Prior to attending law school, I earned a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Texas. For over fifteen years, I worked as a licensed mental health therapist in schools serving children who qualified for special education due to emotional and behavioral disabilities. I went to law school knowing that I would be able to use the knowledge I had as a counselor and educational consultant to help children and families.
I attended the evening program at Seattle University School of Law, and continued to work full-time as a mental health specialist for Kent School District.
I am excited to serve children and families who need the assistance of an educational attorney. I really enjoy helping families navigate the complexities of the schools and special education because the results are practical and I get to see children succeed. I worked as a consultant for public schools for many years, so my experience is grounded in an understanding of the culture of schools as well as knowledge about the law. Parents often feel outnumbered and misunderstood. I help my clients who are facing discipline, special education, or other school-related issues and would benefit from legal counsel.
Most recently, I was the program attorney for Family Law CASA of King County. Family Law CASA is a non-profit that provides court-appointed, volunteer guardian ad litem services in low-income family law cases. The role of the agency is to protect the needs of children in family law disputes. My role at the agency was to represent both the program and the volunteer assigned to the case in court. Often during divorce proceedings, the needs of the children are easily diluted in the face of the better articulated needs of their parents. My job was to ensure that the focus of the case remained on the best interests of those children. As part of that process, I encouraged parents, even in dire situations, to better see and acknowledge the needs and interests of their children.
My experience in court and at family law mediations gives me the practical understanding of how to effectively represent clients in the divorce process. This experience guides my work with my clients, allowing me to translate the often foreign legal process into understandable steps. I listen to what my clients say about what they need, and about their fears and concerns. I work with them to develop a plan to navigate the legal process in order to create a positive outcome for themselves and their families. My goal is to provide my clients with thorough information and preparation and to help them to feel knowledgeable and empowered, so that the often painful process of moving out of a marriage or partnership is made easier and more successful.
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927 N. Northlake Way
Seattle, WA, 98103
My wife and I had to deal very unexpectedly with what amounted to completely unfounded and untrue allegations of possible child abuse. The doctor’s exam only revealed healed mosquito bites. The real abuse was from the invasion of privacy that subsequently occurred as the CPS rep conducted a series of questioning that greatly upset our kids. It was amazing to us to see just how easy it is to totally disrupt a family by just picking up the phone. The pain and anguish our family was put through needed a firm and legal response. That’s where attorney Michelle Fontenot came in. She met our kids and got to know our family. Her knowledge of child therapy/emotional issues is amazing. She also completely understands the law and physcology schools operate under. I can not express how glad we were to have Michelle in our corner. We recommend her 100% whole heartedly! Thank you Michelle.
Michelle Fontenot recently helped me through a tricky and lengthy divorce. It was a complex case. Not only was it interstate (WA and NY) involving assets both in the US and UK, but also involved grappling with the peculiarities of negotiating with an ex-spouse who worked for an international institution with its own legal requirements. Michelle was fantastic throughout – as was her paralegal. Her tenacity, skill and personability – made her the perfect choice to represent me. I would have no hesitation in recommending her.
Michelle represented me through an unfortunate and unusual situation involving family law that spanned more than 8 months. It involved a petition for a protection order and a difficult divorce. During that time, I worked with her regularly, each month, if each week. I was very impressed with her professionalism. She is ultra-reliable and her judgment proved to be very keen. Besides planning and preparing for my case, there were several on-the-spot moments where she proved to think very quickly on her feet and offer what turned-out to be very sound advice. She is very good at what she does and responds quickly to clients’ needs. I have no real critiques. It was hard to select a family law lawyer out of nowhere when I needed one. A friend recommended the Dubois Cary firm and attorney Michelle Fontenot, and paralegal, Jason Evans, were teamed with me. They represent an ideal legal team in my opinion. Additionally, while the scores on this site suggest that Michelle lacks a little in experience, her career before becoming an attorney was one where she saw a very different, but equally important, side family law. Her experience in this field is deeper than it appears and perhaps more well-rounded than that of most other family law attorneys. I really felt secure with her.