his J.D. and graduated Magna Cum Laude. He ranked 7th in his graduating class of 438. He passed the Michigan Bar Exam on the next available testing date and was admitted to the Michigan Bar that November.
When he takes off his “lawyer hat,” Kevin is also a multi-instrumentalist who greatly enjoys playing and recording music. He has helped set up and run live sound for hundreds of artists at local music festivals. He also thoroughly enjoys trips to the woods or the beach with his wife, Andrea, and their two dogs.
- Michigan, 2011
- United States District Court, Western District of Michigan, 2011
Paralegal & Front Desk Receptionist
Dayana Bedolla was born in a small town called El Moral in Guanajuato, Mexico. Her family immigrated to the United States when she was 6 years old looking for a better future and opportunities. After living in Sweetwater, Tennessee for 7 years her family decided to move to Grand Rapids, Michigan where she has since resided. Having been born in another country and later moving to the United States, she relates to a lot of clients and loves being able to support her community with their immigration needs.
Dayana is a bilingual paralegal/front desk receptionist at the Law Office of Joshua Mikrut. She is the first face clients greet as they walk through the doors. Prior to her job as a paralegal, she worked with the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan interpreting for the community.
Matthew J. Dennis
Paralegal & Legal Assistant
Matthew was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His grandparents on his mother’s side were born in southern Italy and immigrated to Grand Rapids, where his grandfather Giacomo Buzzitta would become a prominent furniture designer, and his wife Anna raised two girls—the first American born children in their family history. Matthew proudly celebrates his Italian heritage and shares his family traditions with his wife and young daughter, Marianna, who was named after his mother and great grandmother.
Matthew earned a Bachelor’s degree at Grand Valley State University. When he is not working as a Legal Assistant and Paralegal at the Law Office, Matthew works as a real estate agent. “I am not motivated by money. I am motivated by people.”
Vanessa Infante is a Paralegal at the Law Office of Joshua J Mikrut PLC, where she drafts legal documents, tends to and accommodates clients, as well as assists attorneys when necessary.
Vanessa was born and raised in Watsonville, California, a town where Spanish was an everyday part of life. She decided to move to Grand Rapids to attend Calvin University, where she graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Sociology. Although, before graduating, she studied abroad in Peru for a semester to better her Spanish abilities.
Despite being far from her family she continues to keep a close relationship with them. On her time outside her office she also enjoys spending time with friends and like many people in this world, enjoys a cup of coffee.
Paralegal & Legal Assistant
Nicole Meyer is a paralegal and legal assistant at the Law Office of Joshua J. Mikrut. Nicole composes and compiles legal pleadings, applications for immigration benefits, and assists attorneys with various other daily projects.
Nicole was born and raised on the east side of the state in Macomb, Michigan. She moved to Grand Rapids to study and play collegiate basketball at Calvin University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. Nicole has previous work experience in estate planning, civil litigation, and real estate law, and she plans eventually to go to law school. Outside the office, Nicole enjoys spending time with friends and family, and she eagerly takes advantage of every opportunity to pet a dog.
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, earning honors as her high school’s National Honor Society president.
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 internal medicine residency. She is excited to work as the Office Manager at the Law Office of Joshua J Mikrut PLC. In her spare time, she likes to paint landscapes and hang out with her cat Loki.
Lessons from the Past
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