Michelle Mathis received her Juris Doctorate (JD) and graduated cum laude from Pepperdine University School of Law in 2007. During law school, she learned the ‘real-life’ practice of law through internships with Fulbright & Jaworski, Public Counsel, and Waters & Kraus. After passing the California bar exam, Michelle Mathis joined the United States Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG).
While stationed at Norfolk Naval Base and Naval Air Station Oceana, Michelle Mathis advised military members and their dependents on divorce, child custody and support, contract disputes, debt collection, mortgages, landlord-tenant law, estate planning, and military rights and procedure.
In 2009, Michelle Mathis was the legal advisor on board the hospital ship USNS COMFORT (T-AH 20) during Operation Continuing Promise. Upon her return to Norfolk, she represented military members as a defense counsel; focusing on non-judicial punishment, administrative board hearings and courts-martial.
Her next duty station was in Washington, DC, where she contributed to military criminal justice policy at the highest levels at both the US Navy JAG Criminal Law Division (Code 20) and the Navy and Marine Corps Court of Appeals (NMCCA). In 2011, Michelle Mathis passed the Virginia bar exam and left active duty to open her own practice. She continues to drill as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy Reserves.
Before becoming an attorney, Michelle Mathis was an analytical chemist for Advanced Medical Optics and an English Teacher in Japan. She has a BS in Chemistry and a BA in Political Science from the University of California-Irvine. Even though she was born and raised in San Diego, California, Michelle Mathis considers Norfolk, Virginia to be her adopted home.