The Firm

Virginia Hinrichs McMichael founded Appellate Law Group in 2013 because she believes that clients are best represented by seasoned appellate lawyers who can create cogent and compelling legal arguments that win on appeal.

McMichael has over 30 years of trial and appellate experience and was formerly a partner and head of the appellate practice group at Dilworth Paxson LLP. She has represented clients in the Pennsylvania state appellate courts and the federal courts of appeals for the Third, Second, and Eleventh Circuits.

As a woman-owned appellate boutique, Appellate Law Group helps its corporate and public clients meet their diversity goals. The firm’s experience in international matters and foreign language proficiency further distinguishes it from other firms.

A high-quality brief improves the chances of success on appeal. An Appellate Law Group brief stands out — it’s thoroughly researched but also concise, readable, easily understood and persuasive.

Appellate Law Group is capable of handling all aspects of an appeal, including advising lawyers during trial, identifying appealable issues, drafting notices of appeal, petitions for permission to appeal, motions to quash, appellate briefs, amicus curiae briefs, petitions for certiorari, and oral argument.


Virginia Hinrichs McMichael

Virginia Hinrichs McMichael has more than 30 years of experience in commercial litigation and appellate law. She is a former partner and Chair of the Appellate Practice Group at Dilworth Paxson, one of the top law firms in the county. McMichael is a former attorney-advisor at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and is fluent in Spanish and French.

McMichael has successfully represented clients in complex national and international cases in state and federal courts in a wide range of substantive areas of law — including bankruptcy, civil rights, commercial, constitutional, criminal, employment, family, international, labor, medical malpractice, municipal, products liability, real estate, RICO, securities, tax, and trusts and estates.

McMichael has a J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law, where she was a Senior Editor of the Texas International Law Journal, and an A.B. with High Honors in English from Middlebury College. She has an AV Pre-eminent peer-review rating from Martindale-Hubbell, and a “Superb” rating from Avvo.

McMichael is admitted to practice in the state courts in Pennsylvania. She is also admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court, the Third and Second Circuit Courts of Appeals, and the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the ABA Council of Appellate Lawyers, the Pennsylvania Bar Association Appellate Advocacy Committee, and the Philadelphia Bar Association Appellate Law and International Law Committees.

McMichael is a Founding Board Member of Women Owned Law, a national organization dedicated to connecting an advancing women entrepreneurs in the law.  She served for fifteen years on the Board of Supervisors of East Whiteland Township, Pennsylvania, a township with over 10,000 residents that is the home of the Great Valley Corporate Center, one of the largest suburban office complexes in the country.


Megen Karakelian

Megen KarakelianMegen Karakelian is a Pennsylvania native. Born and raised in West Chester, PA, she graduated from Bucknell University in 1993 with a B.A. in International Relations.

Karakelian earned her J.D. from Vermont Law School in 1996, where she was recognized for her skills in oral advocacy. She also attended the University of Nairobi School of Law in Nairobi, Kenya, where she pursued her interest in international relations.

She was a summer law clerk for the Honorable Robert F. Kelly, a United States District Court Judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. After law school, she was employed as an Associate with Spivack and Spivack, L.L.P. in Philadelphia, where she represented plaintiffs in civil litigation matters.

At Appellate Law Group, Karakelian focuses her practice on representing clients in family law appeals. She has received mediation training and has served as an arbitrator for the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas.

Karakelian is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and is a member of the bar of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.


Margaret Juliano

Maggie has a J.D. from Emory Law School, with honors, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal. She was a clerk for then Chief Judge Mary F. Walrath of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. She is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, and previously in Delaware (retired) and New York (retired).

Prior to joining Appellate Law Group, Juliano worked in both corporate bankruptcy  as well as in general litigation preparing for trials on corporate, product liability, professional liability, and mass tort topics. She is an expert at depositions and the narrative aspects of litigation.

Prior to law school, she worked for a variety of organizations on lobbying, public relations and regulation. She drafted complex documents including contracts, MOUs, NDAs, and responses to NPRM on issues involving technology. She regularly volunteers to assist non-profits in drafting corporate documents, including charters, bylaws, and other governance documents.



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