Volunteer Attorney Spotlight: Jennifer Montalvo
Describe your education leading up to law school.
I received my Bachelor of Arts in Justice and Behavioral Science from Mount Mary University in 2008. I also completed a Peace Building Certificate while at Mount Mary.
What are your main legal practice areas?
I primarily practice family law. I represent individuals in paternity and divorce actions as well as post-judgment motions. Sometimes, I am appointed by the court as Guardian ad Litem for minor children.
How did you decide on your legal practice area?
There was never a moment in law school where I said, “I’m going into family law.” I actually thought that I would focus on criminal defense or immigration after graduation. When I graduated from law school, I had the opportunity to work with a nonprofit that was interested in building an immigration practice. The nonprofit had an influx of family law cases so I started taking those as well. It wasn’t until I had been doing family law for a little over two years that I decided to actually stick with it because I saw a lot of value in providing legal representation to low-income and indigent individuals.
Why do you volunteer at the MVLC?
I have been volunteering at MVLC since my first year in law school. I started because I thought it would be a great opportunity to meet and shadow local attorneys. I continue to volunteer because I think it is really important to provide legal information and advice to individuals who are proceeding with a legal process or action pro se. The more information a pro se litigant is armed with, the better prepared they are to proceed in court and the less likely they are to have to continue to come back to court because they don’t have the right forms filled out or don’t understand the process.
MVLC Student Advisory Board Member Spotlight: Shelly Grasso
SAB Member Shelly Grasso is in her second year at Marquette Law School. Originally from Buzzards Bay, MA, Shelly graduated from Providence College in 2016 with a double major in History and American studies and double minor in sociology and black studies. After law school, she plans to practice criminal law in the District Attorney’s office in Massachusetts. Shelly has volunteered with the MVLC and family forms clinic at the MJC and is excited about being an SAB member. In her free time, Shelly loves distance running and watching Dance Moms.