Michelle Angeles is a trial attorney working primarily in the civil rights and criminal defense practice groups. Having spent nine years as a trial attorney at Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. (FDSDI), Ms. Angeles has extensive experience in federal court litigation, from drafting and litigating motions, through jury trials and appeals. Ms. Angeles is known for her passion for justice, skill in the courtroom, and her loyalty and commitment to her clients. Ms. Angeles rose through the ranks at FDSDI, eventually becoming a Trial Team Leader where she supervised and mentored a team of 10 trial attorneys. She was the co-chair of the office’s Attorneys of Color Committee and involved in attorney recruitment and training. During the rollout of "Operation Streamline" in the Southern District of California, Ms. Angeles was one of a core group of dedicated attorneys at the defender office, fighting for the rights of those who were seeking a better life in the United States, but who were instead criminalized and incarcerated. She fought to ensure the promise of due process in a system designed to process "justice" like a fast-food, cafeteria counter.
Before becoming a public defender, Ms. Angeles spent years on the front lines of social justice campaigns. During college, she interned for the United Nations Population Fund, Division of Arab States, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia focusing on issues related to gender, culture, and human rights. Between college and law school, Ms. Angeles worked for Proyecto Pastoral, a social justice, community-building nonprofit in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles. Their mission is to empower the community of Boyle Heights through grassroots projects in education, leadership, and service. They provide support to children and families through early childhood education centers, youth development programming, homeless shelters, community organizing efforts and collective impact work. Through a blend of community services and organizing, Proyecto seeks to build community power so that community residents - those most impacted by these systemic inequities - create transformational change rooted in values of justice, opportunity, and self-determination. Passionate about Proyecto’s mission and commitment to the community - Ms. Angeles served as the Development Associate and Operations Manager for three years. She continues to be passionate about advancing the rights and protecting the interests of immigrant and indigent communities and has dedicated her time, efforts, and career to advancing the ideal of equal justice for all.
- United States District Court for the Southern District of California
- United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
B.A., Occidental College
J.D., University of California, Hastings College of Law