As the Director of the Public Service Program, Michelle is responsible for the administration and oversight of student experiential learning through a voluntary program that encourages students to engage in a minimum of 75-hours of law-related service during their studies at Southwestern. Through coordinating and expanding community-centered collaborations in volunteer initiatives, Michelle ensures students are connected with community outreach and advocacy opportunities that meet underserved legal needs in indigent communities while also furthering the development of students’ practical legal skills.
Michelle also serves on the Faculty Public Interest Law Committee, is the faculty advisor to Southwestern’s Teen Court, the Homelessness Prevention Law Project, the Public Interest Law Committee and manages Southwestern’s Judge Harry Pregerson Public Service Summer Fellowship program for students who demonstrate an exceptional commitment to advocacy in the public interest.
Michelle previously served in Southwestern’s Career Service Office counseling students and alumni on legal recruitment, career planning, and job search strategies with an emphasis on public interest and government employment, including post-graduate fellowships. Prior to joining Southwestern in 2016, Michelle served as the Pro Bono and Volunteer Coordinator with Bet Tzedek Legal Services and as a legal advocate with The Alliance for Children’s Rights representing transitional aged-foster youth in Los Angeles County.
Ms. Takagishi-Almeida received her B.A. from the University of California, Irvine, and her J.D. from the University of La Verne College of Law. Ms. Takagishi-Almeida is a member of the California State Bar.